Simon Tran

Academic title(s): 

Canada Research Chair in Craniofacial Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering

Simon Tran
Contact Information
514-398-4400 Ext 09182
Email address: 
simon.tran [at]

Dr. Tran is experienced in all three fields of research: basic science, translational research, and clinical studies. He is committed to the training of graduate and postdoctoral students in the area of stem cell biology and tissue engineering. The aim of this laboratory is to identify, isolate, and characterize post-natal stem cells of the craniofacial complex (such as salivary and periodontal stem cells). We are also working on the growth and behavior of post-natal stem cell on different 3-D tissue engineered matrices. Our hypothesis is that post-natal stem cells from one tissue (such as stem cells from the bone marrow) can differentiate into cells of another tissue (such as the salivary gland) and how to translate this phenomenon into clinically useful therapies to regenerate lost salivary gland tissue of patients experiencing the disabling effects of a dry mouth (i.e. reduced salivary secretion) due to Sjogren’s Syndrome or to the damage caused to the salivary glands following irradiation treatment for head and neck cancer. In addition to providing a new understanding of tissue dynamics in health and disease, the Tran’s laboratory presents unique possibilities for the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

Areas of expertise: 
  • Tissue engineering
  • Stem cell
  • Saliva
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Translational research
Research areas: 
Biomaterials, Nanobiotechnology and Tissue Engineering
Selected publications: 

Seo YJ, Lilliu MA, Abughanam G, Nguyen TT, Liu Y, Lee JC, Presley JF, Zeitouni A, El-Hakim M, Tran SD. Characterization of human salivary organoids cultured in serum-free, scalable suspension culture. (In Revision, J Tissue Eng Regen Med.)

Lin Y, Umebayashi M, Abdallah MN, Dong G, Roskies MG, Zhao YF, Murshed M, Zhang Z, Tran SD. Human mesenchymal stem cells from temporomandibular joint synovial fluid enhance bone regeneration with polyetherketoneketone scaffolds. (Submitted, Scientific reports)

Elkashty O, Ashry R, Abu Elghanam G, Pham HM, Su X, Stegen C, Tran SD. Broccoli extract improves chemotherapeutic drug efficacy against head-neck squamous cell carcinomas Medical Oncology 2018;35:124

Lin L-C, Elkashty O, Ramamoorthi M, Trinh N, Liu Y, Sunavala-Dossabhoy G, Pranzatelli T, Michael DG, Chivasso C, Perret J, Chiorini JA, Delporte C, Tran SD. Cross-contamination of the human salivary gland HSG cell line with HeLa cells: a STR analysis study. Oral Dis. 2018;00:1–7.

Abdallah MN, Abdollahi S, Laurenti M, Fang D, Tran SD, Cerruti M, Tamimi F. Scaffolds for epithelial tissue engineering customized in elastomeric molds. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2018;106:880-890.

Fang D, Shang S, Liu Y, Bakkar M, Sumita Y, Seuntjens J, Sumita Y, Tran SD. Optimal timing and frequency of Bone Marrow Soup therapy for functional restoration of salivary gland injured by single dose or fractionated irradiation. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018;12(2):e1195-e1205.

Roskies MG, Fang D, Abdallah MN, Charbonneau AM, Cohen N, Jordan JO, Hier MP, Mlynarek A, Tamimi F, Tran SD. Three-dimensionally printed polyetherketoneketone scaffolds with mesenchymal stem cells for the reconstruction of critical-sized mandibular defects. Laryngoscope 2017 Nov;127(11):E392-E398. doi:10.1002/lary.26781. PMID: 28776691.

Ka K, Rousseau MC, Tran SD, Henderson M, Nicolau B. Association between metabolic syndrome and gingival inflammation in obese children. Int J Dent Hygiene. 2017 Nov 10. doi: 10.1111/idh.12322. PMID: 29124887

Fang D, Su X, Liu Y, Lee JC, Seuntjens J, Tran SD. Cell extracts from spleen and adipose tissues restore function to irradiation-injured salivary glands. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018;12:e1289-e1296.

