Seeking the next generation of scientists and educators:

By Bonz Otsuki on February 27, 2003

Classes, clinics and laboratories in the UCSF School of Dentistry will pause for the day on Thursday, March 6, as faculty and students gather in UCSF’s Cole Hall to celebrate “Pathways to Research,” the school’s first annual research day.

An address by UCSF Chancellor and Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop, MD, titled “Becoming a Scientist,” underlines the theme of the day: to celebrate the school’s accomplishments in research and to present career options in dentistry that include research, academia and applications of scientific advances in clinical practice.

Highlighting those options for students and alumni is one way that UCSF can address a nationwide gap between dental school enrollments and the scientists and educators qualified to train them, according to John S. Greenspan, BDS, PhD, School of Dentistry dean of research. Almost 300 full-time faculty positions in U.S. dental schools were budgeted but not filled in 2000, and as senior faculty retire, this number is expected to rise dramatically.

“At the same time, opportunities have opened up for significant discoveries in oral and craniofacial sciences,” Greenspan said.  “While several perceived factors—including student debt—encourage students to enter dental practice rather than academia after obtaining their degrees, the door is open for those excited about science.”

The UCSF School of Dentistry ranks first among U.S. dental schools in research funding from the National Institutes of Health—more than $17 million per year and a ranking that has stood for the past ten years.  Faculty research interests range from molecular and developmental biology to the neurobiology of pain, from biomaterials to dental public health, with internationally recognized research centers for oral biology, oral AIDS, craniofacial anomalies and oral cancer research. The 122-year-old School also is known as a national leader in dental education and clinical care.

The plan for an annual UCSF School of Dentistry Research Day began with Greenspan, who is dean of research for the school and director of the California AIDS Research Center. Charles Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc, dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry and president of the American Association for Dental Research offered enthusiastic support.  The event was organized by a committee chaired by Jane Weintraub, DDS, MPH, Lee Hysan professor of oral epidemiology and dental public health and director of the NIH-funded Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health.

At the core of the event, oral and poster presentations by postdocs, graduate students, dental students and faculty will show off some of the School’s latest research results.

The plenary guest speaker is Kenneth M. Hargreaves, DDS, chair of the Department of Endodontics at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, and an authority on pain management.

The UCSF School of Dentistry Faculty Research Lecturer is John D. B. Featherstone, MSc, PhD,  professor and chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, and a leader in dental caries research and the field of laser dentistry.
Special donors and sponsors are:  The John O. Butler Company; GlaxoSmithKline; the Procter & Gamble Company; the Parnassus Club/School of Dentistry Annual Fund; and the John C. Greene Society, UCSF’s chapter of the Student Research Group of the American Association for Dental Research. (The society is named for School of Dentistry Dean Emeritus John C. Greene.)

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR “PATHWAYS TO RESEARCH,”
THE FIRST ANNUAL UCSF SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY RESEARCH DAY
Cole Hall, UCSF Medical Sciences Building, 513 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco

7:30-8:15 a.m. Gather/light refreshments, Medical Sciences Lobby near Cole Hall.

8:15-8:30 a.m. Introduction—John S. Greenspan, BDS, PhD, Dean for Research of the UCSF School of Dentistry and Director, California AIDS Research Center

Welcome and opening remarks—Charles Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc, Dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry and President, American Association for Dental Research.

8:30-9:30 a.m. Plenary guest speaker—Kenneth Hargreaves, DDS, Chair of the Department of Endodontics at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, an authority on pain management.

9:30-10:30 a.m. School of Dentistry Faculty Research Lecturer - John D. B. Featherstone, MSc, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, a leader in dental caries research and the field of laser dentistry.

11:00 a.m.-noon. Four 15-minute research presentations by students, faculty, postdocs, graduate students.

12-2 p.m. Lunch and poster viewing, judging of posters, outside Cole Hall.

2-3 p.m. Four 15-minute research presentations by students, faculty, postdocs, graduate students.

3:30-4:30 Lecture—J. Michael Bishop, MD, UCSF Chancellor and Nobel Laureate

4:30-5 Announcement of award winners—Jane Weintraub, DDS, MPH, Lee Hysan Professor of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health and Director of the Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health.
Closing remarks—John S. Greenspan, BDS, PhD.

5:20 p.m. Reception hosted by the John C. Greene Society.

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