PhD Program in Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) Coordinated by Oral Biology Department

Scott Kachlany, PhD
Director

Daniel H. Fine, DMD
Director

Full accreditation status from the Commission on Dental Acceditation of the American Dental Association

The primary responsibility of dental schools is to educate students to become clinically competent dentists, academicians and scholars. Within the context of scholarship one of the paramount responsibilities of dental education should be to train dental researchers. Unfortunately, the training of basic researchers in dental areas has lagged far behind research training in other clinical areas. Indeed, the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health in America has concluded that the nation's dental schools must assume leadership roles not only in dental education but also in dental research.

Although research is accepted as a fundamental mission of dental education, many dental schools are only minimally involved in research. There are a number of reasons for this, the primary ones being limited funding for dental research, and a dearth of capable researchers. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has emphasized that dental schools must move closer to the academic research model currently followed by medical schools and some academic health centers.

The PhD program we offer is granted by GSBS and is specifically designed to address the issues related to the shortage of research faculty in dental sciences. The key reason for this shortage results form a significant number of open, unfilled positions in the basic sciences coupled with an existing science faculty that is aging and will retire shortly, thereby creating an even more urgent need. Our program addresses this shortage by providing research trained individuals who will be in a position to enrich the educational experience of dental students, strengthen the stature of dentistry within the university and provide building blocks for the future that can change the way in which dentistry is practiced. The PhD program with an emphasis in Oral Biology is the only program in the state of New Jersey that offers a PhD degree granted by GSBS with an emphasis on dental research.

Goals

  • Train highly competent scientists who will make significant advances in our basic understanding of oral infectious diseases.
  • Provide a pipeline of qualified scientists to maintain the level of excellence of teaching and research at dental schools nationally, and the Center for Oral Infectious Diseases and RSDM locally.
  • Train scientists conversant in dental diseases who can translate basic research findings into clinically relevant diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic methods.

Students interested in pursuing a research career in oral biology should apply to the 13 track of the GSBS PhD Program, GSBS-Newark