Mohamed Jamal Ahmed, ENDO 16, DScD 16, has been awarded a research grant from the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) Foundation for his proposal, “Directed Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Pulp Regenerating Progenitor.” Dr. Ahmed’s submission was awarded the highest amount of funding in the spring 2014 AAE annual session, an amount totaling $22,000.
The AAE Foundation’s mission is to “perpetuate excellence for the specialty of endodontics” through research and education. The AAE Foundation awards research funding to the most competitive and innovative grant proposals.
The aim of Dr. Ahmed’s investigation is to develop a novel strategy to help regenerate dental pulp tissue, which is a major research priority of the AAE. Dental pulp is the connective living tissue located inside teeth, and is susceptible to damage by endodontic disease, one of the most common dental diseases.
Pulp tissue is composed of different cell types of multiple embryonic germ layers origins. Therefore, in order to regenerate pulp cells, there is a need for stem or progenitor cell populations with a capacity to differentiate into cell types originating from these embryonic germ layers. Dr. Ahmed’s novel strategy to regenerate the pulp dentin complex involves using mesenchymal and endothelial progenitors derived from human induced pluripotent stems cells to aid in achieving predictable regeneration of pulp dentin complex.
Dr. Ahmed became involved in endodontic research while pursuing his Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in endodontics and Master of Science Degree at the Boston University Institute for Dental Research and Education (BUIDRE) in Dubai. In 2011, he began his Doctor of Science in Dentistry degree (DScD) and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Ahmed is currently working in Dr. Darrell Kotton’s lab in the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) at the BU School of Medicine. The Kotton lab’s investigatory focus is on stem cell biology and gene therapy as it relates to lung injury and repair. It is here that Dr. Ahmed studied induced pluripotent stem cells and developmental biology.
Dr. Ahmed is thrilled about receiving the grant, describing it as one of the highlights of his career. He is also very optimistic about the significant impact that the results of this study could have on the future of regenerative endodontics.
“Congratulations to Dr. Ahmed on receiving an AAE Foundation research grant,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “The quality of his research certainly aligns with the mission of the Foundation and will contribute to the future of the endodontic profession.”