The University of Rochester /Eastman Institute for Oral Health went from the ninth to the seventh top funded institution by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of National Institutes of Health (NIH). The ranking is especially significant because the University of Rochester’s dentistry and oral biology research arm—through Eastman Institute for Oral Health—is much smaller compared to the other high-ranking institutions.
This NIDCR/NIH ranking reflects fiscal year 2019. New York University and State University of New York at Buffalo ranked nine and 15, respectively. In previous years, also solely for NIDCR/NIH funding, the University of Rochester ranked 10 in fiscal year 2017 and 12 in fiscal year 2016. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of California, San Francisco are the top two funded institutions. Throughout its history, Eastman has consistently ranked in the top 10 NIDCR-funded institutions.
“The COVID 19 pandemic presents important new opportunities for oral health scientific research, and our team is working on two project ideas in this area,” said Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD, director, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, vice dean for Oral Health, School of Medicine and Dentistry, and URMC vice president. “We are pleased that despite these challenging times, our work in the basic, clinical and translational arenas continues to be valued.”
Eastman Institute for Oral Health research programs encompass a wide variety of areas, including oral infectious diseases, dental caries, salivary diagnosis and therapy, craniofacial development, orofacial pain, periodontal diagnosis and therapy, implants, materials, lasers, nerve injury and pain modulation, and practice based research, among others.
“The new NIDCR rankings show clear progress in the success of EIOH faculty and others whose research into oral health concerns is nationally competitive with far larger institutions,” said Robert G. Quivey, PhD, director, EIOH’s Center for Oral Biology. “It reflects very positively on the research faculty at EIOH and other UR facilities. The data suggest that additional growth will take the institution into the highest ranks of oral biology funding, an achievable goal that will greatly benefit our patients and neighbors in the Rochester community.”
“Through Eastman Institute’s dedication to improving the population’s oral health,” added Dorota Kopycka-Kedzierawski, DDS, MPH, director of EIOH’s Clinical and Translational Research Core. “NIDCR’s support helps our talented, hardworking faculty bring innovative ideas to fruition.”
Current grants are funding studies to examine the role of behavior and stress in children's tooth decay and to explore the role of yeast in infants who have a high risk for severe early childhood caries. A University-wide grant supports using innovative technology to discover preventive treatments for salivary gland radiation damage typical for head and neck cancer patients. In addition, a twice renewed grant allows expansion of the Center for Oral Biology's renowned training program for oral biologists and dentist-scientists.