Dr Axel Spahr

Clinical Associate Professor, Head of Discipline of Periodontics

C12 - United Dental Hospital
The University of Sydney

Telephone 02 9293 3274
Fax 02 9293 3335

Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae

Biographical details

Axel Spahr is Head of Periodontics at the Sydney Dental Hospital and Head of the Discipline Periodontics at the University of Sydney.

A/Prof. Spahr is the former Head of Periodontics at the University of Ulm in Germany and has worked at various international universities and research facilities. He has a further training in microbiology and molecular biology and extensive experience in basic science research, animal research and clinical research. A/Prof. Spahr?s research interest includes periodontal regeneration, bone regeneration, periodontitis and systemic diseases as well as antimicrobial therapy.He has lead large externally funded research projects and is collaborating with leading international research groups and companies in the field of periodontology, implantology and bone regeneration. He is author of numerous publications in international peer-reviewed dental and medical journals and has presented his work on professional conferences worldwide.

Research interests

Disciplines:Orthodontics, Endodontics, Biomaterials, Oral Pathology and Cellular/Molecular
Biology, Periodontics

The objective of the research group ?Oral Biomedicine and Regenerative Dentistry? of the Dental Faculty, University of Sydney is to develop new biology-based approaches for the treatment of oral diseases, the promotion of improved oral health and ageing conditions, as well as the prevention of oral disorders.

In this way,

(i) innovative biology-based therapeutics shall be produced for the treatment of different oral diseases

(ii) advanced biomaterials shall be developed to re-engineer and regenerate damaged/lost oral hard and soft tissues.

(iii) investigations using frontier technologies shall be undertaken for a better understanding of the fundamental biological principles underlying the chronic oral diseases and the interactions between the oral and systemic diseases

In more detail, the core research group ?Oral Biomedicine and Regenerative Dentistry? is focused on two major research areas within the field of Oral Biomedicine: (i) Bio-Regeneration and Bio-Engineering of Oral Tissues and (ii) Chronic Oral Diseases / Ageing Well. The reason for this focused strategy is to concentrate energy, efforts, resources and capacity of all dental/oral disciplines. It is also a declared goal of the research group ?Oral Biomedicine and Regenerative Dentistry? to interact and cooperate with other disciplines outside the oral field like Medicine, Biosciences, Bio-Engineering and Bio-Materials. In this way, by combined efforts and by transfer and usage of cutting-edge technologies and materials, innovative biology-based solutions shall be sought for the current most prevalent oral/dental diseases and to meet the future challenges. A further goal of this research group is the development of biological strategies to improve the oral capacities and oral health of ageing people, taking into consideration the altered requirements of an ageing population.

Current projects

Periodontal Regeneration/Gingival Recessions, Implants/Peri-implantitis,

Photodynamic Therapy, HIV, Periodontitis ? Systemic Diseases

The aim of the research project ?Periodontal Regeneration/Gingival Recessions? is to investigate the combined use of enamel matrix proteins and a xenogenic connective tissue graft to cover gingival recession defects. The idea of using enamel matrix proteins is to improve the long term stability of the soft tissue coverage by creating a new connective tissue attachment. The use of a xenogenic connective tissue graft would waive the harvesting of an autogenous connective tissue graft, thus reducing the time of the surgery and the discomfort to the patient.

The current aim of the research focus ?Implants/Peri-implantitis? is to investigate the use and efficacy of Azithromycin in combination with mechanical debridement to treat/stabilise peri-implant bone loss. Another aspect of this research focus is the long-term survival/succes rate of implants including the impact of different parameters thereon e.g. suprastructure/prosthodontic restoration.

The research project ?Photodynamic Therapy? was set up to evaluate the antibacterial capacity of photoactivated disinfection to treat infected periodontal pockets.

The ?HIV-project? investigates oral health referral trigger tools for people living with HIV and the impact of xerostomia on oral health and oral health quality of life among HIV-1 infected adults attending routine monitoring in Australia. Furthermore, it evaluates the oral health knowledge, attitude and practices of health care professionals (including doctors, nurses, dieticians and social workers) who work with people who have HIV and other blood borne viruses.

There is increasing evidence about the possible association between periodontal diseases and diabetes, coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Considering the prevalence of periodontitis worldwide and particularly in Australia and the prevalence of the other 3 systemic diseases worldwide and in Australia, we want to accomplish an interventional study in patients with one of the 3 systemic diseases and periodontitis to investigate if successful treatment of the periodontal disease has a beneficial impact on the particular systemic disease (progression, degree of inflammation, markers and dosage of the medication etc. ).This is also important against the background of the financial costs for the public service and/or the social system caused by the treatment of these diseases as well as of their sequelae.

