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NYU College of Dentistry Announces New Grants

Three new grants have been awarded to the New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD), it was announced recently by Dr. Michael C. Alfano, NYUCD's dean:

* A $1 million-plus grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), a component of the NIH, to identify genetic markers in cariogenic bacteria. Dr. Page W. Caufield, professor of cariology and operative dentistry and head of the Division of Diagnostics, Infectious Disease and Health Promotion, will lead this three-year effort to develop a genetic profile of the oral bacteria in young children with severe caries. Dr. Caufield predicts that the bacteria will yield DNA markers that could be used to identify children at risk for severe tooth decay.

* A $663,250 grant from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI), a component of the NIH, to bioengineer heart muscle. The three-year grant provides Dr. Louis Terracio, associate dean for research, with the ability to continue developing an experimental cardiac muscle that could eventually be used to repair damaged human heart. Dr. Terracio has already developed significant-sized pieces of tissue that beat spontaneously and move around in a laboratory culture dish.

* A $400,000 award from the U. S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase access to dental care for underserved children by expanding the number of pediatric dentistry residents to 20 from 16. This project aims to arm providers with multicultural skills, increased proficiency in meeting the needs of medically-compromised pediatric patients, and increased skill in communicating with other health care professionals. Dr. Linda Rosenberg, associate professor and chairperson of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, is the grant's principal investigator.

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