Kishimoto N, Honda Y, Momota Y, Tran SD. Dedifferentiated Fat (DFAT) Cells: a cell source for oral and maxillofacial tissue engineering. Oral Dis. 2018 Jan 21. doi: 10.1111/odi.12832. PubMed PMID: 29356251

Su X, Fang D, Liu Y, Ruan G, Seuntjens J, Kinsella JM, Tran SD. Lyophilized bone marrow cell extract functionally restores irradiation-injured salivary glands. Oral Dis. 2018;24:202-206.

Nguyen TT, Wu KY, Leclerc M, Pham HM, Tran SD. Cardiovascular diseases and periodontal disease. Curr Oral Health Rep. 2018;5:13-18.

Abdallah MN, Abughanam G, Tran SD, Sheikh Z, Mezour MA, Basiri T, Xiao Y, Cerruti M, Siqueira WL, Tamimi F. Comparative adsorption profiles of basal lamina proteome and gingival cells onto dental and titanium surfaces. Acta Biomater. 2018;73:547-558.

Maria OM, Liu Y, El-Hakim M, Zeitouni A, Tran SD. The role of human fibronectin- or placenta basement membrane extract-based gels in favoring the formation of polarized salivary acinar-like structures. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2017;11:2643-2657.

Tran SD, Nguyen BH. Human umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem cell expansion by the RNA-binding protein Musashi-2. Oral Dis. 2017;23:548-550.

Vorstenbosch J, Nguyen CM, Zhou S, Seo YJ, Siblini A, Finnson KW, Bizet AA, Tran SD, Philip A. Overexpression of CD109 in the epidermis differentially regulates ALK1 versus ALK5 signaling and modulates extracellular matrix synthesis in the skin., J Invest Dermatol 2017;137:641-649.

Bakkar M, Liu Y, Fang D, Stegen C, Su X, Ramamoorthi M, Lin LC, Kawasaki T, Makhoul N, Pham H, Sumita Y, Tran SD. A simplified and systematic method to isolate, culture and characterize multiple types of human dental stem cells from a single tooth. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1553:191-207.

Fang D, Roskies M, Abdallah MN, Bakkar M, Jordan J, Lin LC, Tamimi F, Tran SD. Three-dimensional printed scaffolds with multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells for rabbit mandibular reconstruction and engineering. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1553:273-291.

Elghanam GA, Liu Y, Khalili S, Fang D, Tran SD. Compact bone-derived multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for the treatment of Sjogren’s-like disease in NOD mice. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1553:25-39.

Abdallah MN, Tran SD, Abughanam G, Laurenti M, Zuanazzi D, Mezour MA, Xiao Y, Cerruti M, Siqueira WL, Tamimi F. Biomaterial surface proteomic signature determines interaction with epithelial cells. Acta Biomater. 2017;54:150-163.

Beaudin A, Emami E, Palumbo M, Tran SD. Quality of supervision: Postgraduate dental research trainees’ perspectives. Eur J Dent Educ. 2016;20:32-8.

Javaid MA, Ahmed AS, Durand R, Tran SD. Saliva as a diagnostic tool for oral and systemic diseases. J Oral Biol Craniofac Res. 2016;6:66-75.

Lilliu MA, Seo YJ, Isola M, Charbonneau AM, Zeitouni A, El-Hakim M, Tran SD. Natural extracellular matrix scaffolds recycled from human salivary digests: a morphometric study. Oral Dis. 2016;22:313-23.

Roskies M, Jordan JO, Fang D, Abdallah MN, Hier MP, Mlynarek A, Tamimi F, Tran SD. Improving PEEK bioactivity for craniofacial reconstruction using a 3D printed scaffold embedded with mesenchymal stem cells. J Biomater Appl. 2016;31:132-9.

Su X, Fang D, Liu Y, Ramamoorthi M, Zeitouni A, Chen W, Tran SD. Three-dimensional organotypic culture of human salivary glands: the slice culture model. Oral Dis. 2016;22:639-648.

Charbonneau AM, Roy S, Tran SD. Oral-facial tissue reconstruction in the regenerative axolotl. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2016;326:489–502.

Ramamoorthi M, Bakkar M, Jordan J, Tran SD. Osteogenic potential of dental mesenchymal stem cells in preclinical studies: a systematic review using modified ARRIVE and CONSORT guidelines. Stem Cells Int. 2015;2015:378368.

Xie X, Hu K, Fang D, Shang L, Tran SD, Cerruti M. Graphene and hydroxyapatite self-assemble into homogenous, free standing nanocomposite hydrogels for bone tissue engineering. Nanoscale, 2015;7:7992-8002.

Xia D, Qu X, Tran SD, Schmidt LL, Qin L, Zhang C, Cui X, Deng D, Wang S. Histological characteristics following a long-term nitrate-rich diet in miniature pigs with parotid atrophy. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015;8:6225-34.

Marelli B, Le Nihouannen D, Hacking SA, Tran S, Li J, Murshed M, Doillon CJ, Ghezzi CE, Zhang YL, Nazhat SN, Barralet JE. Newly identified interfibrillar collagen crosslinking suppresses cell proliferation and remodelling. Biomaterials. 2015;54:126-35.

Kawasaki T, Sumita Y, Egashira K, Ohba S, Kagami H, Tran SD, Asahina I. Transient exposure to hypoxic and anoxic oxygen concentrations promotes either osteogenic or ligamentogenic characteristics of PDL cells. Biores Open Access. 2015;4:175-187.

NguyenCM, Kim JWM, Quan VH, Nguyen BH, Tran SD. Periodontal associations in cardiovascular diseases: The latest evidence and understanding. J Oral Biol Craniofac Res. 2015;5:203-206.

Fang D, Hu S, Liu Y, Quan VH, Seuntjens J, Tran SD. Identification of the active components in Bone Marrow Soup: a mitigator against irradiation-injury to salivary glands. Sci. Rep. 2015;5:16017; doi: 10.1038/srep16017

Khalili S, Faustman DL, Liu Y, Sumita Y, Blank D, Peterson A, Kodama S, Tran SD. Treatment for salivary gland hypofunction at both initial and advanced stages of Sjögren-like disease: a comparative study of bone marrow therapy versus spleen cell therapy with a 1-year monitoring period. Cytotherapy. 2014;16:412-23. Arellano-Garcia ME, Misuno K, Tran SD, Hu S. Interferon-gamma induces immunoproteasomes and the presentation of MHC I-associated peptides on human salivary gland cells. Public Library of Science One (PLoS One). 2014;9:e102878

Faustman DL, Glesecke C, Davis M, Kuhtreiber WM, Tran SD, Dorner T, Ley EJ. Disposable No Longer: The Spleen Holds a Reservoir of Stem Cells. Journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 2014;4:219.

I T, Sumita Y, Minamizato T, Umebayashi M, Liu Y, Tran SD, Asahina I. Bone marrow-derived cell therapy for oral mucosal repair after irradiation. Journal Dental Research. 2014;93:813-20. Kâ K, Rousseau MC, Tran SD, Kaartinen MT, Myneni VD, Henderson M, Nicolau B. Circulating undercarboxylated osteocalcin and gingival crevicular fluid tumour necrosis factor-α in children. Journal Clinical Periodontology. 2014;41:467-72.

Misuno K; Tran SD ; Khalili S; Huang J; Liu Y; Hu S. Quantitative analysis of protein and gene expression in salivary glands of Sjogren's-like disease NOD mice treated by bone marrow soup. Public Library of Science One (PLoS One). 2014;9:e87158.

Maria O, Maria S, Redman R, Maria A, Saad El-Din T, Soussa E, Tran S. Effects of double ligation of Stensen's duct of the rabbit parotid gland. Biotechic & Histochemistry. 2014;89:181-98. Xia D, Sumita Y, Liu Y, Tai Y, Wang J, Uehara M, Agata H, Kagami H, Fan Z, Asahina I, Wang S, Tran SD. GDFs promote tenogenic characteristics on human periodontal ligament-derived cells in culture at late passages. Growth Factors. 2013;31:165-73. Ka K, Rousseau MC, Lambert M, Tremblay A, Tran SD, Henderson M, Nicolau B. Metabolic syndrome and gingival inflammation in Caucasian children with a family history of obesity. Journal Clinical Periodontology. 2013;40:986-93 Tran SD, Liu Y, Xia D, Maria OM, Khalili S, Wang RW, Quan VH, Hu S, Seuntjens J. Paracrine effects of bone marrow soup restore organ function, regeneration, and repair in salivary glands damaged by irradiation. Public Library of Science One (PLoS One). 2013;8:e61632. Durand R, Tran SD, Mui B, Voyer R. Managing postoperative pain following periodontal surgery. Journal Canadian Dental Association. 2013;79:d66. Khosravi R, Ka K, Huang T, Khalili S, Nguyen BH, Nicolau B, Tran SD. Tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6: potential interorgan inflammatory mediators contributing to destructive periodontal disease in obesity or metabolic syndrome. Mediators Inflammation. 2013;2013:728987.

