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NIH awards oral health research training grant


UB lab: Dr. Frank Scannapieco, center, observing staff, student research. Photo courtesy of University at Buffalo
Buffalo, N.Y.—The University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine Department of Oral Biology received a five-year $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to train future oral health researchers, the school said.

The grant will provide funding through June 2018 to engage Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows in such research areas as salivary gland physiology and oral infectious diseases.

"There is a great need, perhaps even a mandate, to train new scientists how to work interprofessionally to produce research," Dr.  Frank Scannapieco said in the July 16 announcement. He is professor and chair of oral biology and the grant's principal investigator. The University of Buffalo has the longest standing Ph.D. program in oral biology in the United States, the announcement said.

"The proposed program will foster interdisciplinary training opportunities in both basic and translational research that address oral health and diseases in order to produce a cadre of well-trained and eventually independent investigators," said the grant application for advanced training in oral biology.

"The purpose of this project is to attract new pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees into dental research careers – especially those talented students who may not have considered oral health research as a career path."

The organization and requirements of the program center on oral health research while taking advantage of interdisciplinary, interprofessional and cross-training opportunities.