VCU becomes first Virginia university to offer Ph.D. in oral health research

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A new Ph.D. program at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry will provide training for students who wish to pursue research in oral health or the biomedical sciences.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in oral health research, which is focused on cancer, infection and stem cell engineering, will welcome its inaugural class in the fall semester. VCU is the first university in the state to offer a Ph.D. program focused on oral health research.

“The importance of good oral health, and its relationship to overall human health, is well documented,” said David Sarrett, D.M.D., dean of the VCU School of Dentistry. “The Ph.D. program in oral health research will emphasize these relationships in training future researchers, who will make discoveries and translate them to improved patient care by dentists and oral health care providers.”

Doctoral-level faculty primarily from School of Dentistry, and also from the School of Medicine and School of Engineering, will mentor students through cross-disciplinary research projects in the program, which emphasizes independent research and culminates in the completion of an original research project.

“While the program is based in the School of Dentistry, it will have active collaborations across the university allowing for mutual exchange of talent and expertise,” said program director Oonagh Loughran, Ph.D.

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