Denis JF, Levesque M, Tran SD, Camarda AJ, Roy S. Axolotl as a model to study scarless wound healing in vertebrates: Role of transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway. Advances in Wound Care. 2013;2:250-260

Tamimi F, Comeau P, Le Nihouannen D, Zhang YL, Bassett DC, Khalili S, Gbureck U, Tran SD, Komarova S, Barralet JE. Perfluorodecalin and bone regeneration. European Cells and Materials. 2013;2:22-36.

Nguyen TT, Mui BP, Mehrabzadeh M, Chea Y, Chaudhry Z, Chaudhry K, Tran SD. Tissue regeneration of the oral complex: current clinical trends and research advances. Journal Canadian Dental Association. 2013:79:d1.

Khalili S, Liu Y, Kornete M, Roescher N, Kodama S, Peterson A, Piccirillo CA, Tran SD. Mesenchymal stromal cells improve salivary function and reduce lymphocytic infiltrates in mice with Sjogren's-like disease. Public Library of Science One (PLoS One). 2012;7:e38615.

Alajbeg I, Falcao DP, Tran SD, Martin-Granizo RA, et al. Intraoral electrostimulator for xerostomia relief: a long-term, multicenter, open-label, uncontrolled, clinical trial. Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology Oral Radiology Endodontics. 2012;113:773-81.

Maria OM, Maria AM, Cai Y, Tran SD. Cell surface markers CD44 and CD166 localized specific populations of human salivary acinar cells. Oral Diseases. 2012;18:162-168.

Kuriki Y, Liu Y, Xia D, Gjerde EM, Khalili S, Mui B, Zheng C, Tran SD. Cannulation of the mouse submandibular salivary gland via the Wharton’s duct. J Vis Exp. 2011;51: doi: 10.3791/3074.

Maria OM, Tran SD. Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Cultured with Salivary Gland Biopsies Adopt an Epithelial Phenotype. Stem Cells Development. 2011;20:959-67.

Maria OM, Zeitouni A, Gologan O, Tran SD. Matrigel improves functional properties of primary human salivary gland cells. Tissue Engineering Part A. 2011;17:1229-38.

Tran SD, Sumita Y, Khalili S, Bone Marrow Derived Cells: a Potential Approach for the Treatment of Xerostomia. International Journal Biochemistry Cell Biology. 2011;43:5-9.

Sumita Y, Liu Y, Khalili S, Maria OM, Xia D, Key S, Mezey E, Tran SD. Bone marrow-derived cells rescue salivary gland function in mice with head and neck irradiation. International Journal Biochemistry Cell Biology. 2011;43:80-7.

Tran SD, Redman RS, Barrett AJ, Pavletic SZ, Key S, Liu Y, Carpenter A, Nguyen HM, Sumita Y, Baum BJ, Pillemer SR, Mezey E. Microchimerism in salivary glands after blood- and marrow-derived stem cell transplantation. Biology Blood Marrow Transplantation. 2011;17:429-33.

Strietzel FP, Lafaurie GI, Bautista Mendoza GR, Alajbeg I, Pejda S, Vuletić L, Mantilla R, Falcão DP, Leal SC, Barreto Bezerra AC, Tran SD, Ménard HA, Kimoto S, Pan S, et al. Efficacy and safety of an intraoral electrostimulation device for xerostomia relief: A multicenter randomized trial. Arthritis Rheumatism. 2011;63:180-90.

Maria OM, Maria O, Liu Y, Komarova SV, Tran SD. Matrigel improves functional properties of human submandibular gland cell line. International Journal Biochemistry Cell Biology. 2011;43:622-31.

