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Qualifications BDS MSc FADI
Position - Retired from Research Associate Professor in December 2013
Research summary Periodontology and oral health


Associate Professor Cullinan's research was predominantly in periodontics, encompassing clinical, basic science and epidemiological studies.

A prominent theme was the inter-relationship between chronic periodontitis and systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and ankylosing spondylitis, particularly in terms of the impact of oral infection and the immune response to oral organisms on systemic diseases. Other themes include the oral microbiota in health and disease (chronic periodontitis, peri-implantitis, dental caries) and the effect of bisphosphonates on gene expression in oral tissues. The long-term effects of triclosan on thyroid function and the oral microbiota in terms of the development of bacterial resistance have also been investigated.

Studies in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Queensland have demonstrated that in cardiovascular patients, periodontitis and the infection burden of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella forsythia were related to serum antibody levels to human heat shock protein 60 (HSP60). In patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease (6 risk factors), an improvement in periodontal health resulted in a reduction in anti-HSP60 (HSP60 and GroEL) antibody levels. Further collaboration with the Medical School, University of Queensland, investigated thyroid function and bacterial resistance after long-term use of triclosan in toothpaste and found no untoward effects.

In collaboration with Professor Lisa Heitz-Mayfield from the University of Western Australia, and Associate Professor Sheila Williams (Social and Preventive Medicine), data was analysed on the microbiota in patients with peri-implant disease and compared two bacterial detection methods (qRT-PCR and Checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization). The data originated from an international multicentre, randomised controlled trial.

Recent publications

Leishman, S. J., Ford, P. J., Do, H. L., Palmer, J. E., Heng, N. C. K., West, M. J., Seymour, G. J., & Cullinan, M. P. (2012). Periodontal pathogen load and increased antibody response to heat shock protein 60 in patients with cardiovascular disease. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 39(10), 923-930. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2012.01934.x

Soo, L., Leichter, J. W., Windle, J., Monteith, B., Williams, S. M., Seymour, G. J., & Cullinan, M. P. (2012). A comparison of Er:YAG laser and mechanical debridement for the nonsurgical treatment of chronic periodontitis: A randomized, prospective clinical study. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 39(6), 537-545. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2012.01873.x

Cullinan, M. P., Palmer, J. E., Carle, A. D., West, M. J., & Seymour, G. J. (2012). Long term use of triclosan toothpaste and thyroid function. Science of the Total Environment, 416, 75-79. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.11.063

Atieh, M. A., Alsabeeha, N. H. M., Duncan, W. J., de Silva, R. K., Cullinan, M. P., Schwass, D., & Payne, A. G. T. (2012). Immediate single implant restorations in mandibular molar extraction sockets: A controlled clinical trial. Clinical Oral Implants Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2011.02415.x

Mary Cullinan 186

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