| Page 1 | Page 3 | Page 4 |

                                                                       Page 2; Vol. 2 No. 1


                            Travels & Global Research:

Manchester, UK, March 2008. Penny and I returned to the UK via the British Dental Association National Meeting and the launch of PerioBalance, a new Probiotic in addressing gum and periodontal disease. I got a chance to lecture in the Old Trafford (i.e. Manchester United Football Stadium) the day after they beat Barcelona in the World Cup. Extraordinary!!

Asia Pacific III. In April, Penny and I treversed the world (25,000 miles) in 12 days (not 80 days!), emphasizing lectures in Asia-Pacific (A-P). Emphasis was on oral care and the growing importance of plaque as an intermediary in systemic disease, and I lectured again at the FBI (Federation Dental Internationale) in Singapore, gave lectures in Indonesia and ended ultimately in Mumbai, India. At the dental school in Mumbai, I was informed that India has 741 dental schools, one-quarter of all the dental schools in the world! The only “downer” of the trip was that both Penny and I (yes, yours truly, a clinical microbiologist for more than 40 years) got Salmonella as our final hallmark in India. I promise you, my lectures on diarrheal diseases will be much more impressive than ever before – and accurate!  

Barcelona, Spain Nov. 2008. As a result of my presentations in Manchester, UK, I was invited to present at the First World Congress on Bacterial Therapy and the use of oral Probiotics for reversing oral disease, particularly periodontitis and gingivitis. I met and discussed oral systemic diseases with scientists, physicians and dentists from over 13 countries and lectured at the World Trade Center in Barcelona, which was quite extraordinary.

      All of the highlights are pictorially shown on my WVU Pathology website, and I encourage you to laugh, smile, and admire the opportunity that Penny and I had during our world travel. (www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/pathology/thomas)


Global Research :

Although we continued to emphasize our studies with Covidien and the silver-coated endotrach, our expanding databases and methodology acquired in Cardiff, particularly non-culture techniques, has given us means of looking at biofilm association in additional diseases. We are now particularly interested in chronic wounds and find the 3-dimensional architecture quite similar between periodontal disease and chronic wounds. This was catalyzed by meetings and “rounding” with world known Drs. David Leaper and Keith Harding of Cardiff University of Wales Hospital. Wound research has emphasized the engineering of a unique triphasic multilayered wound-like model that integrates new features including the use of poloxamer to induce the biofilm cell culture of eukaryotic cells and an interface with potential management of dressing material. (BIOFILM REACTOR). Collaboration has included Dr. Steven Percival, Chester, UK, Drs.Keith Harding and David Leaper from Cardiff University School of Medicine and University of Wales Hospital, and Keith Cutting, London, England. Support recently has come from Covidien and Dr. Min Shue.









Our focusing organization is shown in Figure I which highlights the integration of biofilms in 4 distinct clinical areas: 1. Oral/Dental

2. Ventilator Associated Pneumonia/Pulmonary

3. Chronic Wounds

4. Clinical Laboratories and Diagnostic Microbiology

Our translational research not only emphasizes bench-to-bedside but bench-to-laboratory as a number of the techniques that we are developing have impact on clinical microbiology.

Finally, as a direct consequence of my global travels and interface with a variety of investigators and research scientists, physicians and dentists around the world, I have organized and am now director of the International Tri-University Biofilm Research Consortium.
Figure II outlines the organization with goals and emphasizes the 3 universities:

  1. West Virginia University
  2. Cardiff University
  3. National University of Singapore (NUS)


The latter has become my eastern hub in my Asia Pacific travels as I have gained considerable colleague interface in the University of Singapore. A direct consequences of this triangle is a platform for international collaboration and clinical trials. Obviously, organism reservoirs, resistance profiles and comorbidities will allow us to relate particular treatments to a wider range of disease presentations, which is beneficial to all involved in science.