News and Updates
After surpassing its $1 million 2018 Annual Fund campaign goal, the OMS Foundation is poised to further support research and education that can improve patient care in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
The Foundation established the $1 million campaign goal to honor the centennial of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), its parent organization that was founded in 1918 and today represents more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons across the United States.
“We set an ambitious fundraising goal as a way to celebrate AAOMS’s 100th anniversary, and the OMS specialty responded beyond even our expectations,” said Kathy A. Banks, DMD, chair of the Foundation Board of Directors.
OMS National Insurance Company (OMSNIC) jumpstarted the campaign with a $100,000 gift-match challenge that generated $300,000 in three months. Subsequent challenges supported by AAOMS and Treloar & Heisel, an insurance provider for dentists and specialists, also surpassed their goals.
Individual gifts ranging from $5 to $10,000 sustained the momentum of the campaign. Support also arrived from the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (IAOMS), the IAOMS Foundation, the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS), the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (ACOMS), the Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CAOMS), 36 state and regional OMS societies and several college and university OMS training programs.
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Inspiring potential OMSs to pursue their dreams
Five students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine are pursuing their interests in OMS-related research topics this year with guidance from Dr. Steven Wang, their program director, and funding from a Student Research Training Award from the OMS Foundation.
Scientific research posters submitted by Penn students Dr. Brian Carr and Jennifer Caughey were presented at the 100th AAOMS Annual Meeting in October. Student Research Training Awards provided them with a stipend and covered their travel expenses to Chicago.
Other students are exploring topics – with support from faculty – ranging from TMJ surgery to tongue reconstruction using gingival mesenchymal stem cells.
“Funding from the OMS Foundation encourages dental students to engage in research and understand the broad scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery,” Dr. Wang said. “Ultimately, we hope to inspire these students to join the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery and develop their potential as leaders in the specialty.”
Click for more information on Student Research Training Awards.
Slow-release hydrogel shows promise for cancer treatment
Preliminary findings from an investigation funded in part by the OMS Foundation indicate that an immunotherapy drug embedded in a slow-release hydrogel appears to be highly effective at killing cancer cells.
According to its developers, STINGel combines a new class of immunotherapy drugs called stimulator of interferon gene (STING) agonists with an injectable hydrogel that releases the drug in a steady dose to activate the immune system to kill cancer cells. The biogel was developed by Simon Young, DDS, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), and Rice University chemist and bioengineer Jeffrey Hartgerink, PhD. The OMS Foundation selected the project for a $75,000 Research Support Grant in 2017.
The new research, recently detailed in the journal Biomaterials, showed that slow-release multi-domain peptide gels (MDP) were effective in continuously delivering immunotherapy drugs, known as cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs), to tumor sites for long periods of time.
In preclinical trials, six of 10 rodents treated with STINGel showed significantly improved survival rates plus resistance to further implantation of cancer cells after 100 days, implying that their immune systems were trained to successfully identify and destroy both the existing cancer and future occurrence of that cancer. Read more about this project here.
The research also was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Welch Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology.
The OMS Foundation gratefully acknowledges the recent gift of $25,000 from the estate of Dr. James Ingrassia.
An Ohio native, Dr. Ingrassia held degrees in pharmacy and dentistry from Ohio State University. He served as a Captain in the Air Force before moving to Charleston, S.C., where he completed his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency at the Medical University of South Carolina and went into practice. He retired in 2006.
Dr. Ingrassia joined the Southeastern Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in 1980 and served as its president in 2005. In 2011, he was honored with the society’s Distinguished Service Award.
He is well-remembered for his dedication to his family, friends and colleagues. His membership in the OMS Foundation’s R.V. Walker Society ensured his career as an OMS concluded with an act of fidelity to the specialty he loved and served throughout his life.
Dr. Peter Aschaffenburg Leaves $100,000 to the OMS Foundation
The OMS Foundation recently received a $100,000 gift from the estate of Dr. Peter Aschaffenburg, who passed away in late 2015. Dr. Aschaffenburg became a Charter Member of the Robert V. Walker Society in 1999, and upgraded his commitment to $100,000 in 2011.
“I never felt so proud as to donate $10,000 to be a Charter Member of the R.V. Walker Society, and this was at a time when I was just an associate, with loans, etc. When Dr. Walker passed away, I bequeathed $100,000 to the OMS Foundation. The least of what I learned from Dr. Walker was oral and maxillofacial surgery. From him, I learned what it really meant to be a Doctor, and what it meant to be a Man,” said Dr. Aschaffenburg in an OMS Foundation article written about him in 2012.
Take a look at the Fall 2018 issue of Torch, our newsletter. It is full of information about our donors, programs, and the important work we are doing to support the OMS specialty. Less recent issues of our Torch can be found in our archive.