With two Ph.D. degrees, one in dentistry and other in philosophy, from the Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany, Thomas Diekwisch has collaborated with a number of institutes to develop new theories and research on craniofacial birth defects and graft materials that can support dental implants. Currently, Dr. Diekwisch is the director of the Brodie Laboratory for Craniofacial Genetics, where he explores molecular forms of tooth movement. In addition to his research about craniofacial development, Dr. Diekwisch also studies stem cells and tissue engineering.
One area of particular interest is the use of periodontal stem cells to repair and regrow damaged tissues and structures. An inflammation of supporting tissue can lead to tooth loss; traditional treatment of periodontitis involves surgical procedures focused on grafting materials and growth factors. However, more recent developments in the field of guided tissue regeneration have focused on regeneration using stem cells. Although early studies have shown that predictable periodontal growth is a challenge, current studies conducted at the Brodie Laboratory have shown that growing periodontium around extracted teeth and replanting them is a promising avenue of research.