Associations

  • International Association of Dental Research (IADR)
  • German Society of Periodontology (DGP)
  • German Society of Dental Implantology (DGZI)
  • International Team for Implantology (ITI)
  • Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists (ANZAP)
  • Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS)

Awards and honours

2000

Education-Prize of the University of Ulm for extraordinary performance in teaching and education.

2009

Walther Engel Award. Award of the Dental Academy of Karlsruhe and the dental federation of Baden-Württemberg for extraordinary achievements in dental research and dental education

Keywords

Periodontal Regeneration; Periodontics; Gingival Recession; Systemic Diseases; Peri-Implantitis; Photodynamic Therapy

International links

Czech Republic

(Dr. Jiri Vondrasek, Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Center for Complex Molecular Systems and Biomolecules, Prague, Czech Republic. ) Enamel matrix proteins, bioinformatics and biochemical analyses

Germany

(Prof. Stephan Haase, Clinic of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of the University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. ) Periodontal treatment in patients with bisphonate therapy (Osteoporosis).

Germany

(Prof. Wolfgang König, Department of Internal Medicine II ¿ Cardiology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. ) Periodontal infections and coronary heart disease

Israel

(Prof. Dan Deutsch, Department of Oral Biology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel. ) Recombinant production of matrix proteins

Norway

(Prof. Jan Eirik Ellingsen, Oral Research Laboratory, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. ) Enamel matrix proteins in implant therapy

Norway

(Prof. Janne Reseland, Department of Biomaterials, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. ) Adipokines in bone formation/regeneration

Norway

(University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. ) Prof. Petter Lyngstadaas, Department of Biomaterials,

Sweden

(Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. ) Prof. Lars Hammarström and Prof. Ivan Slaby, Center for Oral Biology,

Sweden

(Straumann Malmö (BIORA), Malmö, Sweden. ) Enamel matrix proteins for periodontal regeneration, bone regeneration

Switzerland

(Institut Straumann AG, Department of Fundamental Research, Basel, Switzerland. ) Carrier systems for the controlled release of osteoinductive/osteopromotive proteins

United Kingdom

(Prof. Colin Robinson, Prof. Jennifer Kirkham and Dr. Steven Brookes, Division of Oral Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom. ) Matrix proteins, extraction of matrix macromolecule fractions, photodynamic therapy (PDT) in periodontal treatment

Selected grants

2013

  • Towards enamel biomimetics: Remineralization effectiveness of Self-assembling Peptide scaffold resembling enamel matrix proteins; Shahmoradi M, Swain M, Spahr A, Rohanizadeh R; Australian Dental Research Foundation/Research Support.
  • The effect of Azithromycin on the treatment of peri-implant infection; Gershenfeld L, Yeung S, Spahr A; Australian Periodontology Research Foundation/APRF Research Grants.
  • Comparative study of a genuine resorbable collagen matrix (Mucograft (R)) with enamel matrix protein and an autogenous subepithelial connective tissue graft in the treatment of human gingival recessions; Kelloway E, Spahr A; Australian Periodontology Research Foundation/APRF Research Grants.
  • Towards enamel biomimetics: Remineralization effectiveness of Self-assembling Peptide scaffold resembling enamel matrix proteins (stage II); Swain M, Shahmoradi M, Spahr A; Australian Dental Research Foundation/Research Support.
  • The long-term stability of soft and hard tissues surrounding Branemark dental implants; Nguyen K, Spahr A; Australian Periodontology Research Foundation/APRF Research Grants.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Tamburstuen, M., Reseland, J., Spahr, A., Brookes, S., Kvalheim, G., Slaby, I., Snead, M., Lyngstadaas, S. (2011). Ameloblastin expression and putative autoregulation in mesenchymal cells suggest a role in early bone formation and repair. Bone, 48(2), 406-413. [More Information]
  • Tamburstuen, M., Reppe, S., Spahr, A., Sabetrasekh, R., Kvalheim, G., Slaby, I., Syversen, U., Lyngstadaas, S., Reseland, J. (2011). Ameloblastin promotes bone growth by enhancing proliferation of progenitor cells and by stimulating immunoregulators. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 118(5), 451-459. [More Information]
  • Bracher, A., Hofmann, C., Bornstedt, A., Boujraf, S., Hell, E., Ulrici, J., Spahr, A., Haller, B., Rasche, V. (2011). Feasibility of ultra-short echo time (UTE) magnetic resonance imaging for identification of carious lesions. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 66(2), 538-545. [More Information]
  • Vymetal, J., Slaby, I., Spahr, A., Vondrasek, J., Lyngstadaas, S. (2008). Bioinformatic analysis and molecular modelling of human ameloblastin suggest a two-domain intrinsically unstructured calcium-binding protein. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 116(2), 124-134. [More Information]
  • Spahr, A., Lyngstadaas, S., Slaby, I., Pezeshki, G. (2006). Ameloblastin expression during craniofacial bone formation in rats. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 114(6), 504-511. [More Information]
  • Nakamura, Y., Slaby, I., Spahr, A., Pezeshki, G., Matsumoto, K., Lyngstadaas, S. (2006). Ameloblastin fusion protein enhances pulpal healing and dentin formation in porcine teeth. Calcified Tissue International, 78(5), 278-284. [More Information]
  • Spahr, A., Klein, E., Khuseyinova, N., Boeckh, C., Muche, R., Kunze, M., Rothenbacher, D., Pezeshki, G., Hoffmeister, A., Koenig, W. (2006). Periodontal infections and coronary heart disease: role of periodontal bacteria and importance of total pathogen burden in the Coronary Event and Periodontal Disease (CORODONT) study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166(5), 554-559. [More Information]
  • Spahr, A., Haegewald, S., Tsoulfidou, F., Rompola, E., Heijl, L., Bernimoulin, J., Ring, C., Sander, S., Haller, B. (2005). Coverage of Miller Class I and II Recession Defects Using Enamel Matrix Proteins Versus Coronally Advanced Flap Technique: A 2-Year Report. Journal Of Periodontology, 76(11), 1871-1880. [More Information]

