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 Academics/TrainingNIH T32 Training Grant     September 19, 2014  

NIH T32 Training Grant

In July of 2013 the department received a 5-year National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at NIH.  The project, "Advanced Training in Oral Biology," provides multi-year stipend and tuition support for both predoctoral trainees (dentists and non-dentists seeking PhD) and postdoctoral trainees (dentists and/or PhDs).  Dr. Frank Scannapieco, Professor and Chair, is the Principal Investigator.  Additional information is provided below.

Program Description:

The goal of this program is to expose trainees to novel and interesting research opportunities to allow them to become leaders as research faculty in the nation’s dental, medical, and health-related research institutions. The program encourages interdisciplinary training opportunities in both basic and translational research to explore questions concerning oral health and diseases in order to produce a cadre of well-trained and eventually independent investigators.  The Advanced Training in Oral Biology program promotes continuing collaboration between several units within UB, including the Schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Public Health and Health Professions, the Buffalo Center for Ontological Research, and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).  Also, the Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (COEBLS) at UB provides interesting and novel research opportunities for trainees. The organization and requirements of the program center on oral health research, yet take advantage of the numerous other interdisciplinary and cross-training opportunities.  The program supports 2 training pathways:

1)  Doctoral (PhD) training for dentist and non-dentist trainees

2)  Post-Doctoral training for DDS and/or PhD fellows to develop as independent investigators in dental, oral, and craniofacial research

The Training Faculty of this program consists of 22 investigators with primary or secondary appointments in nine departments in the UB Schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Major research areas include

- Immunology and Innate Defenses

- Relationship of Oral Pathogens to Systemic Diseases

- Saliva and Salivary Glands

- Microbial Pathogenesis of Oral Organisms

- Bone and Connective Tissues/Tissue Engineering

- Epidemiology/Clinical Studies

- Orofacial Pain

- Biomedical Ontology



Ernesto DeNardin


The unique thing about our PhD program is that, in most cases, the graduate students are also clinical residents, so they get a unique exposure to both worlds. 


Libuse Bobek


Every student has a primary mentor and a committee that is composed of at least three other members of the faculty who guide the students throughout the five or six years of study that it takes.


Mira Edgerton

Research Professor

I think as mentors at UB, our approach to scientific thought processes is our strength; we emphasize higher-order reasoning as an essential part of an approach to a problem.


Frank Scannapieco

Professor and Chair

There's quite a diverse group of studies that we're working on. For example, we are now investigating the role of oral health in systemic disease, particularly the effects of oral health on hospital-acquired pneumonia.


Calogero Dolce (’96)

The Oral Biology program met all my needs. They were very, very accommodating. There was a diversity of people there. Everything that you needed was there. If you had a problem, you could always go to another faculty member to get your question resolved. There was a lot of different expertise.


Lawrence Tabak (’81)

We all learned from each other—students, postdocs and faculty alike. Our journal clubs were pretty intense. My classmates went on to very distinguished academic/research careers. We were taught to be intellectually rigorous and unafraid to try new things.


Jenny Sun (’08)

Dr. Edgerton is trying to encourage all of us to think for ourselves and lead us to the correct way. We talk daily. I like this department a lot. The students, the faculty—everybody knows everybody else. We always talk together, what is going on with your research. It’s kind of a big family, and the faculty is very easygoing.


Keith Kirkwood (’97)

A lot of my training and views on clinical periodontics especially are based on my experiences in Oral Biology in Buffalo. The program allowed me to seek training outside the department because I wanted different expertise.