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Overview

The College of Dentistry research mission is carried out primarily through the COHR. During an interval from 1995-2000, the COD funding was comprised almost entirely of a single contract for dental training to the Kuwait government, with other research funds averaging approximately $500K annually (Fig. 1). Beginning in 2000, with the creation of the COHR, COD research funds have increased to ~$2.5 million/year, a 157% increase, contributing to UK research grant increases of 33% (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1:

Chart of the Total Funding of the COHR

The COHR has propelled the UK COD from near last in NIDCR funding to near the top 20 for 2003 (Fig. 2). These accomplishments reflect a near 4-fold increase in grant submissions and a >3-fold increase in publications. Another measure of research expertise is the emphasis of the research activities in the COD to link with other aspects of the UK academic environment, as well as with national collaborators. Fig. 3 demonstrates the substantial increases in the measure of research recognition, such that in 2002, collaborative research funds nearly doubled those awards primarily to faculty in the COD.

Fig. 2: COD NIDCR funding and national rank.
Chart of the NID CR Funding & National Rank.

Two additional measures of research accomplishments and recognition for the COD related to the acquisition of developmental funds for 2 endowed professorships. These funds were matched equally by the Commonwealth of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund (RCTF). The Alvin L. Morris Professor of Oral Health Research recognizes the first Chair of Oral Biology at UK and is held by Dr. Jeffrey L. Ebersole, Director of the COHR. The John R. Mink Professorship in Pediatric Dentistry and Oral Health Services Research honors the lifetime of contributions of John Mink to Pediatric Dentistry, particularly in Kentucky during his tenure at UK over the last 35 years. The second objective measure is the large corporate donation from Delta Dental of Kentucky, Inc., which was subsequently matched by RCTF funds, to operate the Delta Dental of Kentucky Clinical Research Center, a dedicated clinical research facility operated by the COHR in the College. This clinic, which will open in August 2003, was constructed by provision of $450K from the office of the Provost and Associate VP for Research.

Fig. 3: COD collaborative research.
Chart of COD Collaborative Research.

Since January 2000, with COHR support, the College has increased the number of funded investigators to 23 (Fig. 4), encompassing ~40% of the total faculty. The COHR has also initiated an infrastructure for faculty mentoring in research. This has resulted in grants to junior faculty including: multiple funded applications from the UK Medical Center Research Foundation, a funded application from industry, an NIH R15 application, an R01 portion of a center application, a funded project in the UK Center for Biomedical Excellence (COBRE), HRSA grants, NIDCR R03 grants, NIH R21 grants, NIDCR K23 grants, and a new faculty member with a NIDCR K22 grant. Moreover, the COD has multiple junior faculty in the K30 clinical research training program at UK.

Chart of the Faculty with research funds at UKCOD.
Fig. 4: Faculty with research funds at UKCOD.

Suffice it to say, the COHR is moving and brings to the COD a new sense of mission and accomplishment. There have been many people contributing to this progress, and an expanding group of faculty, staff, and students who will raise the national reputation of the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry.

Thanks for your efforts.
JEFF

 

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Last Modified: November 04, 2010
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