American Academy of Periodontology Announces First Recipient of SUNSTAR Innovation Grant

Yvonne Kapila, DDS, PhD, awarded $30,000 for research exploring nisin and its effects on oral biofilm composition

Yvonne KapilaChicago – May 16, 2017 —   The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is pleased to announce that member Yvonne Kapila, DDS, PhD, is the first recipient of its new SUNSTAR Innovation Grant (SIG). The $30,000 research grant, a component of the AAP’s recent partnership with oral health and technology company SUNSTAR, provides support to an AAP member whose research endeavors show significant potential to advance the science and practice of periodontics.

Dr. Kapila’s research project, “Natural Bacteriocins as Pre/Pro-Biotics to Promote Oral Health and Prevent Periodontal Disease,” was selected out of 15 grant submissions. This project aims to build a foundation for using pre- or pro-biotics containing nisin (commonly used as a food preservative) or nisin-secreting bacteria to promote the maintenance of a healthy oral microbiome and to prevent the formation of pathogenic biofilms associated with periodontal disease.

“The SUNSTAR Innovation Grant will allow our team of clinicians and scientists to explore nisin’s effects on oral biofilm composition using both in vitro and in vivo model systems. Nisin has a long history of safety and broad range of biomedical applications, and it could add value in our understanding of periodontal health and periodontal disease prevention,” says Dr. Kapila, professor and vice chair of the University of California San Francisco’s Division of Periodontology. “I am so pleased and honored that this important project was chosen by the AAP and SUNSTAR to receive additional funding.”

As part of the Innovation Grant program, SUNSTAR has committed to awarding six research grants to select AAP members over a three-year period beginning in 2017. The AAP’s Research Submissions Committee examines all abstracts against criteria established by SUNSTAR and the Academy.

“The SUNSTAR Innovation Grant not only provides generous support to innovative studies, but it also extends the reach of the Academy’s scientific agenda,” says Terrence J. Griffin, DMD, president of the AAP. “By cultivating the clinical research of our members, the grant, in turn, provides avenues for enhancing overall patient health and wellbeing.”

SUNSTAR fully supports Dr. Kapila’s selection as the grant’s inaugural winner. “SUNSTAR and the AAP share a common interest in innovative treatments and research that serve to alleviate the high burden of periodontitis in the US,” says Aaron Pfarrer, Senior Director, Professional Relations. “We are confident that Dr. Kapila’s study will lay the groundwork for novel methods of periodontal disease prevention. We look forward to many important updates on this groundbreaking research.”

Dr. Kapila will present the results of her study at a future AAP Annual Meeting.

The Academy encourages members who are actively conducting scientific research in a clinical setting to submit research abstracts and proposals for consideration of future grant awards. Applications will be accepted in Fall 2017. For more information on the SUNSTAR Innovation Grant, contact Scientific Affairs Manager Stephanie Heffner at .

About the American Academy of Periodontology
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) represents over 8,000 periodontists—specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of inflammatory diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Mame Kwayie, American Academy of Periodontology
(312) 573-3243 |