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Advanced Dental Education


Clinical Research Training in Oral Diseases for Future Academicians


The UNC School of Dentistry has for many years been recognized internationally as one of the foremost teaching, research and patient care academic institutions. Research in the School of Dentistry involves basic science research--primarily in the areas of orofacial neurobiology with emphasis in pain, cellular and molecular biology of host-microbial interactions, materials science, and the biology of extracellular matrices--and fundamental and applied clinical research, epidemiology, and health services research.

The purpose of this training program is to develop a cohort of Oral Health Research Scholars who will become successful, independent, clinical investigators who can function as interactive scientists to address the expanding opportunities in dental, oral and craniofacial clinical research. As designed, our program embraces the full spectrum of translational clinical research including fundamental mechanisms of human disease, therapeutic intervention, clinical trials, and oral epidemiology as well as appropriate social and behavioral clinical research. Our goal is to create a new cadre of highly interactive scientists who can serve as research leaders in academic dentistry and research institutions.

The primary objective of our Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP) is to train a cadre of individuals interested in academic careers that focus on conducting clinical research in a multidisciplinary setting. To do this, we are recruiting dentists into advanced clinical education programs that are combined with a two-year curriculum in clinical research (Track 1) or a PhD program in oral epidemiology (Track 2). In addition, we offer a one-year Visiting Scholars Program in clinical research for mid-career faculty (Track 3). All CRSP Scholars will be required to participate in:

Additional features of the CRSP may include other specific requirements of a degree-granting program.

Research collaborations among faculty from the Health Science Schools as well as some faculty from Arts and Sciences tend to occur in six thematic research areas. Consequently, research mentors tend to represent one or more of those areas, though qualified program applicants will not be rejected on the basis that their research interests do not fit into one of these areas. These six areas of focus include:

  1. Inflammation and Wound Healing
  2. Infectious Diseases
  3. Periodontal Medicine
  4. Neuroscience
  5. Epidemiology/ Biostatistics/ Social and Behavioral Science
  6. Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics

For more information on individual programs: