International Partners In Health
Brazilian PhD Candidates Advance Professionally as Visiting Scholars

From left: Dr. Guilherme B. Valverde, Dr. Myrella L. Castro, Dr. Amilcar C. Freitas, Jr.

NYUCD has hosted more Brazilian PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers as visiting scholars than most other US dental schools. A principal reason is that Dr. Nelson da Silva and Dr. Paulo Coelho, Assistant Professors of Prosthodontics and of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, and Dr. Simone Duarte, Assistant Professor of Basic Science & Cranio-facial Biology, with the support of their respective department chairs, encourage their Brazilian colleagues to identify students to take advantage of research opportunities at NYUCD. Another reason is that the Brazilian government provides grants to assist PhD candidates in studying abroad at dental schools with strong mentorship opportunities and access to innovative research concepts and technology, such as NYUCD, before returning home to defend their dissertations. During the past year, three new Brazilian PhD candidates joined NYUCD as Visiting Scholars. All three received grants from the Brazilian government.

Dr. Myrella L. Castro, a microbiologist and PhD candidate in pharmacology at the University of Campinas Piracicaba Dental School, has been a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology. Dr. Castro is being mentored by Dr. Duarte and Dr. Deepak Saxena, Assistant Professors of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology, on research on the effects of low dose antibiotic therapy for the treatment of periodontal disease. As a Visiting Scholar, Dr. Castro, who earned DDS and MS degrees in pharmacology from the Piracicaba Dental School, is also able to take advantage of the access that NYUCD researchers have to advanced technology in microbiology.

Drs. Guilherme B. Valverde and Amilcar C. Freitas, Jr., are both Visiting Scholars in the Department of Biomaterials & Biomimetics. Dr. Valverde, a PhD candidate in prosthodontics at the State University of Campinas, is being mentored by Dr. da Silva and co-mentored by Dr. Van Thompson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomaterials & Biomimetics, on the development of non-thermal plasmas for dentistry and on mechanical testing of ceramics and composites using electrodynamic instruments that simulate teeth grinding and chewing. Dr. Valverde earned a DDS degree and an MSc in oral rehabilitation from the State University of São Paulo - UNESP, Araraquara, Brazil.

Dr. Freitas, a PhD candidate in prosthodontics at the São Paulo State University, Araçatuba Dental School, is being mentored by Dr. Coelho on the use of finite element analysis in the development of ceramics and alloys for implants and other prosthetic devices. Dr. Freitas earned a DDS degree and an MS degree in prosthodontics from the Ara├žatuba Dental School in Brazil.