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Health Center Today, April 15, 2011

Three Dental Students Honored with NIDCAR Training Grant Award

By Carolyn Pennington

Photo of Stefanie Aquilina

Stefanie Aquilina

Photo of Myungso Chung

Myungso Chung

Photo of Robert Yau

Robert Yau

First-year dental students Robert Yau, Myungso Chung and Stefanie Aquilina have received the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) summer dental student award for 2011. The NIDCAR training grant program is intended to help meet the substantial need for research scholars in U.S. dental schools.

Program director, Dr. Alan Lurie, says “The program has produced and will continue to meet the growing needs of academic dentistry, producing scholars who are competent as clinicians and independent as scientists, who are able to initiate and maintain funded research programs, and who are prepared for the evolution of their research in new directions.”

Degree program tracks focus on basic biological problems related to dental, skeletal, craniofacial and oral biology in health and disease. The four major tracks of the training program are D.M.D./Ph.D., Ph.D., postdoctoral, and short-term dental student research. The postdoctoral training track includes translational and behavioral research in addition to the above areas.

“A core curriculum which integrates different disciplines and levels of training and expertise exposes trainees to the diversity and complexity of the biology and sociology of oral diseases,” says Lurie. “The Health Center has a dynamic group of faculty in skeletal, craniofacial and oral biology, with highly successful collaborations among faculty throughout the Schools of Dental Medicine and Medicine and the main campus of the university.”