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Department of Oral Biology

Secretary: Margarita Sakelliou
Contact Details: Phone.: (+30) 210-746-1319
Address: 2 Thivon Str, 11527, Goudi, Athens, Greece

General description

The Department of Oral Biology supports basic and clinical research with emphasis to the biology of the human dentition and the craniofacial region development via a human genome project approach. Providing the educational foundation of basic sciences the department serves to bridge the gap between oral sciences and the clinical practice of Dentistry.


Postgraduate courses:

  • ΒΣ 340-Morphogenesis of the craniofacial complex (coordination- lectures by Assistant Prof H. Vastardis)
  • ΒΣ 341-Dysmorphogenesis and syndromes of the craniofacial complex (coordination- lectures by Assistant Prof H. Vastardis)
  • ΒΣ 304- Head and Neck Anatomy and Physiology (lectures by Assistant Prof H. Vastardis)
  • Oral Biology I (lecture by Assistant Prof H. Vastardis)

Research Activities:

Research activities of the department include the establishment of a Tooth Agenesis Registry and a DNA repository correlating clinical information on diverse sets of dental phenotypes to biological sampling processing (genotyping).

The Registry has been developed under the auspices of an Eea grant entitled “Detection of the genetic base of tooth agenesis in the Greek child population and identification of the correlation between tooth agenesis and colorectal cancer predisposition”. The results have been presented in the first conference (2013) of the Greek Association of the Medical Geneticists (SIGE) and the 2013 World Dental Congress. (Article under preparation.) Tooth agenesis: Is there more than missing teeth? Silvestros S, Vastardis H, Armakolas A, Koutsilieris M. IDJ Special Issue: Abstracts of the 101st FDI Annual World Dental Congress, September 2013, Volume 63, Issue Supplement s1, pg 271.
Background literature
: (Identification of the first genetic mutation for tooth agenesis in humans)

  • Tooth Agenesis. Vastardis H. Encyclopedia of the Human Genome. Nature Publishing Group. March 2003.
  • Tooth Agenesis. Vastardis H. NORD (The National Organization for Rare Disorders) Guide to Rare Disorders. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. Fall 2002.
  • Teeth in a genetic age. Vastardis H. Semin. Orthod. 8(1):13-16, 2002.
  • The genetics of human tooth agenesis: New discoveries for understanding dental anomalies.  Vastardis H.  Am. J. Orthod. Dentofac. Orthop. 117(6):650-656, 2000.
  • Haploinsufficiency of MSX1: A mechanism for selective tooth agenesis. Gezhi H*, Vastardis H*, Bendall AJ*, Wang Z, Logan MP, Zhang H, Stein S, Greenfield N, Seidman CE, Seidman JG, Abate-Shen C.  Mol Cell Biol. 18(10): 6044-6051, 1998.
    * first coauthors
  • A human MSX1 homeodomain missense mutation causes selective tooth agenesis. Vastardis H, Karimbux N, Guthua SW, Seidman JG, Seidman CE. Nature Genet. 13: 417-21, 1996.

Another research activity involves correlation of single nucleotide polymorphisms within specific genes to oral diseases.The protocol Study of polymorphisms in cytokine genes and possible association with chronic inflammatory oral diseases is supported by Procter &Gamble.

Another research activity of the Department focuses on the characterization of syndromes of the head and neck region.
Background literature: (Information on syndromic and non syndromic cases of craniosynostosis and deviations of facial and dental morphology)

  • Novel esthetic treatment of bilateral gemination of maxillary central incisors. Vastardis H, Sifakakis I, Chryssafidis C. International Dental Journal Special Issue: Abstracts of the 101st FDI Annual World Dental Congress, September 2013, Volume 63, Issue Supplement s1, pg 241.
  • Revisiting the morphogenesis of the human lower lip: An overlooked paradigm. Vastardis H, Spyropoulos MN, Burdi AR. Front. Physiol. 3:333, 2012.
  • Cephalometric Evaluation of the Craniofacial Complex in Patients Treated with an Intra-oral Distraction Osteogenesis Device. A Long Term Study. Chow A, Lee H-F, Trahar M, Kawamoto H, Vastardis H, Ting K.  Am. J. Orthod. Dentofac. Orthop. 134(6):724-731, 2008.
  • Periodontitis associated with Hajdu-Cheney syndrome. Bazopoulou-Kyrkanidou E, Vrahopoulos TP, Eliades G, Vastardis H, Tosios K, Vrotsos IA. J Periodontol. 78(9):1831-1838, 2007.
  • Unilateral coronal synostosis: a histomorphometric study. Vastardis H, Mulliken JB, Glowacki J. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 41(4):439-446, 2004.
  • Craniosynostosis in transgenic mice over-expressing Nell-1. Zhang X, Kuroda S, Carpenter D, Nishimura I, Soo C, Moats R, Iida K, Wisner E, Hu FY, Beanes S, Dang C, Vastardis H, Longaker M, Tanizawa K, Kanayama N, Saito N,Ting K. J. Clin. Invest. 110(6):861-870, 2002.
  • Human NELL-1 expressed in unilateral coronal synostosis.  Ting K, Vastardis H, Mulliken JB, Soo C, Tieu A, Do H, Kwong E, Bertolami CN, Kawamoto H, Kuroda S, Longaker MT.  J Bone Miner Res. 14(1): 80-89, 1999.