Dr Antonio Celentano featured in the top national Italian daily newspaper “la Repubblica”

From Caserta (Italy) to Melbourne, Dr Antonio Celentano, Senior Lecturer in Special Care Dentistry at the Melbourne Dental School, studies the anti-neoplastic effects of Kava roots extracts in oral cancer.

Dr Antonio CelentanoSenior Lecturer in Special Needs Dentistry at the Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne.

With this theme as an appreciation for his young career and excellence in research, Antonio was featured in the top national Italian daily newspaper "la Repubblica” on 21 May 2019.

"I was humbled to receive such a prestigious interview and want to share this achievement with all the students that share the same passion and commitment to research," he said.

La Repubblica is a general-interest newspaper widely distributed across Italy with more than 300,000 printed copies per day, and an average of 2 million daily readers distributed across the globe.

Antonio's academic performance reflects his true passion and absolute commitment to high-quality research. The reasons Antonio was selected for this article are:

  • Antonio's astonishing number of publications (19) in peer-reviewed international scientific journals just during his 3 years PhD course (2014-2017).
  • His international clinical and experimental research activity contributed to the publication of 28 scientific articles in peer-reviewed, international journals in the past 5 years. Included in these were top journals such as Journal of Cellular Physiology, Carcinogenesis, British Journal of Cancer, Pain Medicine, Head and Neck, and Oral Diseases among others.
  • He is currently the youngest senior lecturer at the Melbourne Dental School with teaching and research responsibilities.

Antonio proudly joined our School in 2015 as a visiting PhD student, and since 2018 he serves as convenor for the Special Needs Dentistry discipline within the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) course. In addition, he is extensively involved in research project coordination and supervision at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Among these projects, the one that later gave him notoriety in the Italian press is a project inspired by a trip that Antonio made in 2017. During the Medical Sailing Ministries Vanuatu Mission, where Antonio provided much needed dental treatment alongside an epidemiological team, he has been inspired by the discover of Kava, a beverage made from the ground roots of the plant Piper Methysticum that has long held a significant place within Pacific island communities. In his systematic review conducted with our DDS students (recently published in the Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine) he found that particular constituents of Kava consistently displayed anticancer effects in vitro and in vivo, particularly in epithelial malignancy. Despite the potential chemo-therapeutic effects of constituents of Kava, the utility of Kava components has not previously been explored in the prevention and treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).

Therefore, these promising findings highlighted for him an avenue for further research of Kava constituents in oral cancer. To establish an in vitro model, Antonio wrote a project and has been awarded for this research the prestigious FA Kernot Bequest Early to Mid-career Research grant (19,753 AUD), in December 2018. Antonio will be presenting the first results of his laboratory research this August at the International Academy of Oral Oncology conference, in Europe.

Dr Antonio Celentano's "le Repubblica" feature


Congratulations to Antonio!