Funds are requested in this application to support the Rochester Training Program in Oral Science. Additional clinician-scientists must be generated for society to take advantage of the rapid and dramatic advances being made in the biomedical sciences. The Center for Oral Biology's training programs have been highly successful in recruiting, training and retaining Oral Science researchers over the past 20+ years. The University of Rochester Medical Center has committed substantial resources to recruit new faculty, to improve our physical plant, and to acquire new technologies. This enhanced commitment to our research environment expands the depth and breadth of training necessary to excel in the biomedical sciences. The University of Rochester has a long history and commitment to training graduate dentists. The overall goal of the Training Program in Oral Science (TPOS) is to provide improved training opportunities for dentist-scientists and oral biologists that will enable them to pursue research careers in dentistry and medicine at academic, federal and industrial organizations. Cross-disciplinary training will focus on the general fields of oral infectious diseases, the cellular and developmental biology of craniofacial structures, with training in clinical/translational approaches to the manifestations of oral disease. TPOS targets the recruitment of dentists who wish to pursue a PhD and dentist-PhDs who want to engage in post-doctoral level training. We will also recruit PhDs and baccalaureate degree-holders pursuing a PhD. In this manner, PhD level scientists will be recruited to the field of Oral Science. Our program features a DST Program for dental students who wish to coordinate clinical studies with PhD training. This novel program partners the excellent clinical programs at Marquette University, the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Kentucky with the PhD programs at the research-intensive University of Rochester Medical Center. Finally, our program will include R90 research education for internationally trained DDS, PhD dual degree holding individuals. The various components of TPOS are integrated through educational options of the Rochester Graduate Program, the clinical training programs of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the clinical/translational educational resources of the Rochester Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. TPOS trainees are expected to be highly prepared for careers in Oral Science research.
The proposed Training Program aims to prepare scientists and dentists to become leaders in the research of oral disease and oral/facial birth defects. The program will integrate classroom work, research in laboratories and hospitals, and in dental clinics in a multidisciplinary fashion. Our long-term goal is to accelerate the pace at which effective, new treatments for diseases can be brought to the public to lessen suffering and improve lives.
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