Mastering Dental Science

dental scientistsThe Eastman Institute for Oral Health has redesigned its Master’s Program in Dental Science to help grow the clinical research base of the Institute, train residents in clinical and translational research, recruit clinician-scientists as faculty and expand the basic science offerings.

In the program’s history, more than 200 master’s degrees have been awarded to students, the overwhelming majority of whom were D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree-holders at Eastman. These students came to Rochester for advanced training in dentistry and degree-oriented work in basic or clinical science. In the 1970s and 1980s, approximately half of the deans of U.S. dental schools, and many departmental chairs, had earned a master’s degree and/or a doctoral degree at the University of Rochester.

But the number of people seeking advanced degrees in science has declined globally in academic dental institutions and that has created problems for teaching institutions. In the U.S, there are currently more than 400 open faculty positions in dental schools.

The basic science tracks of the new master’s program emphasize bacterial, cellular and developmental research, taking advantage of substantial strength in these areas in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, not only in the Center for Oral Biology but also throughout the Medical Center. The clinical and translational track concentrates coursework in biostatistics and research design combined with clinical research and will have a strong link to the Medicinal Center’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The basic science tracks emphasize exocrine biology and regenerative medicine track, developmental biology and genomics.