This application seeks 5-year support for an NIDCR-Institutional Training Award for a Dental and Craniofacial Research Workforce (T90/R90) to the UCLA School of Dentistry. The UCLA School of Dentistry is a research-intensive and research-committed institution with a long tradition and commitment to educate dental student, graduate dentists, and other graduate and professional students in oral, dental and craniofacial sciences. The objective of this application is to build on the strengths of our current T32 and other career development and research training programs and focus on the mission to provide rigorous research training and career development to produce research-committed dentist-scientists and oral health-researchers. Based on our collective experience, we have configured an integrative training program for dentists who are committed to research careers in oral health. The program takes an integrative systemic and interlocked approach providing full spectrum flexibility at all stages of career development for the dentist-scientist. The foundational core value of the program is to develop research-focused and research-committed dentist- scientist and oral health-scientist faculty that can compete successfully for NIH funding. PhD-level research training and a two to three year dedicated full time postdoctoral research training experience is mandatory. Dentist scientists and oral health researchers matriculated from our program will be dental school ready and poised for transition to scientific independence and be competitive for research funding in the NIH environment. Research training will be centered on four areas of scientific strengths at the UCLA School of Dentistry: (1) Oral Cancer & Cancer Biology, (2) Bone Biology & Tissue Engineering, (3) Infectious Diseases and (4) Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine. An interdisciplinary program links trainees to mentors at the School of Dentistry, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Molecular Biology Institute, Stem Cell Institute, California NanoSystem Institute, School of Engineering School, School of Medicine, and the School of Public Health. The pool of applicants is diverse, including foreign-trained dentists, encompassing the following five training tracks: (1) DDS/PhD (DSTP); (2) Dentists pursuing PhD; (3) Dentists pursuing postdoctoral research training; (4) PhD; (5) PhD postdocs. The training program will be administered by the Program Director, Associate Directors, Steering Committee, a full-time coordinator and an Advisory Committee.
This is an institutional training grant for the UCLA School of Dentistry to develop a highly trained workforce in dental, oral and craniofacial research. Particular emphasis is on the training of dentist-scientists and oral health-researchers committed to research careers in oral, dental and craniofacial research.
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