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OADR

The Office of the Assisstant Dean of Research  (OADR) promotes a research culture at the School of Dental Medicine and supervises research efforts undertaken by faculty and students.

The OADR is located on the main floor of the Medical Sciences Campus Building. The 1500 square feet facilities include two dental chairs and office space for researchers and administrative support personnel. Additional office space and a conference room occupy 600 square feet in the lower level of the School of Dental Medicine. The OADR is fully equipped with computer terminals connected to Internet2 and has videoconference facilities.

The OADR is organized into four “cores” to support its associated programs and activities: administrative, informatics/ biostatistics, research programs and development, and external supporting programs.

 

 

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The Administrative Core, under the direct supervision of the Assistant Dean, supports the overall administrative and programmatic activities. Consists of two business officers, a clinical center coordinator and the program coordinators.

 

 

administrative

 

 

The Biostatistics Core advises and trains faculty and students in study design and methodology for the conduct of scientific research. This Core’s available resources include an oral epidemiologist, statistician, medical bioinformatics expert, editor and research assistant.

 

informatics

 

The External Supporting Programs Core enhances and expands the support for research.  Additional fiscal support for pilot studies, equipment, and faculty and student development is obtained from Corporate funding, RCMI, CRC, and CCHD. 

The Research Program and Activities encompasses the following research and training areas:

  • Researchers’ Development Pipeline: exposes high school, college, dental undergraduate and post doctoral students to an array of research related activities and experiences. 
  • Corporate Research: the conduct of clinical trials provides junior faculty members and students with the opportunity to gain valuable clinical research experience.

 Research Programs and Development Pipeline

Over almost two decades, the UPR School of Dental Medicine has worked cooperatively with Corporate partners conducting a significant number of Phase III and IV clinical trials, designed to evaluate the effect of various agents for the control of plaque and gingivitis;  toothpaste formulations with novel delivery systems for the prevention of dental caries; the efficacy of toothpaste formulations and rinses to treat dentinal sensitivity and teeth bleaching products. They have also collaborated on a variety of standardization and calibration excercises for local examiners in shade selection, QLF and FOTI; plaque and gingivitis, and sensitivity programs.

These collaborative research initiatives/clinical trials, standardization/calibration excercises and other scholarly activities have served as excellent vehicles to train young dentists from Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic interested in developing their clinical research skills, while they were enrolled in a Master's program in conjunctioin with a dental specialty at the UPR School of Dental Medicine (MSD), or a Master's program in Clinical Research (MSc) at the UPR Medical Sciences Campus.

The vast majority of graduates of these two programs now hold faculty positions in academic institutions in the USA, Latin America and Puerto Rico, or have been appointed to positions such as directors of research or post doctoral clinical programs.  Other trainees currently serve sa research associates in the corporate world or have pursued PhD programs at universities in the United States and Europe.

 

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High School students are encouraged to participate in school town or state Annual Scientific Fairs and present their projects at national and international meetings: coordinator Dr. Lydia Lopez.

Junior and Senior university students majoring in biology at the University of Puerto Rico are offered an elective 3 credit course in research at the UPRSD. Generally, the participating students have an interest in pursuing a career in Dentistry or Medicine. Each year 8 to 10 students enroll in the course; the popularity is the Dental School environment and the interaction with dental students and faculty.

Students from UPR and other universities in Puerto Rico are encouraged to participate on a voluntary basis as research assistants in clinical and epidemiological research projects at the UPRSDM.

UPRSDM Research Center coordinates a Summer Research Experience abroad (6-10 weeks), a three credit elective course, for first and third year dental students. Students can conduct mentored research under NIH funded scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Minnesota, or at the UPRSDM. Upon completion of this summer research experience, a mentor from UPRSDM assists the student in an abstract preparation for a poster or oral presentation. Students are further required to present the research project at one of the following meetings: the American Association for Dental Research, International Association of Dental Research, the Research Forum of the UPR Medical Sciences Campus, or the local American Student Dental Association meeting.

Post doctoral students in the Pediatric Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Orthodontics, Endodontics and Oral Surgery Residency Programs are encouraged to pursue a Master in Science of Dentistry (MSD) offered at UPRSDM. Faculty and researchers from the Office of the Assistant Dean of Research and  the Center for Clinical Research and Health Promotion coordinate and instruct the statistics and research design courses, as well as serve as mentors for the post-doctoral students enrolled in these Program.

 

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