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Dental materials scientist receives 3M research fellowship

October 05, 2018

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Sabrina Feitosa Sochacki
Dr. Sochacki

Dr. Sabrina Feitosa Sochacki is working to prevent biofilm development around resin-based materials.

An assistant research professor at Indiana University School of Dentistry, she has been working on the development of antimicrobial resin-based materials with the potential to reduce biofilm formation.

“It will be beneficial for patients, considering this material can be more effective in preventing the development of dental caries,” she said.

For her work in advancing dental materials science, Dr. Sochacki has been awarded the 2018 3M Innovative Research Fellowship, which is designed to encourage and engage researchers in advancing dental materials science.

As the recipient, Dr. Sochacki will receive a $10,000 fellowship for two years and be honored at a ceremony in February at ADA Headquarters. She will also have the opportunity to share her work via a continuing education program and may have the chance to interact with 3M scientists. The ADA sponsors this fellowship with the support of 3M Oral Care.

Dr. Sochacki’s research has primarily centered on ceramics and resin-based materials. Focusing on the characterization and evaluation of mechanical properties of ceramics, she has studied bonding techniques related to ceramics. She is also investigating dental materials to help design new treatments for dentin hypersensitivity, in addition to preventing biofilm development, she said.

Dr. Sochacki earned her D.D.S. from the Universidade Estadual Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil in 2007, before earning a master’s degree in 2011 and a Ph.D. in 2015 from the same university. She came to Indiana University School of Dentistry in 2016.

She has contributed to international dental standards development and worked alongside corporate partners, said Dr. Jeffrey Platt, who nominated Dr. Sochacki for the award. Dr. Platt is the chair of the Department of Biomedical and Applied Sciences at the Indiana University School of Dentistry and a former chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

Dr. Sochacki has been published 14 times and contributed to a book chapter, in addition to being recognized by the International Association for Dental Research with the Toshio Nakao Fellowship, a biennial fellowship established to allow a young investigator to obtain training and experience in dental materials.

“She is an excellent example of someone whose career trajectory will increasingly see her recognized as a significant contributor to dental materials science,” said Dr. Platt.

Dr. Sochacki said she hopes to continue researching and teaching dental materials going forward.

“I know that I still have a lot to do, but I have always been able to find good mentors and colleagues,” she said. “Today I’m working to increase my collaboration with researchers in the dental materials industry. In the near future, I would like to be able to include some clinical research to learn how patients would benefit from my development of new dental materials.”