2011

  • Tamburstuen, M., Reseland, J., Spahr, A., Brookes, S., Kvalheim, G., Slaby, I., Snead, M., Lyngstadaas, S. (2011). Ameloblastin expression and putative autoregulation in mesenchymal cells suggest a role in early bone formation and repair. Bone, 48(2), 406-413. [More Information]
  • Tamburstuen, M., Reppe, S., Spahr, A., Sabetrasekh, R., Kvalheim, G., Slaby, I., Syversen, U., Lyngstadaas, S., Reseland, J. (2011). Ameloblastin promotes bone growth by enhancing proliferation of progenitor cells and by stimulating immunoregulators. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 118(5), 451-459. [More Information]
  • Bracher, A., Hofmann, C., Bornstedt, A., Boujraf, S., Hell, E., Ulrici, J., Spahr, A., Haller, B., Rasche, V. (2011). Feasibility of ultra-short echo time (UTE) magnetic resonance imaging for identification of carious lesions. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 66(2), 538-545. [More Information]

2008

  • Vymetal, J., Slaby, I., Spahr, A., Vondrasek, J., Lyngstadaas, S. (2008). Bioinformatic analysis and molecular modelling of human ameloblastin suggest a two-domain intrinsically unstructured calcium-binding protein. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 116(2), 124-134. [More Information]

2006

  • Spahr, A., Lyngstadaas, S., Slaby, I., Pezeshki, G. (2006). Ameloblastin expression during craniofacial bone formation in rats. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 114(6), 504-511. [More Information]
  • Nakamura, Y., Slaby, I., Spahr, A., Pezeshki, G., Matsumoto, K., Lyngstadaas, S. (2006). Ameloblastin fusion protein enhances pulpal healing and dentin formation in porcine teeth. Calcified Tissue International, 78(5), 278-284. [More Information]
  • Spahr, A., Klein, E., Khuseyinova, N., Boeckh, C., Muche, R., Kunze, M., Rothenbacher, D., Pezeshki, G., Hoffmeister, A., Koenig, W. (2006). Periodontal infections and coronary heart disease: role of periodontal bacteria and importance of total pathogen burden in the Coronary Event and Periodontal Disease (CORODONT) study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166(5), 554-559. [More Information]

2005

  • Spahr, A., Haegewald, S., Tsoulfidou, F., Rompola, E., Heijl, L., Bernimoulin, J., Ring, C., Sander, S., Haller, B. (2005). Coverage of Miller Class I and II Recession Defects Using Enamel Matrix Proteins Versus Coronally Advanced Flap Technique: A 2-Year Report. Journal Of Periodontology, 76(11), 1871-1880. [More Information]

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