Background of the Department
In 1998 the Department of Oral Biology was established at AB Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences (ABSMIDS) under Mangalore University of Karnataka state. The Department of Oral Biology is first of its kind introduced and established in India. In order to develop the Department of Oral Biology, Professor Chitta Chowdhury took a leading role after his return from Japan where he was working as a faculty at Okayama University after completion his PhD from Asahi University and Postdoctoral fellowship. The Nitte Education Trust recruited and offered him a senior Professor position at AB Shetty Memorial Institute Dental Sciences in 1997. Founding Dean of ABSMIDS was leasing to get this specialty of Oral Biology which was incepted by Professor Chowdhury. Until 2002 the department was running with its various activities under Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences of Bangalore. During the period the department completed 15 research projects and established a unit for oral cancer screening and education, which has been documented in a published book and research jointly by Nitte University India and Bournemouth University, England- the book is catalogued in major University libraries of the world.( review in British Dental Journal: http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v210/n9/full/sj.bdj.2011.380.htm ). .The department carried out its activities in collaboration with other departments when Professor Chowdhury went to UK with an assignment to develop international centre for tropical oral health at Bournemouth University and Poole NHS Hospital of Dorset, England. Nevertheless, the activities went on to progressing in a pace by the participation of the faculties and under a voluntary supervision and yearly visits of Professor Chowdhury.
Ongoing activities within re-shaped Oral Biology & Genomic Studies (OBGS)|
[Gene and Genetic studies]
However, since last four years the department has been re-shaped and re-named as the Department of Oral Biology and Genomic Studies (OBGS), and at present it is running in different direction under the leadership of founding head and with the help of in-house supporting and collaborating faculties. Currently the Department of OBGS is running various important research projects and several intra-mural and extramural activities, of them research related to Fluoride, Cariology, Diabetes Mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its impact on oral health, mineralised tissue research and imaging are worth mentioning. But the main focus and the pivotal activity of the department is Oral Cancer Prevention and Control, and with this, the unit is rightly operating an extraordinary nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) services –comprising NRT clinical practice, training sessions and tobacco related addiction researches. The service helps prevent tobacco related pre-mature deaths and disabilities . Moreover, number of projects related to educational development and action –oriented programmes are on-progress.. Specifically the department focuses, cost-effective oral cancer screening, molecular interventions for prevention and control of oral-head-neck cancer. The oral cancer unit aims to identify unique Tumor Suppressor Genes (its deletions and mutations) which is associated mainly with smokeless tobacco (ST) habits — killing millions of Central and South East Asian population and the pilot research has been published already https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/18057857/ .
Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) supported another molecular research on Angiogenesisis and Lymphynogenesis of Oral cancer—a comparative profile of Indian and Japanese cases has been published https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/22994737/
A project is undergoing to search the functional stem cell in oral squamous cell carcinoma in order to determine for a quantification which may help develop a prognostic application.
Another piloting has been persuaded in collaboration with Applied zoology department of Mangalore University to find-out a link of specific Gene(s) for causation of Fluorosis -- is under preparation to publish.
PhD and Master’s Degree Programme of OBGS
Along with, the Department of OBGC introduced a unique Master’s Degree programme i.e., MSc in Oral Biology & Genomic Studies and running PhD degree programmes. Most of the PhD projects are designed to investigate specific objectives related to prevention and control of oral and head-neck cancer. Addiction research and nicotine replacement therapy is another focus of the department is taken up by one of the PhD researches.
Fluoride & Health
Fluoride and health is an important division of the department. Recent Spatial Distribution of Fluoride mapping of all the districts of Karnataka has been published. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26842483
The special focus for interventions of Pavagada ( Pavagada: a taluk of Tumkura District of the state) fluorosis has given the high alert, and the Nitte University allotted start-up fund to proceed for treatment in collaboration with integrated rural health services run by Sri Ramakrishna Shevashrama of Psavagada, Tumkura.
Product and Device Development unit
Another important division of the department of product and device development, of them fortified artificial saliva, Fluoride mouth wash, Fluoride varnish are produced and freshly prepared for controlled supply. .
Continuing Professional Development of the unit of Educational Development
Concerning educational development, the department regularly organizes the programmes for continuous professional development and translational workshop-seminars where number of working-group meeting has been carried out and a very good numbers are coming up as well. Until today from last 4 years 17 CPD have been organised successfully
Board of Studies (BoS) of Nitte University AB Shetty Dental College approved Certificate course opted to conduct by the Department of OBGS.
Recently the Board of Studies of Nitte University AB Shetty Dental College has approved to offer a certificate course on advanced general dental practices -- jointly Nara Medical University Japan and ours.
Extended / Extra-mural programme at home and abroad
Department is conducting off campus training and educational programmes at home and abroad, of them Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre & Research Institute of Calcutta and Nara Medical University, Japan, De Montfort University Leicester, UK, BPP University City of London Dental School, London, and Osaka Dental University, Japan are worth mentioning.
Indian Academy of Oral Biology (IAOB- Registered charity as per society registration act of Govt of Karnataka)
The department is privileged to host an office of the Indian Academy of Oral Biology (IAOB), a non-profit voluntary organization which aims not only looking after the professional interest, also supplementing and complementing oral biological research activities of the department. The IAOB engages to set dialogue on strategic and policy related issues and interventions for the development of the subject of Oral Biology in India and abroad. For teaching-learning and clinical practice, the department has got a strategic approach to provide student centric teaching and learning (TL), community based care services, and evidence based practice. The department does not compromise in bringing state-of art educational services, scientific methodology at home and from abroad. The department also provides placement of the trainees, students, and faculties, post-doctoral researchers from foreign countries. Many of the strategic plan and action based activities are complimentary to that are within the department of OBGS.
Bone and Hard Tissue Reaeration
This area is efficiently carried out by Dr Shahnawaz Khijmatgar a faculty in the Oral Biology and Genomic Studies at A.B. Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, and pursuing under proper guidance of Professor Chitta Chowdhury. The department encourage the special interest of the faculties and of them, Dr. Shhanawaz is involved in bone research, image analysis, evidence based practice incorporating the concept of minimally invasive dentistry. . He is underway to pursue the re-generative tissue researches on bone and tooth. His interest is in imaging techniques, and those are evidenced in published paper and presentation in international meetings at abroad.
The department of OBGS is very much objective oriented in order to bring the benefit of oral and craniofacial health researches into action, and importantly the sector of educational development incorporates the concept of Patients Involvement for Health Development (PIHD) to translate into practice.
Professor Chowdhury at Pavagada Fluorosis Endemic Area to intervene the disease condition 2014
Chiitta Chowdhury, Prof & Head: At Office, Nitte University, Mangalore
Professor Chitta Chowdhury , President, Institute of Health Promotion & Education, UK 2010- 2016
Chitta Over AGM Dinner at London 2012
Officers after AGM of IHPE, London, UK 2012
Professor Chitta Chowdhury at Croog IDA Conference , 2013 with Interns and Professor Nandlal B Dean, JSS Dental College, Mysore
At University of Malta 2014 invited speaker on NRT
On NRT joint study- 2015, Malta, Europe
Coorg IDA Conference
Professor Chitta Chowdhury Organised UK-Japan Joint meeting on Oral & Head Neck Oncology at London, 2013
UK-Japan Joint Meeting at London_:Organised by Profesor Chitta Chowdhury}, 2016
Way to Pavagada 2015
Queue for water collection at a De-floridation plant of Pavagada