LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2004) --
University of Kentucky continues to sustain
the growth and quality of its research
UK College of Dentistry has been awarded a
Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)
grant totaling over $10.9 million from the
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR),
a division of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Promising investigators will research how oral
diseases affect other health problems including
HIV, atherosclerosis, gestational diabetes, and
viral/bacterial interactions in chronic disease.
The research will be led by investigators who
are working with their first major grants.
The COBRE grant will support
10 promising new researchers. They will serve as
principal investigators in studies of their own
design, with the aid of senior faculty mentors.
The COBRE grant will enable the university to
create a program of faculty development and
recruitment that will advance UK’s standing as a
“This grant further
enhances the research enterprise at the
University of Kentucky,” said Dr. Wendy Baldwin,
UK executive vice president for
research. “A key feature of a research
university is that it provides mentoring to
students as new faculty help them develop their
careers and further their research areas.”
Dr. Jeffrey L. Ebersole,
associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies
and director of the
Center for Oral Health Research, will serve
as COBRE program director for the UK College of
Dentistry. Ebersole has worked for many years to
increase the understanding of chronic oral
infections through research.
“This is a great step
forward for the university,” Ebersole said.
“Junior investigators will be integrated into
projects with established, funded faculty who
use state-of-the-art research methods.”
The overall focus of this
grant addresses the challenges of human diseases
on the molecular level and understanding the
difference between infections and disease in the
oral cavity. The investigators will develop in a
mentored and nurturing environment, paving the
way for future prevention and treatment.
Outcomes of the research will enhance the
maturation of oral health research at UK and
expand NIH-funded research in the Commonwealth
“Being part of the COBRE
program will enhance the ability of these
researchers – and the University of Kentucky –
to win external funding for their work in the
future,” Ebersole said.
“Chronic untreated oral
infections have significant impacts on other
areas of general health,” said Dr. Sharon P.
Turner, dean, UK College of Dentistry. “These
studies will help unlock some of the mysteries
associated with these impacts and translate them
into better total health care in the near term.”
UK College of Medicine
Department of Molecular and Cellular
Biochemistry also was awarded a $10 million
grant from COBRE to produce the next generation
of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease
researchers. The combined grants, totaling over
$20 million, lay the groundwork to further
enhance the research enterprise at UK.
Established in 1962, the UK
College of Dentistry has a national and
international reputation for its dynamic and
innovative approaches to dental education.
The college offers the Doctor
of Dental Medicine degree, as well as
postdoctoral programs in six fields of study:
general practice dentistry, oral and
maxillofacial surgery, orofacial pain,
orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and
Approximately 200 doctoral
students and 30 graduate students and residents
are enrolled. In addition, the student/faculty
ratio promotes a very supportive atmosphere. The
college is committed to providing its students
with superior programs that prepare them to
deliver competent care to patients throughout
the Commonwealth and the nation.