UCSF School of Dentistry has again led all other U.S. dental schools in 2021 in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For nearly 30 years, the school has held this coveted first-place position for its groundbreaking research aimed at improving health and understanding fundamental science.
The School of Dentistry joins its sister schools — the School of Nursing and the School of Pharmacy — in ranking first among their peer institutions. Overall, UCSF earned the top spot among public institutions in funding and ranked fourth among all public and private institutions. Read UCSF’s coverage of the rankings.
The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, investing more than $32 billion a year to enhance life, and reduce illness and disability.
In 2021, the School of Dentistry garnered the top position in NIH funding among dental schools by receiving 71 awards for grants and contracts, amounting to $22 million in funds. Approximately 50 percent of the School of Dentistry’s 2021 NIH funding was awarded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
“UCSF School of Dentistry’s NIH-funded research ranges from the fundamental basic sciences to clinical and translational science to community-based dissemination and implementation research to policy sciences,” said Stuart Gansky, MS, DrPH, the associate dean for research and Lee Hysan Chair of Oral Epidemiology in the School of Dentistry.
“Our faculty continue to be extremely productive and creative with their research, diversifying and expanding their programs, despite the continuing challenges of pandemic surges. UCSF trainees and early career investigators were particularly successful this year which bodes well for the future of research at UCSF and the wider oral and craniofacial research community,” said Gansky.
Noteworthy projects funded in 2021 include research by Fred Chang, MD, PhD, who is studying mechanisms of cell growth and division. Dr. Chang received $565,250 from the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award, a highly competitive and prestigious five-year award by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The project will study how biophysical properties of cytoplasm and nucleoplasm impact cellular processes, establishing the basis for future work in cellular density.
Another pioneering project is headed by Sarah Knox, PhD, who is building upon her research on salivary glands by defining mechanisms driving the progression of dry eye disease, which occurs in people with Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The five-year grant from the National Eye Institute funds the study of corneal cell diversity and differentiation with single-cell RNA sequencing and an autoimmune regulatory deficient murine model.
Top 10 NIH funded research projects at UCSF School of Dentistry in 2021:
||Harnessing natural stem cell-based strategies for mammalian dental renewal
||Cellular homeostasis pathways in bacteria
||Defining mechanisms driving salivary gland regeneration
||Sjögren's International Collaborative Clinical Alliance next generation studies (SICCA-NextGen)
||Phenotype-driven approach to understanding the function of craniofacial regulators using IMPC-generated mouse strains
||Chronic chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy: role of neuroplasticity and stress
||Reducing oral health disparities in children: assessing the multilevel impact of a standardized preventive dental care system
||Enamel atlas: systems-level amelogenesis tools at multiple scales
||Olfactory memory acquisition consolidation and recall
||The effect of sleep on neural circuit connections