Research and scholarly activity are integral components of the mission of the OU College of Dentistry. Research activities have encompassed a variety of areas of investigation, ranging from basic studies in materials and biological sciences to clinical trials, particularly in dental implantology. The award of a $9.8 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant in 2003 from the National Institutes of Health has significantly strengthened the research infrastructure of the College. This has included establishing state of the art laboratory facilities in dental biomaterials and cell biology, and recruiting research-intensive faculty, particularly in the area of microbial genetics.
All of these research activities include student participation, and a high priority is placed on the integration of research with the educational mission of the College. A Student Research Program, funded largely by the J. Dean Robertson Society, provides stipends and other support for students to participate in meaningful research activities under faculty mentorship. Each year a number of our students present their research findings at national scientific meetings, including the International/American Association for Dental Research, the American Dental Association, the Hinman Student Research Symposium, the ADA Student Research Conference, and others. In addition, an annual Scientific Day hosted by the College showcases student research projects and provides a number of awards for outstanding presentations.
The Office of Research Development was established to promote and facilitate research activities by faculty and students. This office is directed by the Assistant Dean for Research and provides guidance and help with grantsmanship, publications, and establishing effective research collaborations. Other activities of this office include coordination of the Student Research Program, Scientific Day, the Eminent Scholar Program, and hosting other research seminars and presentations by visiting faculty. In the planning and oversight of research activities, input is provided by the Research Council, whose membership includes both faculty and students.