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NextGen Training Program


Training Leading to a Ph.D. Degree in Oral Biology


Overview of the Training Program and Environment


Oral biology encompasses the study of the structure and function of normal and abnormal tissues of the oral cavity and related areas, as well as the study of disease and healing mechanisms specific to various oral conditions. The discipline of oral biology applies and extends the concepts of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, physiology, and pharmacology to understanding the growth, development and pathologies associated with the oral cavity. Attention in dental research and practice is now focusing on the dynamics of oral disease, prevention, and treatment at the earliest stages of disease development, including research on risk factors for disease as well as the cellular and molecular etiologies in disease pathogenesis. Molecular approaches for oral disease analysis and the complexity of disease elements require advanced training in the discipline of oral biology. Modern biomedical research is also identifying systemic relationships between oral conditions, health status, and diseases such as atherosclerosis, HIV, cancer; the oral cavity also offers an ideal model to study biological structures and cellular mechanisms important throughout the body and important in immune response. Our curriculum provides a strong foundation for trainees by combining basic laboratory discovery in immunology, genetics, embryology, physiology, cellular and molecular biology, neurobiology, tissue engineering and regeneration, pharmacology, microbiology, and biochemistry with oral diseases and disorders to provide a better understanding and treatment of the pathologies associated with the craniofacial region.

The UNC-CH Oral Biology Ph.D. curriculum has three primary areas of emphasis:

For More Information, Contact:


Dr. Ceib Phillips

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

Email: ceib_phillips@dentistry.unc.edu