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ADA supports NIDCR research agenda, requests agency's input

September 21, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Bethesda, Md. — The Association offered comments Sept. 19 on the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research's proposed research initiatives for 2018.

In a letter to NIDCR Director Martha Somerman, ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays and Executive Director Kathleen T. O'Loughlin praised the institute for its proposed initiatives. Those initiatives include immunotherapy for head and neck cancer; implementation science and oral health; oral human immunodeficiency virus vaccine-induced immunity; and the oral microbiome and HIV.

"Developing the body of research in these areas will advance dental science and oral health care, as well as research funding for investigations on prevention and risk assessment strategies for managing dental caries, periodontal disease, and other oral diseases, including cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx," wrote Drs. Summerhays and O'Loughlin.
For a proposed initiative to devote research dollars to studying craniofacial bones and the nervous system, the Association urged NIDCR to "consider whether adequate models exist" at this time.

NIDCR is the nation's leading source of funds for oral health studies. The Association's technical comments reflected the views of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, the Association's primary agency for dental science and research considerations.

In the comments, the CSA proposed additional research initiatives for NIDCR to consider, including caries management by risk assessment and functional genomics for periodontal disease and dental caries. The council also stressed the need for "continuous support" for general research on dental caries, periodontal disease, and head and neck cancer.

"It is important to secure the development of new methodologies to enhance the prevention, diagnostics, management and treatment of these priorities supported by basic and clinical outcomes," CSA offered in the comments.

"We would welcome NIDCR's input on the next iteration [of the ADA research agenda] which will be available in draft form this fall," CSA concluded.