Walter Siqueira, University of Saskatchewan
Can you describe your area of research and how it is helping address a health-related issue in Saskatchewan?
My research program in proteomics, diagnostics, and therapeutics using saliva is unique in all of Canada. My research program can link systemic health (body) with oral health (mouth). My research focuses on how saliva and salivary components can be used to improve patients' health, both in the diagnosis and as therapeutics. For example, we are working on research projects related to major chronic diseases in Canada and Saskatchewan. For instance, we are working on the development of salivary proteins that could prevent tooth decay. Also, we are working on creating a simple point of care diagnostic test for gum disease (periodontal disease).
What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?
The most rewarding aspect for me is to train the next generation (Master, Ph.D. students, and postdoctoral fellows) of researchers in Canada and Saskatchewan.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The most challenging aspect of my work is to "convince" reviewers that my research (saliva and/or oral health research) is essential to the population's life.
How did you first become interested in this area of research? What inspires you to do the work that you do?
I started to work with saliva when I was a dental student. I have been working with saliva since 1995. I enjoy every day to come to the university and work with saliva and interact with my colleagues.
Where is your research headed in the next five years?
My research will continue to focus on saliva as a diagnostic fluid for oral and systemic disease stages. Also, we will focus on the creation of the next generation of salivary proteins for the prevention/treatment of major oral diseases.
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