BLI Profiles

Petra Wilder-Smith

Director of Dentistry, Beckman Laser Institute
Professor , Beckman Laser Institute School of Medicine

LDSRCS, Dental Surgery Royal College of Surgeons 1983
DMD, Doctorate (Dr med dent) Bern University 1985
PhD, Biomedical Lasers Aachen University 1999

Phone:  949.824.7632

Research Interests

oral cancer, imaging, oral diagnosis, upper airway

Research Abstract

Dr. Petra Wilder-Smith is Professor and Director of Dentistry at the University of California, Irvine’s Beckman Laser Institute (BLI). She is a Fellow of the University of California, Irvine’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, Visiting Professor at Aachen University, and Lecturer at Loma Linda University. 

 Professor Wilder-Smith's research interests include the development and validation of novel non-invasive optical techniques for oral diagnosis, especially early detection and monitoring of oral pre-cancerous and cancerous changes. Her work in this field over the past 20 years has resulted in much collaboration including more than 100 publications, 150 presentations at peer-reviewed scientific meetings, and 200 public lectures. Wilder-Smith is Co-Principal Investigator on an NIH-funded study to develop and test a low-cost portable screening device to detect possible oral cancer for use by field workers in India. Other funded research interests include oral biofilm, dental de- and remineralization, and pulpal vitality interrogation. Additional projects focus on the use of stem cells and other approaches to prevent or mitigate cancer-therapy-induced mucositis. Another area of interest is the development and testing of novel miniaturized optical tools for interrogation of the nasopharyngeal mucosa as a predictor of inhalation damage to the entire airway. Wilder-Smith serves on many advisory boards, including the Medical Advisory Board to Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, the Board of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, as well as the Editorial Boards of the journals Lasers in Surgery & Medicine, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, and Journal of Biomedical Optics. Wilder-Smith has also served on the board of the Diagnostic Sciences Group for the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) and is currently President of this prestigious group.

Selected Publications

Hammer-Wilson MJ, Nguyen V, Jung WG, Ahn Y, Chen Z, Wilder-Smith P. Detection of Vesicant-induced Upper Airway Mucosa Damage in the Hamster Cheek Pouch Model Using Optical Coherence Tomography. J. Biomed. Opt. 15: 016017, 2010. PMCID 2839801

DeCoro M, Wilder-Smith P. Potential of Optical Coherence Tomography for Early Diagnosis of Oral Malignancies (Invited paper). Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy 10: 321-329, 2010.

Kim CS, Ahn Y-C, Wilder-Smith P, Oh S, Chen Z, Kwon YJ. Efficient and facile delivery of gold nanoparticles in vivo using dissolvable microneedles for contrast-enhanced optical coherence tomography. Biomedical Optics Express 1: 106-113, 2010. PMCID 3005167

Holtzman JS, Osann K, Pharar J, Lee K, Ahn Y-C, Tucker T, Sabet S, Chen Z, Gukasyan R, Wilder-Smith P. Ability of optical coherence tomography to detect caries beneath commonly used dental sealants. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 42: 752-759, 2010. PMCID 3369270

Wilder-Smith P, Holtzman J, Epstein J, Le A. Optical diagnosis in the oral cavity: an overview. Oral Diseases 16: 717-728, 2010.

Zhang Q, Su W, Shi S, Wilder-Smith P, Xiang AP, Wong A, Nguyen AL, Kwon B, Le AD. Human gingiva-derived mesenchymal stromal cells induce alternative activation of monocytes/macrophages and enhance cutaneous wound healing. Stem Cells 28: 1856-1868, 2010. (Cited as Top Story in Mesenchymal Cell News, Aug. 24, 2010.) PMCID 3114043

Le AD, Messadi DV, Epstein J, Wilder-Smith P. Toward multimodality oral cancer diagnosis in the XXI century: blending cutting edge imaging and genomic/proteomic definition of suspicious lesions. Bioinformation 5: 304-306, 2011. PMCID 3043353

Ahn YC, Chung J, Wilder-Smith P, Chen Z. Multi-modality approach to optical early detection and mapping of oral neoplasia. J. Biomedical Optics 16: 076007-1-7, 2011. PMCID 3146547

Stoianovici C, Wilder-Smith P, Choi B. Assessment of pulpal vitality using laser speckle imaging. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 43: 833-837, 2011. PMCID 3307522

Zhang Q, Nguyen AL, Shi S, Hill C, Wilder-Smith P, Krasieva TB, Le AD. Three-dimensional spheroid culture of human gingival-derived mesenchymal stem cells enhances mitigation of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Stem Cells and Development 21: 937-947, 2012. PMCID 3315752

Duong S, Youssef J, Pimenta P, Aguigam H, Zhang J, Calantog A, Pilch S, Masters JG, Wilder-Smith P. An imaging-based approach to the evaluation of xerostomia. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 44: 482-489, 2012.

Calantog A, Hallajian L, Nabelsi T, Mansour S, Le A, Epstein J, Wilder-Smith P. A prospective study to assess in vivo optical coherence tomography imaging for early detection of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 45: 22-27, 2013.

Mittal R, Balu M, Wilder-Smith P, Potma EO. Achromatic miniature lens system for coherent Raman scattering microscopy. Biomedical Optics Express 4: 2196-2206, 2013.

Mittal R, Balu M, Krasieva T, Potma EO, Elkeeb L, Zachary CB, Wilder-Smith P. Evaluation of stimulated Raman scattering microscopy for identifying squamous cell carcinoma in human skin. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 45: 496-502, 2013. Selected as “Editors Choice” paper.


Wilder-Smith CV

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Wilder-Smith bio