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Advanced Dental Education

Oral Biology PhD Program


The primary mission of the Ph.D. Graduate Program in Oral Biology is to prepare individuals for careers in research and education in academia or in industry, particularly in oral health related fields, and to provide these individuals with the expertise necessary to become leaders in the field of oral health research. Graduates have the qualifications and research expertise to be productive faculty members at leading universities and senior scientists in academic or industrial settings.

Oral biology at UNC-CH encompasses the study of the structure and function of normal and abnormal tissues of the oral cavity and craniofacial complex, as well as disease and healing mechanisms specific to various oral conditions. Attention in dental research and practice is now on the dynamics of oral disease and prevention and treatment at the earliest stages of development, including research on risk factors for disease and cellular and molecular events in disease pathogenesis. Another focus of modern oral biology is the basic, translational, and clinical study of the relationship between oral conditions, health status and systemic disease. Our curriculum is highly translational in nature; combining basic laboratory discovery in immunology, embryology, physiology, genetics, cellular and molecular biology, neurobiology, tissue engineering and regeneration, pharmacology, microbiology, and biochemistry to aid in our understanding of oral diseases and disorders and ultimately to provide treatment for the pathologies associated with the craniofacial region.

The UNC-CH Oral Biology Ph.D. curriculum has three primary concentrations:

These three concentration areas represent the central concepts for study at advanced levels in the discipline of oral biology. Expertise and authority in these concentration areas are well represented among participating faculty members. Curricular requirements are tailored to each concentration area along with common core requirements for all trainees leading to an individualized didactic program.


Dr. Ceib Phillips

Ceib Phillips, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Interim Director Oral Biology Program
Assistant Dean Advanced Education/Graduate Programs