Dental Education News: January 2022
Highlights
University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine Dental School Alum Lawrence Tabak Named Acting NIH Director

The University at Buffalo is proud to share that alumnus Lawrence Tabak has been named the acting director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, according to an announcement this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tabak, who currently serves as the principal deputy director at the NIH, will assume the role on Dec. 20, and hold the position while the administration searches for a successor for NIH director Francis S. Collins. Read more.
Touro College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College: Disparities in Dental Care Facing Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

There is a divide in access to proper dental care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Many general dentists are not trained to properly handle situations that may arise when treating the population, while caregivers for those with IDD are in a constant search for providers equipped to address the disparities. Read more.
Research
University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine: Obesity Raises the Risk of Gum Disease by Inflating Growth of Bone-Destroying Cells

Chronic inflammation caused by obesity may trigger the development of cells that break down bone tissue, including the bone that holds teeth in place, according to new University at Buffalo research that sought to improve understanding of the connection between obesity and gum disease. The study, completed in an animal model and published in October in the Journal of Dental Research, found that excessive inflammation resulting from obesity raises the number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), a group of immune cells that increase during illness to regulate immune function. MDSCs, which originate in the bone marrow, develop into a range of different cell types, including osteoclasts (a cell that breaks down bone tissue). Read more.
Grants
NYU College of Dentistry Awarded $21 Million to Implement Program Addressing Family Maltreatment in the Army

The U.S. Army, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has awarded researchers at NYU College of Dentistry funding to implement an evidence-based program to assess and respond to incidents of family maltreatment in the military. The researchers will receive an estimated $21 million in federal funding over 10 years to support the Army in successfully adopting the model, which has been shown to improve fairness and reduce further maltreatment. Read more.
University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine Receives Nearly $735,000 to Expand Dental Care for Patients with Disabilities in WNY

The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine has received a nearly $735,000 grant from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation to increase the delivery of critical dental treatment to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Western New York, as well as to help grow the oral health care workforce prepared to treat this population. The funding will help resume and expand a previous initiative between the UB School of Dental Medicine’s S-Miles To Go program and nonprofit Arc GLOW that provided dental care to patients with disabilities in the university’s mobile dental clinic. Read more.
Faculty
Dr. Rajesh Khanna Named Director of the NYU Pain Research Center

Rajesh Khanna, PhD, an internationally known expert in pain research, has been named director of the NYU Pain Research Center, effective January 1, 2022. Prior to joining NYU, Dr. Khanna was the associate director of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and a member of the BIO5 Institute. Read more.