Nguyen T, El-Hakim M, Arseneau R, Tran SD. L’ostéonécrose des maxillaires associée aux bisphosphonates, un dépliant d’information destiné au personnel des soins dentaires et leurs patients. Journal Ordre Dentistes Quebec 2011;48:7-14

Khalili S, Liu Y, Sumita Y, Maria OM, Blank D, Key S, Mezey E, Tran SD. Bone marrow cells are a source of undifferentiated cells to prevent Sjögren's syndrome and to preserve salivary glands function in the non-obese diabetic mice. International Journal Biochemistry Cell Biology. 2010;42:1893-99. [at] (Khosravi)R, TranSD, LambertM, O'loughlinJ, Ka K, FeineJS, CaronC, TremblayA, Nicolau B. Adiposity and gingival crevicular fluid tumour necrosis factor-alpha levels in children. Journal Clinical Periodontology. 2009;36:301-7.

Maria OM, Kim JW, Gerstenhaber JA, Baum BJ, Tran SD. Distribution of tight junction proteins in adult human salivary glands. Journal Histochemical Cytochemistry. 2008;56:1093-8.

Dai M, Li Y, Head TW, McKee MD, Tran SD. Point of Care: Dental management of patients on oral bisphosphonate. Journal Canadian Dental Association. 2008;74:617-18.

Khosravi R, Kim MJW, Vilela LD, Greenspoon J, Thibodeau EA, Khalili S, Tran SD: Le lien entre les maladies parodontales et l’obésité. Journal Ordre Dentistes Quebec 2007;44:169-172.

Tran SD, Kodama S, Lodde BM, Szalayova I, Key S, Khalili S, Faustman DL, Mezey E. Reversal of Sjogren's-like syndrome in non-obese diabetic mice. Annals Rheumatic Diseases. 2007;66:812-4.

Maria OM, Khosravi R, Mezey E, Tran SD. Cells from bone marrow that evolve into oral tissues and their clinical applications. Oral Diseases. 2007;13:11-6.

Faustman DL, Tran SD, Kodama S, Lodde BM, Szalayova I, Key S, Toth ZE, Mezey E. Comment on papers by Chong et al., Nishio et al., and Suri et al. on diabetes reversal in NOD mice. Science. 2006;314:1243

Tran SD, Sugito T, Dipasquale G, Cotrim AP, Bandyopadhyay BC, Riddle K, Mooney D, Kok MR, Chiorini JA, Baum BJ. Re-engineering Primary Epithelial Cells from Rhesus Monkey Parotid Glands for Use in Developing an Artificial Salivary Gland. Tissue Engineering. 2006; 12:2939-48.

Baum BJ, Tran SD. Synergy between genetic and tissue engineering: creating an artificial salivary gland. Periodontology 2000. 2006;41:218-23.

Crain BJ, Tran SD, Mezey E. Transplanted human bone marrow cells generate new brain cells. Journal Neurological Science. 2005;233:121-3.

Tran SD, Wang J, Bandyopadhyay BC, Redman RS, Dutra A, Pak E, Swaim WD, Gerstenhaber JA, Bryant JM, Zheng C, Goldsmith CM, Kok MR, Wellner RB, Baum BJ. Primary culture of polarized human salivary epithelial cells for use in developing an artificial salivary gland. Tissue Engineering. 2005;11:172-81.

Kok MR, Voutetakis A, Yamano S, Wang J, Cotrim A, Katano H, Bossis I, Chiorini JA, Tran SD, Tak PP, Baum BJ. Immune responses following salivary gland administration of recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 vectors. Journal Gene Medicine. 2005;7:432-41.

Tran SD, Pillemer SR, Dutra A, Barrett AJ, Brownstein MJ, Key S, Pak E, Leakan RA, Kingman A, Yamada KM, Baum BJ, Mezey E. Differentiation of human bone marrow-derived cells into buccal epithelial cells in vivo: a molecular analytical study. Lancet. 2003;361:1084-8.

Aframian DJ, Tran SD, Cukierman E, Yamada KM, Baum BJ. Absence of tight junction formation in an allogeneic graft cell line used for developing an engineered artificial salivary gland. Tissue Engineering. 2002;8:871-8.

Tran H, Pankov R, Tran SD, Hampton B, Burgess WH, Yamada KM. Integrin clustering induces kinectin accumulation. Journal Cell Science. 2002;115:2031-40.

Baum BJ, Kok M, Tran SD, Yamano S. The impact of gene therapy on dentistry: a revisiting after six years. Journal American Dental Association. 2002;133:35-44.

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