The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a research-intensive health sciences campus. With this award, the UCSF School of Dentistry will hire three new Assistant Professors to develop research projects within an existing multi-disciplinary biomedical core center, the UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health, which includes faculty from multiple departments at UCSF and other universities. Faculty will also have access to collaborative activities across campus, particularly through the UCSF Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), the Center for Health and Community, and the Center for Health Professions. The overall goal of this Center is to conduct research to reduce oral health disparities. The specific research focus is to improve our ability to understand, prevent, and eliminate early childhood caries through prevention, early diagnosis and treatment with children and their caregivers. The new investigators will enhance our efforts from three perspectives - laboratory-based cariology research, systems-based medical sociology/health policy research, and sophisticated statistical analysis. Each person will be appointed in a School of Dentistry home department that is committed to providing an additional two years of support beyond this award's initial two years. Each also will be jointly appointed in a second department in another UCSF school, either the School of Medicine or Nursing and have multiple, senior researchers as mentors.
The specific aims are: To appoint three Independent, tenure-track equivalent research intensive Assistant Professors at the UCSF School of Dentistry, one with research training in cariology, one with training in sociology of healthcare systems and health policy, and one in biostatistics. To expand existing Institutional strengths, capacity and the scientific mission of the NIH-funded UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health (NIH/NIDCR U54 DE019285). To provide career development resources, Infrastructure, mentoring and a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment to foster the scientific success of the new investigators as evidenced by their research productivity. These new investigators will strengthen our ability to understand oral health disparities from both micro and macro-levels, expand our overall impact on the research field, and build research capacity.
The proposal has strong public health relevance. It is responsive to the NIDCR draft strategic plan, 2009-13, Goal IV: Apply rigorous, multidisciplinary research approaches to eliminate disparities in oral, dental and craniofacial health. The dental caries focus is responsive to two Healthy People 2010 Oral Health Objectives: To reduce the proportion of young children aged 2-4 years with 1) dental caries experience in their primary teeth to 11 percent;and 2) with untreated dental caries in their primary teeth to 9 percent.
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