Oral health is often considered a mirror of general health. As such, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center has recently placed a significant emphasis on oral health-related research, in response to this charge, the LSU School of Dentistry acquired Institutional and State support to establish a Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology in 2000. One of the strongest emerging research foci within the Center of Excellence is oral infectious disease/pathogenesis led by several established senior investigators. The rising Center of Excellence has shown considerable productivity in the past 3 years and is now poised for expansion and development of junior faculty through a COBRE. To this end, we are proposing to develop promising junior principal investigators through a structured mentoring program and meritorious basic and clinical research. The theme is 'Oral Infectious Diseases' and includes 4 projects on oral health anomalies, including oral opportuntistic infections in the HIV patient, periodontal disease, and dental caries. Mentoring will be through teams of senior investigators in the Center of Excellence and LSU School of Medicine with related expertise and funding experience. Moreover, significant infrastructure will be contributed by three Cores, including Administrative, Biomedical Equipment, and Statistics. The COBRE is led by an established NIH-funded Investigator who has extensive experience in leading center grants and is the current Director of the Center of Excellence. There will be significant interim and outcome evaluations of benchmarks through an internal (mentors) and external advisory board. The objectives of the COBRE are to (i) develop junior faculty into independent investigators through meritorious research and structured mentoring, (ii) provide training in clinical and basic science research related to oral health, (iii) develop critical mass in oral health research at the LSU School of Dentistry and Center of Excellence through mentoring and recruitment, (iv) continue to develop/enhance infrastructure of the existing Center of Excellence, and (v) implement both interim and outcome evaluations to measure progress. The long-term goals will be to have a critical mass of experienced independent investigators at the LSU School of Dentistry whose extramurally funded research significantly enhances the oral and general health of persons in the State of Louisiana and nationally.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-RI-5 (02))
Program Officer
Taylor, Fred
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Louisiana State Univ Hsc New Orleans
Schools of Medicine
New Orleans
United States
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