Hebrew U student takes top prize at international competition on fighting dental plaque

Georgia Kotantoula of Greece was one of 500 participants in competition organized by European Association of Orthodontists.

September 22, 2013 22:32
1 minute read.
Modern dentist chair

Dentists Chair 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A Greek student, Georgia Kotantoula, in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s international masters program in biomedical science, has just won first prize in an international competition to prevent the accumulation of bacteria on the surface of teeth.

The competition was organized by the European Association of Orthodontists. Kotantoula was one of 500 participants at the organization’s conference.

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Dental plaque is dangerous: It can lead to tooth decay, and the acid the bacteria produces can cause gum disease and tooth loss.

Kotantoula’s remedy generates longer-lasting protection against the biofilm compared to current treatments. Her work was the outcome of a fruitful scientific collaboration between the HU School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Dental Medicine, and has been patented by HU’s Yissum Research Development Company. Clinical trials will begin soon to test the treatment’s efficacy. No further details on her discovery were provided.

The International Biomedical Science Program, founded last year in partnership with the university’s Rothberg International School, will start its second year next month.

As part of the program’s framework, students perform advanced biomedical lab research relating to dental science, including microbiology, stem cell research, genetic engineering and computational biology. The students come from numerous foreign countries including the US, India, Argentina, Japan, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and Costa Rica.

Prof. Doron Steinberg, head of the dental faculty’s International Graduate Program in biomedicine, said that “one of the key reasons we decided to open the international program was our desire to promote the international status of the faculty, and to widen the extensive research activity that is being performed within it. Without a doubt, Kotantoulas’ success in this competition proves that the program’s research efforts are already beginning to bear fruit, and are producing internationally

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