Department of Oral Pathology

Department of Oral Pathology

The Department of Oral Pathology traces its origin to 1951 when the Faculty of Dentistry was founded, and there is a history of about 60 years. The mission of the Department is to provide the academic basis and environment that allows students, fellows and staff to excel in the research, diagnosis and therapy. Our goal is to deepen our knowledge of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of the disease, and to bring this knowledge to others through teaching and diagnosis.


Staff

position
name
E-mail (below@, dent.osaka-u.ac.jp)
Professor
Satoru Toyosawa
toyosawa@
Associate Professor
Associate Professor
Sunao Sato
sunao@
Associate Professor
Yu Usami

Research Activities

Research is fundamental to achieve our goal. According to a tissue of interest, there are two research groups within the Department: hard tissue group and soft tissue group.

Hard Tissue Group

To clarify the mechanisms of bone-related diseases, the life phenomena related to physiologic or pathologic calcification have been investigated using molecular biological techniques. Interestingly, we discovered that among bone matrix proteins, only DMP1 was expressed in osteocytes, but not osteoblasts. On the ground of its unique expression and amino-acid compositions, we are working on the functional analysis of DMP1 molecule and its application in a clinical setting. Also we are investigating the genes related to regulate phosphate/pyrophosphate homeostasis such as Ank and ENPP-1.
In the clinicopathologic study, we are trying to develop the molecular diagnostic method of jawbone diseases such as fibro-osseous lesions whose histopathologic differentiation is difficult.

Soft Tissue Group

Soft Tissue Group

Because salivary gland carcinomas are uncommon and complex, their development and progression are largely unknown. As a result, it is difficult to establish the effective remedy. To address these issues, we have developed a rodent model of adenoid cystic carcinoma by implantation of human tissue pieces to the salivary glands of nude mice. Impairment of salivary gland function is a serious problem for patients who undergo radiotherapy for treatment of head and neck cancer. The most effective way for improvement of their quality of life is implantation of stem cells residing in their salivary gland. We have identified the stem cells of rodent submandibular glands, and are now attempting to isolate these cells. Lastly, using clinical materials, we are working to discover factors related to the development and prognosis of squamous cell carcinoma, the most popular malignancy in the oral cavity.


Clinical and Educational Activities

Clinical and Educational Activities

We are engaged in pathologic diagnosis in the Dental Hospital, and consultation about cases difficult to diagnose in the other hospitals. We also have regularly a clinicopathlogic conference with the staffers of the Surgery and the Radiology Departments, and organize lectures for and courses of diagnostic oral pathology at the meetings of the Japanese Society of Pathology and the Osaka Pathology Conference. Through these activities, we disseminate sound and up-to-date knowledge, educate young pathologists and clinicians and improve diagnostic skills not only of ourselves but also of other oral pathologists and general pathologists.