NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) awarded $66.8 million in a seven year grant to consolidate their dental practice-based research network initiative into a unified nationally coordinated effort. The network initiative is headquartered at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham School of Dentistry, and has been renamed the “National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (NDPBRN).
A dental practice-based research network operates as an investigative union of practicing dentists and academic scientists. The network enables practitioners to propose or participate in research studies that address day-to-day issues in oral healthcare.
According to NIDCR Director Martha Somerman, D.D.S, Ph.D, the initial seven-year Regional Dental PBRN grants proved to be extremely productive. The networks enrolled 1,719 practitioners in 43 states. In collaboration with the Dental PBRN academic faculties and staff, the practitioners organized and conducted 51 research studies, generated 87 journal articles on topics ranging from preventive and restorative dentistry to pain management and smoking cessation.
The NDPBRN plans to expand the number of participating practitioners to 5,000. Another goal is to extend practitioner participation across the country. “With today’s advanced communications tools, no rural community is too remote for participation in the national network,” said Gregg Gilbert, D.D.S, M.B.A, the NDPBRN National Network Director and Chair of the UAB School of Dentistry’s Department of General Dental Sciences.
For more information, go to http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/.