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Dr. Waruna Dissanayaka

Dr. Waruna Dissanayaka is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong. His research is currently focused on enhancing post-implantation stem cell survival and vascularization during tissue regeneration, understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the dental stem cells; intercellular cross-talk and lineage specific differentiation of dental stem cells into odonto/osteoblasts and endothelial cells. His doctoral research work of scaffold-free microtissue spheroids in dental pulp regeneration was awarded IADR William J Gies Award for Biomaterials and Bioengineering Research (2016) and Journal of Endodontics award for the Best Paper in Basic Science: Biology (2016). In addition, Dr. Dissanayaka received IADR-SEA Award for Tissue Engineering and Craniofacial Biology (2018), HKU-Dentistry Research Output Award (2016), IADR/Colgate Research in Prevention Travel Award (2012), and ISSCR Travel Award (2012). In 2020, he received the IADR Centennial Emerging Leaders Award for his achievements and potential in the advancement of dental, oral and craniofacial research. He has published over 40 scientific papers and is an editorial board member for Clinical Oral Investigations, BMC Oral Health and Journal of Endodontics.

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Title: Modulating vasculogenic microenvironment for tissue regeneration


Reestablishment of an elaborated vascular network is one of the main focuses in the research in regeneration of craniofacial tissues. A microenvironment of ischemia and hypoxia in the biomaterial core drives propagation, differentiation and reorganization of progenitor/stem cells to assemble into a primitive microvascular framework. Cell-cell crosstalk as well as cell-cytokine interactions are key biomechanical factors controlling blood vessel functionality. Prevascularization strategies and delivery of vasculogenic molecules are important approaches in enhancing endothelial differentiation and stimulating the host regenerative response to promote vessel sprouting.

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