to concerns about a chronic shortage of minority oral health researchers,
the NIH, through its Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research,
has awarded the NYU College of Dentistry a grant of $100,000 to
establish an intensive research training program for minority
predoctoral dental students from NYU, Howard University, Tuskegee
University, and the University of Puerto Rico. A group of faculty
members from the four institutions is responsible for identifying
and selecting student participants.
“Blacks and Hispanics have more untreated oral disease than the
population as a whole, and are underrepresented as both dentists
and dental faculty,” said principal investigator and program director
Dr. Kathleen C. Kinnally, a Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial
Biology at the NYU College of Dentistry.
“Targeted recruitment, training, and retention of minorities in
health-care professions and research are critical to resolving this
dilemma. Ultimately, greater representation of minorities in faculty
positions should increase the number of role models, and positively
impact the candidate pool of underrepresented minorities.”
The grant supports training for five students a year within the
NYU College of Dentistry’s Bluestone Center for Clinical Research
and in its basic science laboratories. Each student is assigned
an NYU College of Dentistry faculty mentor and is responsible for
preparing a research project culminating in a poster presentation
at his or her college’s annual student research day. The first group
of students completed their training in summer 2003.
Prior to receiving this grant, NYUCD had already established close
ties with the other universities participating in the program. The
college has a partnership with the University of Puerto Rico School
of Dentistry on both a pre- and a postdoctoral student exchange
program and on three major NIH grants totaling over $10 million,
and the two schools share a jointly appointed faculty member, Dr.
Walter J. Psoter, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Health
Last year the college established a combined BA-DDS program with
Tuskegee University — the first time that Tuskegee, a member of
the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, has collaborated
on a BA-DDS program, and the first time that NYUCD has done so with
a Historically Black University. The college also has a program
to provide epidemiology training and grant writing assistance to
Howard University junior faculty.