The University of Michigan School of Dentistry
The Gerstner Lab's research has a clinical and a basic science focus. The clinical component involves clinical studies of sleep bruxism.
The basic science component has two foci:
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, scaling studies of chewing rhythmicity, kinematic analysis of chewing. Some of our clinical research is geared towards creating technologies that will be useful for addressing both clinical and field biology lines of query.
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Dr. Gerstner holds a BS in Zoology from BYU, where he became interested in animal behavior and mammalogy as a pre-dental student. After graduating, he enrolled in a dual degree program at UCLA where he continued animal behavior studies in an MS program while obtaining a DDS degree. As an MS student, he studied motor control in a guinea pig model of tardive dyskinesia and became interested in the nature of time and temporality in motor behavior. After completing the DDS and MS, he pursued further graduate training through an individual NIH Dentist Scientist Award. He studied chronic pain management as the clinical component of this training and as the research component, he obtained a PhD in Neuroscience, during which time he did comparative behavior studies of six mammalian species at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Los Angeles Zoo and Phoenix Zoo. His research focuses on mammalian oral motor behavior. He teaches coruses on orofacial function, temporomandibular disorders and obstructive sleep apnea to pre- and post-doctoral students. He recently became a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and has a practice limited to obstructive sleep apnea in the dental school.