New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) has introduced a new Master of Science program leading to an MS degree in oral biology. The program, a collaboration of the College of Dentistry and the Department of Biology at the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS), is open to students with a minimum of a baccalaureate or equivalent degree who wish to specialize in areas such as metagenomics and population genetics, molecular epidemiology, bone cell and connective tissue biochemistry, oral immunology, periodontal and caries microbiology, mechanisms of mineralization, wound healing, salivary diagnostics, oral manifestations of HIV infections, and tumor immunology. Courses will be taught at both NYUCD and GSAS. Applications are now being accepted for classes beginning in September 2008.

The MS program in oral biology’s goals include advancing the knowledge base in oral biology, which is part of general biology; providing both US and international dentists with graduate-level training and experience in research methodology and technology to better qualify them for careers in academic dentistry and/or healthcare-related industry activities; and enabling practicing dentists to improve the quality of care they offer by increasing their understanding of basic biological principles in a field applicable to dentistry.

Additional goals include: providing opportunities for collaboration and synergy with the NYU Department of Biology; and opening the gateway to the establishment of a PhD program in oral biology at NYUCD.

According to Dr. Page W. Caufield, professor of cariology & comprehensive care and director of the MS Program in oral biology, “The recent restructuring and expansion of courses offered by the Department of Biology at GSAS, combined with the phenomenal growth in research activity at NYUCD, makes this a propitious moment to introduce this combined program.”

Dr. Peter Sacks, professor of basic science and craniofacial biology and co-director of the new MS program, adds, “The MS program in oral biology provides an excellent opportunity to substantially increase scientific knowledge not only of the structure, development, and function of oral tissues and their interrelationships, but also of their relation to other organ systems in both human health and disease. Moreover, as more and more international dental schools require faculty to have an MS in oral biology or a similar degree, it has the potential to further expand NYU’s impact on global health.”

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the United States, educating more than 8 percent of all dentists. NYUCD has a significant global reach and provides a level of national and international diversity among it students that is unmatched by any other dental school. This year more than 5,000 students applied for admission to NYUCD’s four-year DDS program, more than ever before, and only 14 percent were admitted, making NYUCD more selective than ever before. The College also currently ranks in the top five U.S. dental schools to receive funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the NIH.

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