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SBUMC Appoints Expert in Neurobiology, Pain Research, As Chair of Children's Dentistry

Jan 28, 2009 - 11:24:45 AM

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Dr. Kyrkanides
STONY BROOK, N.Y., January 28, 2009 – Stephanos Kyrkanides, D.D.S., Ph.D., an orthodontist and neuroscientist, has joined Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine as Professor and Chair of the Department of Children’s Dentistry. Appointed by Barry R. Rifkin, D.D.S., Ph.D., former Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Kyrkanides will oversee and participate in departmental training in orthodontics and pediatric dentistry to dental students and residents. As a neuroscientist, he will collaborate with faculty in the School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine on neurodegeneration and pain arthritis research.

Dr. Kyrkanides has worked extensively researching pain, which led to his discovery that pain is more than just a symptom of disease but part of the disease itself in osteoarthritis. This research is the basis for what he calls central nervous system (CNS) two-way “cross-talk,” where pain is transmitted from the site (i.e, knee) to the spinal cord and brain, and then to spread through the CNS from one joint to another spurring further pain and disease.

“The research has broad implications for treating osteoarthritis by way of targeting selected nerves and has given me further insight into the nature of pain, which may have wider applications in medicine and dentistry,” says Dr. Kyrkanides, who comes to Stony Brook from University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y. “For example, if joint arthritis can cause neuro-inflammation, it could have a role in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and multiple sclerosis.”

Dr. Kyrkanides’ pain research results have been published in recent years in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism. He continues to collaborate with colleagues at the University of Rochester and the National Institutes of Health to further the research with the goal of developing better therapies for chronic pain that will also limit the use of current pain medications.

To continue this research Stony Brook, Dr. Kyrkanides will head a laboratory where he will collaborate with School of Medicine clinicians and scientists with expertise in the fields of pain arthritis and neurodegeneration. In the School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Kyrkanides will teach residents and pre-doctoral students in Children’s Dentistry. He will also work to incorporate more research into the training of dental students and resident dentists.

In addition to Dr. Kyrkanides’ discovery of periphery cross-talk in disease development and his work with new therapies for pain and arthritis, he has developed therapies for Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff’s disease, terminal childhood diseases. In Dentistry, he has completed extensive research and clinical work in the areas of craniofacial anomalies, orofacial pain, and cleft palate genetics.

Before coming to Stony Brook, Dr. Kyrkanides held numerous academic and administrative positions at the University of Rochester. He was most recently Professor and Chair of Orthodontics, University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center, and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Dentistry, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. His other positions included Program Director, Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics; Associate Professor, Center of Oral Biology; Associate Professor, Neurobiology & Anatomy, and Assistant Chair, Division of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics.

  Board certified in Orthodontics, Dr. Kyrkanides received his D.D.S. degree (1991) from the National University of Athens School of Dentistry in Greece. He received M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (1999) degrees in Neurobiology & Anatomy from the University of Rochester. In 2000, Dr. Kyrkanides completed post-doctoral training at the Center for Aging & Developmental Biology in Molecular Medicine & Gene Therapy at the University of Rochester.

Dr. Kyrkanides is a member of the World Federation of Orthodontists, the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Association for Dental Research and the American Coleft Palate Association. He was also President, American Association of Dental Research, Rochester Section (2002-04).

A speaker to professional medical associations worldwide on orthodontal, craniofacial and pain research, Dr. Kyrkanides has also authored of dozens of journal articles. He has received numerous awards and honors. These include the Research Award from the Eastman Orthodontic Foundation, the Dean’s Merit Award from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, and the Orthondontic Faculty Development Fellowship Award from the Association of Orthodontists Foundation.

Dr. Kyrkanides lives in Stony Brook with his wife, Sabine Brouxhon, M.D., and their two children James (10) and Nicole (7).

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