AADR has submitted comments to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) for NIDCR 2030, the institute’s strategic planning initiative to guide the next 15 years of dental, oral and craniofacial research. NIDCR will use ideas submitted by stakeholders to plan future workshops and research initiatives. The number of votes each idea receives will help determine which ideas receive future emphasis and are translated into funding initiatives. Voting is open until June 2. Please visit the following links to vote for AADR’s submissions:
AADR applauds the inclusion of workforce diversity in NIDCR 2030. AADR recommends using data-driven and targeted methods to increase participation by underrepresented groups. NIDCR should also work to stabilize representation throughout the research career. In addition to increasing the diversity of the pool of potential researchers, NIDCR should also look to increase retention of researchers from diverse backgrounds at all career stages, especially the vulnerable career transition phases.
Oral Health and Aging
Research addressing the oral health of the aging population is urgently needed. The US “65-and-over population is projected to nearly double over the next three decades, from 48 million to 88 million by 2050” (National Institute of Aging). According to the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 25% of adults 75 and older were edentulous. NIDCR should prioritize research on the impact of aging on care as well as implementation research on interprofessional education and care.
Oral diseases (as well as most other inflammatory diseases of the mucosae) are known to be triggered by the immunopathology resulting from the overabundance of particular combinations of species in the flora. There are now numerous microbiome studies of different inflammatory diseases, and it is becoming clear which species are associated with each of these diseases. However, extremely little is known about the mechanisms of polymicrobial synergy in oral and other diseases.
Link basic and applied periodontal disease/caries research
Some members of the dental community have expressed concern that periodontal disease and dental caries do not receive adequate research funding. However in AADR’s view, this concern is not being inclusive of the basic research findings that can be applied to the understanding, prevention and treatment of these diseases even though the specific aims of the project do not directly address periodontal disease and dental caries.
Novel Bioactive Materials
Recent trends in dental materials manufacturing demonstrate the increased inclusion of antibacterial and bioactive components in a variety of materials. Based on the reasons for failure of dental composites, and the higher than ideal failure rate, novel materials with bioactive additives that can inhibit disease and repair or replace lost tissue are essential.
AADR is also supporting the following ideas and encourages voting for them:
Precision Public Health to Avoid Increasing Health Disparities
Precision public health & precision population health (Khoury, 2016) are vital for precision health to create precision prevention, since 1/3 of mortality is preventable thru modifying social disparities in health (eg tobacco use, low physical activity, poor nutrition). Neighborhood- (eg census tract tobacco use prevalence and census tract air quality reports) and individual-level data (eg nicotine metabolic rate) could provide more precise prevention without increasing health disparities.
Promoting Diverse Investigators Through Mentoring Pilot Projects
For 20 years, NIA has funded the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR). The main function of each RCMAR is its Investigator Development Core (IDC). Annually, IDCs solicit pilot project proposals (1 yr, $25-$30K) from local junior, minority investigators. Pilot projects are intended to provide preliminary results for subsequent NIH proposals. IDCs provide mentoring to awarded scholars, at least up through their first successful NIH grant award. NIDCR could do something similar.
Please click here for the full comments.