This is a new NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) application for Baylor's Scientific Training Program for Dental Academic Research Scholars (B-STARS). The application is in direct response to the revised training initiatives of the NIDCR and requests: (i) Continued support for a highly successful short-term program for the training of dental research scholars. The program has been intensified to increase the commitment of trainees toward academic research careers by early identification and continued engagement in research throughout dental school;(ii) New funding for an integrated dual-degree DDS/PhD program. This program was initiated through institutional funds and a successful series of NIDCR Individual Predoctoral Dentist Scientist Fellowships (F30 awards);and (iii) Support for a well-crafted series of short- and long-term postdoctoral training experiences for faculty and fellows. These programs will provide the skills needed to address new opportunities in craniofacial research. B-STARS draw from the expanding scientific, intellectual and physical resources at Baylor College of Dentistry (BCD). A full spectrum of research training opportunities is enhanced by new institutional initiatives and NIDCR R24/U24 awards for the enhancement of research infrastructure at BCD. Strategic alliances with UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), Texas A&M's Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT), Rice University, and the hiring of new BCD researchers have led to the selection of a team of 52 outstanding faculty mentors. This group offers interdisciplinary training in the following focus research areas: Genes and Development;Matrix Biology and Tissue Engineering;Neurosciences and Molecular Pathology;and Clinical Research. BCD's participation in an NIH Roadmap K12 and CTSA awards to UTSW offers multidisciplinary training to B-STARS Clinical Research Scholars. A highly innovative and integrative core and discipline-specific curriculum with journal clubs, seminars and research symposia will facilitate an exchange of information among students and faculty in various disciplines and allow each trainee to acquire extensive critical thinking skills. Graduate trainees of B-STARS will be able to (a) interpret new scientific information from an insightful perspective and teach with scholarly credibility;(b) engage in knowledgeable dialog with student and faculty clinicians;(c) lead cutting-edge craniofacial, dental and oral biology research in NIH and other extramural research programs;(d) publish reports in peer reviewed journals;and (e) sustain successful careers in academic dentistry. B-STARS benefits from unequivocal institutional support and dynamic leadership. A program evaluation plan will critically assess the success of the training program on the development of future dental academicians. The leadership team of B-STARS is committed to work with the NIDCR to improved performance and outcomes that will develop the best practices for the training, education and career development of dentist-scientists.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDE1-MK (12))
Program Officer
King, Lynn M
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Texas A&M University
Other Basic Sciences
Schools of Dentistry
College Station
United States
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