The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics is a global leader in oral science and dental and craniofacial research.

A $61 million renovation of the Dental Science Building—completed in 2016—modernized dental clinics and enhanced research facilities at the college. In 2017, the college also began sustained investments in research infrastructure to make full use of its facilities, including multiple grant support specialists, a director of science writing and editing, and the Division of Biostatistics and Computational Biology. These renovations, and investments in infrastructure, along with a focus on recruiting, hiring, and supporting new researchers has resulted in a record number of external grant funds, largely from the National Institutes of Health, and a record number of grant applications. 

Top 10 in NIDCR Research Funding

In 2020, the University of Iowa was ranked 10th in the country, and 2nd in the Big 10, for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) funding with just over $6.4M,

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Iowa Section of the AADOCR

Promoting oral, dental, and craniofacial research.

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Dental Student Research

Bringing research and education together.

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Graduate Studies

Programs in eleven dental specialties and in oral science.

Seed Grant Program

Funding for early-career researchers or new projects.

Research News

Cristina Vidal working in her lab

NIH Awards Cristina Vidal $700K+ Grant

Friday, July 2, 2021
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) awarded Cristina Vidal, assistant professor in the Department of Operative Dentistry, a 5-year grant totaling over $700K for her research project studying the relationship between caries and the oral microbiome.
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Augment Your Research with the BigMouth Dental Data Repository

Friday, June 18, 2021
The BigMouth Dental Data Repository is a comprehensive database of electronic health records provided by dental schools in a partially de-identified manner. Eleven major dental schools are currently participating with Iowa joining in 2020. This repository can be used for high-powered research using information collected from each of the participating institutions, and is a promising avenue for big data research.
A list of the top 10 ranking in NIDCR Funding with Iowa at 10.

College of Dentistry Ranks in Top 10 in NIDCR Research Funding

Friday, June 11, 2021
In 2020, the University of Iowa was ranked 10th in the country for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) funding, and 2nd in the Big 10, with over $6.4M in funds awarded.

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Research Areas

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Biostatistics and Computational Biology

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry Division of Biostatistics and Computational Biology provides state-of-the-art and cost-effective biostatistics and bioinformatics support for all the research projects conducted at the college

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Bioengineering, Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells, Biomaterials and Materials Research

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry is a worldwide leader in the use of bio- and tissue-engineering of stem cells, biomaterials, and other materials to produce new and exciting therapies.

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Clinical, Translational, and Big Data Research

Dental researchers at the college have a strong history of pursuing clinical and translational research in a collaborative and supportive environment with the goal of improving patient care. These efforts are now being augmented by big data resources.

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Craniofacial, Oral Biology, Genetics, and Dental Development

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry is a worldwide leader in the genetics of craniofacial and dental development with the aim of identifying genetic and environmental causes of craniofacial and dental anomalies.

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Immunology, Inflammation, Microbiology, Caries, and Microbiome Research

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry is a worldwide leader in studies of microbiology and the microbiome and their effects on caries progression, periodontal disease and on oral cancer.

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Oral Cancer

With expertise in several related fields, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry is becoming a worldwide leader in oral cancer research. These research efforts can improve early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of oral cancer and significantly improve survival rates and reduce morbidity.

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Public Health, Epidemiology, and Behavior Science

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry is a worldwide and national leader in dental public health with specific attention on support for underserved populations and environmental influences on oral health.

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Public Policy Center and Oral Health Policy Research

Oral health is a vital component of our physical, social, and emotional well-being. Evidence increasingly links dental disease with poor health outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight, as well as heart disease. Since 1991, the Public Policy Center has investigated a broad range of dental topics in collaboration with investigators at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics focusing on conducting research that informs oral health policy at local, state, and national levels.