Duke University Study Identifies Human Tooth Enamel DNA


Thomas Diekwisch

Thomas Diekwisch, a graduate of Philipps University of Marburg, currently serves as a professor and department head at the UIC College of Dentistry in Chicago, Illinois. In this role, Dr. Diekwisch performs research in various areas of dentistry, including determining the molecular mechanisms that govern enamel formation.

Early on, Tom Diekwisch discovered the functional significance of enamel matrix organization for enamel development and demonstrated the independence of enamel deposits from adjacent dentin. In a series of evolutionary biology studies, they cloned and characterized a number of novel amelogenin genes, including those of frogs, salamanders, and iguanas in reptiles and amphibians. Based on these studies, they established polyproline repeat elongation as a mechanism for amelogenin aggregate compaction and enamel crystal elongation.

Recently, they reported the first complete 3D structure of the major tooth enamel protein, amelogenin. Currently, Diekwisch and his team are studying the relationship between the amelogenin molecule and enamel mechanical properties.


About diekwisch

Dr. Diekwisch currently serves as the director of the Brodie Laboratory for Craniofacial Genetics at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, where he focuses his research on areas such as the evolution of dental structures and the role of chromatin factors in development.
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