"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"

Dental & Craniofacial Trauma Research Directorate


To improve healing and aesthetics and restore functions to decrease long-term disabilities after combat-related severe craniomaxillofacial injury by developing and translating knowledge and materiel solutions, including operative techniques and treatments for head and neck injuries involving bone, skin, soft tissue, airway and nerve.


  • Reduce life-altering effects of maxillofacial battle injuries on our deployed troops.
  • Optimize dermal substitutes for use with split-thickness autografts.
  • Ameliorate scar formation in facial skin and soft tissues.
  • Regenerate craniofacial bone using biocompatible materials.
  • Improve soft-tissue reconstruction following face burns.
  • Develop bone augmentation therapy for post-traumatic mandibular insufficiencies.


Combat Dentistry

Combat dentistry is the unique application of dental professional skills to prevent, mitigate, and treat Dental-Disease Not Battle Injury (D-DNBI), which represents a significant loss of a deployed unit’s combat strength.

Biofilm Impaired Wound Healing

In an effort to understand biofilm-infected wounds, we study bacteria themselves and the biofilms they create, utilizing several in vitro and in vivo models. Our in vitro models allow us to study the growth, development and control of oral biofilms, and determination of the efficacy of antimicrobial drugs.

Craniofacial Bone Regeneration

Injuries to the face and cranium are excruciating physical injuries with devastating psychological impact. DTRD seeks to restore service members with devastating facial injuries to fully functional lives.

Face Burns and Mitigation of Scars

Research and development of new strategies to reduce hypertrophic scar formation and contractures following deep burns is being intensively pursued.

Clinical Trials

As the principal military research organization within the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), USAISR provides guidance for the group to rapidly advance regenerative medicine technologies to clinical trials for wounded warriors.


Herrera, B. S., A. Zarrough, A. Kantarci, H. Hastrusk, T. E. Van Dyke, K. P. Leung. 2015. The Impact of RvD2 and LXA4 on In Vitro Wound Healing. Biochem. Biophs. Res. Commun. 464(4): 1072-1077. PMID: 26039521.

Qian, L., A. B. Fourcaudot, K. Yamane, T. You, R. K. Chan, and K. P. Leung. Exacerbated and Prolonged Inflammation Impairs Wound Healing and Increases Scarring. Accepted. Wound Rep. Reg.

Xu, W., S. J. Hong, A. Zhong, S. Jia, P. Xie, Z. Xie, M. Zeitchek, S. Niknam_Bienia, M. Porterfield, D. Surmeier, K. Leung, R. D. Galiano, T. A. Mustoe. Sodium Channel Nax is a Regulator in Epithelial Sodium Homeostasis. 2015. Sci. Transl. Med. 7(312): 312ra177. PMID: 26537257.

Park, E., S. A. Long, A. K. Seth, M. Geringer, W. Xu, C. Chavez-Munoz, K. Leung, R. D. Galiano, T. A. Mustoe. 2015. The use of desiccation to treat Staphylococcus aureus biofilm infected wounds. Accepted. Wound Rep. Reg.

Abercrombie, J. A. K. P. Leung, H. Chai, R. P. Hicks. 2015. Spectral and Biological Evaluation of a Synthetic Antimicrobial Peptide Derived from 1-Aminocyclohexane Carboxylic acid. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 23(6):1341-1347. PMID: 25684423.

Chan, R. K., Rose, R. J., J. C. Wu, D. I. Tucker, M. M. Chan, R. J. Christy, R. G. Hale, K. P. Leung. 2015. Autologous Graft Thickness Effect on Scar Contraction and Skin Quality in a Porcine Excisional Wound Model. Plastic and Reconstr. Surg. Glob. Open. 3(7):e468. PMID:26301157.

Rose, L. F., J. C. Wu, D. I. Tucker, R. G. Hale, K. P. Leung, R. K. Chan. 2015. Recipient wound bed characteristics affect the magnitude of skin graft contraction. Wound Rep. Reg. 23(2):287-296. PMID: 25683192.

Wu, J. C., L. F. Rose, R. J., Christy, K. P. Leung, and R. K. Chan. 2015. Full-Thickness Thermal Injury Delays Wound Closure in a Murine Model. Advances in Wound Care. 4(2):83-91. PMID: 25713750.

Rettinger, C. L., K. P. Leung, and R. K. Chan. Scaffold-free, size-controlled three-dimensional culture of rabbit adipose-derived stem cells. Jeffrey M. Gimble, Bruce A. Bunnel (eds), Adipose-Derived Stem Cells: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 702, DOI 10.1007/978-1-61737-960-4_1. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC2011.

Chen, P. and K. P. Leung. A New Approach to Create Pseudomonas aeruginosa Mutants Using Linear Plasmid DNA Transformation. Submitted.

Miller, C. L., T. A. Van Laar, T. Chen, and K. P. Leung. Global transcriptome responses including small RNAs during mixed-species interactions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Submitted.

Yamane, K. and K. P. Leung. In vitro Differentiation of Rabbit Macrophages. Submitted.

Miller, C. L., M. Romero, S. L. Rajasekhar Karna, T. Chen, S. Heeb, and K. P. Leung. RsmX, a small RNA regulator of RsmA, in Pseudomonas aeruginosa derived from 3’-untranslated region of PA4570. Manuscript in preparation.

Chen, P. and K. P. Leung. A New Approach to Create Pseudomonas aeruginosa Mutants Using Linear Plasmid DNA Transformation. Submitted.


Torres, N. S., J. A. Abercrombie, A. Srinivasan, J. Lopez-Ribot, A. Ramasubramaniam, and K. P. Leung. 2015. Screening the Prestwick Chemical Library for Drugs with Novel Anti-biofilm Activity. ASM 7th Biofilm Conference (2015), Chicago, IL.

Olekson, M. A., P. B. Savage, and K. P. Leung. 2015. High-throughput In Vitro Evaluation of Anti-biofilm Treatments That Promote Wound Healing. ASM 7th Biofilm Conference (2015), Chicago, IL.

Rajasekhar Karna, S. L., L. Qian, T. Chen, P. Chen, A. B Fourcaudot, K. Yamane, J. A. Abercrombie, T. You, and K. P. Leung. Genomic Responses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Wounds. ASM 7th Biofilm Conference (2015), Chicago, IL.

A. Carlsson, K. P. Leung, R. K. Chan. Porcine Model of Hypertrophic Scar from Partial Thickness Burn or Skin Loss. MHSRS, 2015, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.