Money goes to training program that has been funded since 1985
Friday, September 6, 2013
dental research
Christopher Squier (far left), Carol Fischer, post-doctoral trainee, and Kim Brogden, director of the Dows Institute for Dental Research, and member of the grant faculty leadership team, in the lab. Photo by Eric Corbin.

The University of Iowa's College of Dentistry has received yet another round of funding for a popular training program.

The 1.6 million award from the federal National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research will be used to support research training of five dentists and nondentists annually for five years. The dentist-scientist training program has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1985.

“What is notable about this award,” says Christopher Squier, the program’s director and professor in the Department of Oral Pathology, Radiology and Medicine, and Dows, “is that for the first time we will be able to support graduate research training of a foreign dentist. This is an important benefit when U.S. dental schools are increasingly appointing faculty from abroad.”

The grant involves almost 40 faculty from the colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Training will be available in the areas of biomaterials and tissue engineering, craniofacial biology, cariology, microbiology, epidemiology, behavioral research and health policy and mucosal diseases. Steve Levy,Wright-Bush-Shreves Endowed Professor of Research in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, is the program’s associate director.

Over the past three decades, training grant recipients have become leaders in research and academia. Some of the past trainees include Clark Stanford, currently associate dean for research at the College of Dentistry; Steven Armstrong, head of the department of operative dentistry; and Rebecca Slayton, former head of the department of pediatric dentistry and currently director of The Center for Pediatric Dentistry and chair of the department of pediatric dentistry at the University of Washington.

Other graduates of the training programs are in academic positions at the University of Pittsburgh, Regents University College of Dental Medicine in Augusta, Ga., the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in Birmingham, and Northwestern University.

“The distinguished careers of these individuals show the value for academic dentistry of a long-term investment in training and the threat that the current cuts in the NIH training budget pose to dental academics,” Squier says.