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Associate Professor Toby Hughes
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I hold a PhD in genetics from the University of Adelaide and I currently work as a senior lecturer in the School of Dentistry. I am a member of Professor Grant Townsend's Craniofacial Biology Research Group. Professor Townsend's group has spent the past 20 years, with continuous support from the NHMRC, assembling a large collection of longitudinal dental records from Australian twins/sib-pairs and their families. The collection is unique within Australia and one of very few worldwide. I have been conducting research on these data, with the aim of identifying genetic and environmental influences on craniofacial growth and development. The group is now entering an exciting new phase of research, making use of modern molecular genetic techniques to identify genes associated with dental development and oral health.
PhD (The University of Adelaide) 2003
My primary research interest is identifying genes associated with dental development and oral health. Other interests include genotype x genotype interactions associated with oral micro-flora, functional genomics of oral development, and epigenetic modulation of gene expression.
I am currently involved in a number of research projects with common underlying themes. One is modelling family data to establish the relative contributions of genes and environment to observed variation in features such as tooth size and spacing, cusp spacing, 3D surface morphology, arch shape, and occlusion. I have developed longitudinal models to identify common and unique genetic factors associated with the primary, mixed and permanent dentitions.
Another project is examining two closely related developmental events in Australian newborn twins - timing of emergence of the primary teeth and timing of colonisation of the oral cavity by Mutans streptococci, a primary agent in dental decay. Evidence suggests the prevalence of delayed tooth emergence is increasing in developed populations, presenting a smaller window of opportunity for colonisation and reducing the incidence of decay in primary teeth.
Both projects establish a baseline to develop models incorporating molecular data arising from the human genome project. We are planning to conduct genetic linkage and association analyses on data arising from both studies, to identify specific genes that contribute significantly to orofacial growth and development, and to oral health.
Refereed book chapters
Hughes T , Townsend G 2013. Twin and family studies of human dental crown morphology: genetic, epigenetic and environmental determinants of the modern human dentition. In: Anthropological Perspectives on Tooth Morphology, eds Scott GR, Irish J, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Ashar A, Hughes T, James H, Kaidonis J, Khamis F, Townsend G 2012 Dental crown and arch size in Europeans and Australian Aboriginals. In: New Directions in Dental Anthropology, eds Townsend G, Kanazawa E, Takayama H, Adelaide, University of Adelaide Press, pp 65-80.
Chan E, Bockmann M, Hughes T, Mihailidis S, Townsend G 2012. Do feeding practices, gestation length, and birth weight affect the timing of emergence of the first primary tooth? In: New Directions in Dental Anthropology, eds Townsend G, Kanazawa E, Takayama H, Adelaide, University of Adelaide Press, pp 35-45.
Hughes T, Townsend G 2012. Genes for teeth - drawing inference from family data. In: New Directions in Dental Anthropology, eds Townsend G, Kanazawa E, Takayama H, Adelaide, University of Adelaide Press, pp 22-34.
Ribeiro D, Sampson W, Hughes T, Brook A, Townsend G 2012. Sexual dimorphism in the primary and permanent dentitions of twins: an approach to clarifying the role of hormonal factors. In: New Directions in Dental Anthropology, eds Townsend G, Kanazawa E, Takayama H, Adelaide, University of Adelaide Press, pp 46-64.
Townsend G, Bockmann M, Hughes T, Mihailidis S, Seow WK, Brook A 2012. New approaches to dental anthropology based on the study of twins. In: New Directions in Dental Anthropology, eds Townsend G, Kanazawa E, Takayama H, Adelaide, University of Adelaide Press, pp 10-21.
Mihailidis S, Woodroffe S, Hughes T, Bockmann M, Townsend G 2009. Patterns of asymmetry in primary tooth emergence of Australian twins. In: Comparative Dental Morphology, eds Koppe T, Meyer G, Alt KW, Frontiers in Oral. Biology, Basel, Karger, vol 13, pp 110-115.
Townsend G, Hughes T, Bockmann M, Smith R, Brook A 2009 How studies of twins can inform our understanding of dental morphology. In: Comparative Dental Morphology, eds Koppe T, Meyer G, Alt KW, Frontiers in Oral Biology, Basel, Karger, 2009, 13:136-141.
Refereed journal article
Brook A, Hone A, Gallo I, Brook O'Donnell M, Riolo R, Townsend G, Hughes T, Hart E 2013. General and craniofacial development are complex adaptive processes influenced by diversity. Aust. Dent. J. (special issue, in press, accepted January 2013).
