Human tooth enamel is the most mineralized tissue in the body and develops under strict genetic control to form an exquisitely structured tissue that has unique fracture and wear resistant properties. There are numerous developmental defects that cause abnormal enamel development, as well as environmental conditions such as tooth decay that can destroy the enamel leading to tooth loss. Our understanding of enamel development and the pathologies that afflict it has grown, but significant knowledge gaps remain. We propose to help address these deficiencies in our understanding of the development and pathology of dental enamel by bringing together a group of internationally renowned and new investigators to present and discuss the latest information regarding dental enamel. We are requesting support for the Eighth International Symposium on the Development, Properties and Pathology of Tooth Enamel. The Symposium will be held June 12-18, 2011 at the Starved Rock State Park Conference Center in Utica Illinois outside of Chicago. This Symposium will build on a highly successful series of international symposia on tooth enamel that began in London in 1964 and was last held in Brewster Massachusetts in 2005. Specifically, the proposed Symposium is designed to 1) critically address the numerous significant advances that have taken place since the last symposium;2) to promote a better understanding of the development and properties of tooth enamel and the mechanisms of its destruction in vivo;3) to stimulate new ideas that can potentially serve as the basis for development of novel biomimetic approaches for the repair and/or regeneration of enamel including the early diagnosis and prevention of enamel caries;4) to encourage the involvement of new investigators including minorities, women and person with disabilities in this growing area of important research. The proposed Symposium will ultimately influence and help direct research activities in these areas with the eventual outcome of improvement in oral health. The Symposium will be limited to 100 participants to maximize interactions and critical discussions. As with the seven previous symposia, the proceedings (including peer-reviewed articles and discussions) will be published in a highly rated scientific journal. Important topics to be covered include, but are not limited to;Ameloblast Cell Biology;Enamel Matrix, The Inorganic Phase, Enamel Mineralization;Defects of Development;Evolutionary and Phylogenetics;Biomimetics/Tissue Engineering;Quantitative Assessment of Enamel Mineral Content via Non-Destructive Imaging Techniques;and Early Caries Detection and Enamel Changes. Given the significant advances that have occurred since the last enamel Symposium in each of these areas, the proposed symposium is timely and highly topical. Specific efforts are proposed to promote inclusion of new, minority and female investigators as well as person with disabilities.
The proposed Symposium will provide a unique forum dedicated to the presentation of new information related to the development and pathology of dental enamel. The goal of the Symposium is to advance our knowledge of dental enamel, as well as to direct future research in this growing field. The material to be covered is clinically relevant given the tremendous disease burden caused by developmental defects of human dental enamel and the highly prevalent environmentally mediated destruction (e.g. dental caries, erosion) of this specialized and unique mineralized tissue.