Professor

NIDCR Funding of Dr. Anne George’s Research to Stretch to 23 Years

The National Institute of Dental Research of the National Institutes of Health has decided to fund the research of Dr. Anne George, Allan G. Brodie Endowed Professor in the Brodie Tooth Development Genetics and Regenerative Medicine Research Laboratory and Professor of Oral Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, for another five years. This will result in 23 straight years of NIDCR funding of Dr. George’s research.

Her research is on the role of the gene Dentin Matrix Protein 1 (DMP1) in bone metabolism.

In 1992, Dr. George and her laboratory team cloned DMP1 and published a paper on that breakthrough. The paper contained the cDNA sequence and the deduced amino acid composition for this gene.

“We have been trying to identify the function for this protein, which is predominantly present in bone and teeth,” Dr. George said. “Besides being involved in the mineralization function, we now know it plays an important role in bone metabolism. Therefore, the current proposal seeks to further clarify this role, along with identifying its interacting partners.

“Since DMP1 is a calcium-binding protein, we intend to identify how it regulates this function and identify its interacting partners and their role in mineralization,” she added.

Her NIDCR grant began in 1996 and now will run through April 2019. The funding granted in her latest extension “is a total of $399,500 each year for the next five years,” Dr. George said.

“Nature uses simple proteins like DMP1 with multifunctional capabilities to produce large calcified structures such as our skeleton and teeth,” Dr. George explained.

“The way nature regulates their function is mind-boggling. Deciphering a little bit of their function by my lab members is gratifying. I am amazed from what we learn in the lab regarding the function of this protein with simple experiments,” she concluded.

Dr. Anne George received 2013 The Researcher of the Year award, for more information, please see http://news.uic.edu/finding-new-ways-to-fill-cavities.