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 Academics/TrainingOral Biology PhD/Postdoc Training Goals     September 18, 2014  

PhD and Postdoctoral Training Goals

The primary mission of the Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Training Program in Oral Biology is to prepare individuals for careers in research and education in academia or in industry - particularly in interdisciplinary oral health related fields - and to provide these individuals with the expertise necessary to become leaders in the field of oral health research. Graduates will have the qualifications and research expertise to become global leaders as scientists in academia or industry.

The goals for our trainees in the Ph.D. and Post-doctoral Program in Oral Biology are:

 1.    Gain appropriate depth and breadth of knowledge in oral biology and biomedical sciences

2.     Expose trainees to interdisciplinary scholarship and research

3.     Effectively communicate results of their research to diverse audiences

4.     Fulfill benchmarks of personal and professional scientific development

5.     Apply ethical principles to all aspects of their professional life

6.     Develop skills to become good mentors and communicators

 Measurable outcomes for attaining these goals include:

 Goal 1

·        Successfully complete a core curriculum that provides a fundamental understanding of biologic processes in behavioral, biomedical, and clinical aspects of oral health.

·        Successfully complete the Preliminary Examination (PhD trainees)

Goal 2

·        Attend and actively participate in Oral Biology Departmental seminar series as well as other seminars within the Biomedical Campus

·        Participation in local, national, and international scientific meetings and workshops

·        Participation in the Oral Biology Departmental Journal Club

Goal 3

·        Present results of trainees’ research in Oral Biology Departmental seminar series, SDM Research Day, Summer Oral Biology Research Day, as well as local national, and international scientific meetings

·        Publish at least two first author manuscripts in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals

·        Submit a research grant proposal based upon results of the trainees’ work

·        Write and successfully defend a PhD thesis containing at least two first author publications (PhD trainees)

Goal 4

·        Trainee progress will be monitored and assessed every 6 months for benchmarks by their Thesis Committee, which will consist of at least three full-time Oral Biology faculty members and one faculty member outside the Department with complementary research backgrounds

·        Trainees and their mentor will submit a written report biannually that summarizes their progress and accomplishments of the past six months as well as their goals for the next 6 months.

Goal 5

·        Trainees will successfully complete a Research Ethics Course

·        Trainee evaluation committees will assess and report on ethical aspects of professional development

Goal 6

·        Trainees will participate in teaching and tutoring activities within the Department of Oral biology and/or School of Dental Medicine

·        Senior trainees will participate in evaluation and development of junior trainees through hands-on laboratory techniques or in Preliminary Examinations


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.