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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.

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Scientific Day

Each year the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry holds an annual Scientific Day where dental students, dental hygiene students, and residents present findings from their research projects or describe new and innovative clinical techniques. Area dentists, hygienists, faculty and staff attend this event, so it is a great opportunity to network and meet new colleagues. The event will be held on April 25, 2024.

Students are required to attend this event. Students who fail to attend Scientific Day will be required to attend a similar number of hours of continuing education and complete a written review of the scientific literature on an assigned topic.

A number of awards are given for presentations in various categories, including the ADA/Dentsply Sirona Student Clinician Research Program to the highest-ranked dental student poster and the ADHA Award by Johnson & Johnson to the highest-ranked dental hygiene student poster. The latter two awards sponsor an expense-free trip for the winners to present their project at the annual meetings of the American Association for Dental Research and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, respectively. In addition, all students are eligible for a number of great door prizes at the awards luncheon.


Sharukh S. Khajotia, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research and Innovation
University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry
1201 North Stonewall Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Tel. 405 271-6545