Brook A, Jernvall J, Smith R, Chen K, Hone A, Hart E, Gallo I, Hughes T, Townsend G 2013. The dentition: the outcomes of morphogenesis leading to variations of tooth number, size and shape. Aust. Dent. J. (special issue, in press, accepted January 2013).
Hughes T, Seow K, Bockmann M, Mihaildis S, Lekkas D, Ranjitkar S, Pinkerton S, Brook A, Townsend G 2013. The teeth and faces of twins: providing insights into dento-facial development and oral health for practicing oral health professionals. Aust. Dent. J. (special issue, in press, accepted January 2013).
Mihaildis S, Ashar A, Hughes T, Bockmann M, Brook A and Townsend G 2013. Dental phenomics: similarities and differences in monozygotic twins. Dental Tribune
McConnell E, Bockmann M, Hughes T, Mihailidis S and Townsend G 2013. The influence of chorion type on emergence of the first primary tooth in Australian twins. Twin Research and Human Genetics (under revision).
Ribeiro D, Brook A, Hughes T [30%], Sampson W, Townsend G 2013. Tooth crown size in opposite sex twins: role of intrauterine male hormones. Journal of Dental Research (in press, accepted 6th March 2013).
Williams S, Hughes T, Townsend G 2013. TITLE Aust. Dent. J. (special issue, in press, accepted January 2013).
Hughes T, Bockmann M, Milhailidis S, Bennett C, Harris A, Seow WK, Lekkas D, Ranjitkar S, Rupinskas L, Pinkerton S, Brook A, Townsend GC 2012. Genetic, epigenetic, and environmental influences on dentofacial structures and oral health: ongoing studies of Australian twins and their families. Twin Research and Human Genetics 16(S1):43-51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2012.78.
ten Berge F, te Poel J, Ranjitkar S, Kaidonis J, Lobbezoo F, Hughes T, Townsend G 2012. Determining the direction of tooth grinding: an in vitro study. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation 39(8):576-583. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2842.2012.02297.x.
Bockmann M, Harris A, Bennett C, Odeh R, Hughes T, Townsend G 2011. Timing of colonization of caries-producing bacteria: an approach based on studying monozygotic twin pairs. International Journal of Dentistry 2011:571573, 7 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/571573.
Higgins D, Kaidonis J, Austin J, Townsend G, James H, Hughes T 2011. Dentine and cementum as sources of nuclear DNA for use in human identification. Australian Journal of Forensic Science 43:287-295. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00450618.2011.583278.
Townsend G, Bockmann M, Hughes T [25%], Brook A 2011. Genetic, environmental and epigenetic influences on variation in human tooth number, size and shape. Odontology 100(1):1-9 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10266-011-0052-z.
Bockmann M, Hughes T, Townsend G 2010. Genetic modelling of primary tooth emergence: a study of Australian twins. Twin Research and Human Genetics 13:573-581. http://dx.doi.org/10.1375/twin.13.6.573.
Woodroffe S, Mihailidis S, Hughes T, Bockmann M, Seow W, Gotjamanos T, Townsend G 2010. Primary tooth emergence in Australian twins: timing, sequence and patterns of asymmetry. Australian Dental Journal 55:245-251. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1834-7819.2010.01230.x.
Higgins D, Hughes T, James H, Townsend G 2009. Strong genetic influence on hypocone expression of permanent maxillary molars in South Australian twins. Dental Anthropology 22:1-7.
Kunchur R, Need A, Hughes T, Goss A 2009. A clinical investigation of the CTX test in the prevention and management of bisphosphonate associated ONJ. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 67(6):1167-1173 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2009.02.004.
Lau E, Sampson W, Townsend G, Hughes T 2009. An evaluation of maxillary and mandibular rotational responses with the Clark twin block appliance. Australian Orthodontic Journal 25:48-58.
Ranjitkar S, Naryana T, Kaidonis J, Hughes T, Richards L, Townsend G 2009. The effect of casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate on erosive dentine wear. Australian Dental Journal 54(2):101-107 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1834-7819.2009.01101.x
Townsend G, Hughes T, Luciano M, Bockmann M, Brook A 2009 Genetic and environmental influences on human dental variation: A critical evaluation of studies involving twins. Archives of Oral Biology 54(S1):S45-S51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2008.06.009.
International Association of Dental Research; International Society of Twin Studies; American Association of Physical Anthropology; Australian Association of Human Biology; Australian Society of Medical Researchers
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