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Cancer Research

Salivary Gland Research

Expand the connectivity between clinicians and scientists.

Uniting Clinicians, Science and Engineering Researchers

An outreach to Salivary Gland Surgeons & Researchers to join ongoing projects or to develop new projects and link to interested researchers. The goal is to expand the interaction and connectivity between clinicians and scientists on a national level and across institutions to accelerate the progress we make both scientifically and clinically.

SARS-CoV-2 Latency in Oral and Salivary Tissues

  • ACCEL grant (NIH U54 GM104941)
  • Aim 1 — Genotype the ACE2 variants present in these cells.
  • Aim 2 — Cells representing various genotypes of ACE2 receptor will be cultured in our 3D salivary neotissue platform for study of infection efficiency by SARS-CoV-2. We will use a version of SARS-CoV-2 for this work that can be safely handled in a BSL-2 laboratory (Lentivirus Pseudotyped with S Protein, VectorBuilder, Inc).
  • Aim 3 — Additionally, we will collect fresh oral tissues (salivary gland, tonsil, tongue) from a cohort of patients. This approach will provide a survey of the prevalence of latent SARS-CoV-2 in oral tissues; and test our premise that oral tissues serve as infection reservoirs through latency. Genotyping of ACE2 genotypes in these tissues also will allow us to determine if ACE2 genotype is associated with latency or carrier status; and can be validated in the 3D salivary neotissue platform. In the long term, these studies may suggest that monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in collected saliva may be useful means of monitoring previously infected patients for reactivated viral disease and potential to spread.
Principal Investigator (Clinical):

Robert Witt, M.D., ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Rd, Newark, DE, 19713  RobertLWitt@gmail.com.

Principal Investigator (Scientific)

M.C. Farach-Carson, Ph.D., 1941 East Road BBS 4220, Houston TX, 77054  mary.c.farachcarson@uth.tmc.edu.

Collaborator:

Danielle Wu, Ph.D., 1941 East Road BBS 4220, Houston TX 77054.

Implants of Human Salivary Stem/Progenitor Cell Constructs in Immunosuppressed Miniswine

Development of immunosuppressed miniswine as a suitable host animal for the evaluation of the long-term stability, biocompatibility and fate of matrix-modified hyaluronate (HA) hydrogel/ bioscaffold materials containing encapsulated salivary human stem/progenitor cell (hS/PCs).

Funding sources for this work:

R21 DE028960 to Isabelle Lombaert, Ph.D., lombaert@umich.edu; R01 DE022969,

C-DOCTOR/U24 DE026914, Translational Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) Program Award of the University of Texas System, M.C. Farach-Carson, Ph.D., 1941 East Road BBS 4220, Houston TX 77054  mary.c.farachcarson@uth.tmc.edu

R56 DE026530  M.C. Farach-Carson, Ph.D., 1941 East Road BBS 4220, Houston TX 77054 mary.c.farachcarson@uth.tmc.edu

Private philanthropic funding from Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. Robert L Witt, MD, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Rd, Newark, DE 19713  RobertLWitt@gmail.com

Collaborator:

Danielle Wu, Ph.D., 1941 East Road BBS 4220, Houston TX 77054.

Above work preceded by:

R01DE022969 Functional Assembly of Salivary Cells to Relieve Xerostomia, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Co-Principal Investigators:

C. Farach-Carson, Ph.D 1941 East Road BBS 4220, Houston TX 77054 mary.c.farachcarson@uth.tmc.edu
Xinqiao Jia, PhD, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, xjia@udel.edu; http://udel.edu/~xjia
Robert Witt, MD, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Rd, Newark, DE 19713  RobertLWitt@gmail.com

Bottom-Up Assembly of Functional Salivary Gland Tissues

NIH/NIDCR: 1R01DE029655-01A1
https://reporter.nih.gov/search/VA1ymrlKMkSVWdgIJjEasQ/project-details/10121492

Towards the goal of developing functional salivary glands for the treatment of radiation induced xerostomia, hydrogel scaffolds that recapitulate key features of the basement membrane and the interstitial matrix in the developing organ are synthesized. Multicellular epithelial microtissues with defined size, geometry and composition are produced. The epithelial microtissues are cocultured with endothelial cells in a synthetic extracellular matrix with defined cell-guidance cues to aid in the establishment of a hierarchically integrated tissue assembly. The pre-vascularized gland with neurotrophic factor will be implanted in the compromised salivary gland bed of an established animal model to promote tissue integration. Our investigations will help define bioengineering approaches toward the management of xerostomia.

Principal Investigator:

Xinqiao Jia, Ph.D., Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, xjia@udel.eduhttp://udel.edu/~xjia

Collaborators:

Joseph Fox, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716
Jason Gleghorn, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716
Robert Witt, M.D., Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Rd, Newark, DE 19713
Kenneth Yamada, Ph.D., National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Bethesda, MD 20892

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Cancer Research Program

Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
4701 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Suite 2200,
Newark, DE 19713