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Biologic and Materials Sciences and Division of Prosthodontics

Gerstner Lab - Current Research


Dr. Gerstner's research has two foci:

Focus 1: Quantifying, analyzing and understanding the diversity of mammalian chewing kinematic forms in conjunction with relatively invariant chewing rhythms. Presently, we are addressing these issues through comparative studies using functional data analysis. Studies also focus on morphometric analyses of mammalian dentoskeletal specimens, and on scaling studies of chewing rhythmicity. Clinical work is performed in the laboratory. Museum work is done at the Ruthven Exhibit Museum of Natural History. Field work is performed in local parks, numerous zoos, and soon in Zion National Park and on BLM lands in SW Utah. Collaborators, consultants and students involved: Elizabeth Crane, Biologic and Materials Sciences, Phil Myers, Biology, Ed Rothman, CSCAR, Callum Ross, University of Chicago, Paul Webb, Biology, Susan Williams, Ohio University, Grant Kruger, Mechanical Engineering, Miriam Zelditch, Biology.

Focus 2: The neural mechanisms of chewing. Studies rely on functional imaging (fMRI, fcMRI, VBM) methods, and unique experimental designs to tease apart the roles of brain regions in chewing parameters. Work is performed at the MRI unit at the Bonisteel Building on North Campus. Collaborators: Eric Ichesco, Biologic and Materials Sciences, Scott Peltier, Biomedical Engineering, Andres Quintero, Oral Health Sciences, Heidi Reichert, CSCAR, Ed Rothman, CSCAR, Pia Sundgren, Radiology.

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