The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) awarded three fellowships during the opening ceremonies of the 97th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research on June 19 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Francesca Bonino, DMD, MS, received the AADR William B. Clark Fellowship, which recognizes investigators carrying out clinical research in periodontology. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Periodontology at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and teaches periodontology in the school’s undergraduate clinic.
Bonino’s research interests include the impact of peri-implant soft-tissue properties on patient-reported, clinically assessed outcomes of dental implants, the biological complications of dental implants, and digital dentistry. She received her DMD from Boston University and her postgraduate certificate in periodontology and MS from Tufts University.
The AADR William B. Clark Fellowship was established in memory of William B. Clark, the late professor of oral biology and director of the Periodontal Research Center at the University of Florida. The $5,000 award, intended to provide travel and other support related to training during the fellowship period, is supported by P&G Professional Oral Health, Crest + Oral B.
Julie Marchesan, DDS, PhD, received the AADR Anne D. Haffajee Fellowship. She is a research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research targets the pathogenesis of periodontal disease, with a focus on the role of pathogen recognition receptors and sensors and novel pathobionts in the host response. She received her DDS from the University of Sao Paulo and her PhD from the University of Michigan.
“The AADR Anne D. Haffajee Fellowship supports women researchers at the early stages of their scientific careers,” said AADR president Maria Ryan. “We are pleased to present this fellowship to Julie Marchesan, who is a rising young star and are grateful for all those who have made this fellowship possible through their generous donations.”
The fellowship recognizes Haffajee’s contributions to clinical research in periodontology and oral biology as well as her prominence as a female leader and role model in the field. The $10,000 award’s long-term objective is to increase the representation of women in the higher ranks of science and academia in oral biology.
Jessica Scoffield, PhD, is the first recipient of the AADR Proctor and Gamble Underrepresented Faculty Research Fellowship. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where she studies the role of commensal bacterial in polymicrobial pulmonary and oral infections.
Scoffield’s research has led to the discovery of novel mechanisms used by commensal bacteria that interfere with the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a multidrug-resistant pathogen that causes deadly lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Her lab aims to identify and characterize anti-infective strategies used by commensal bacteria and develop improved therapeutics that are active against recalcitrant bacterial species.
Scoffield received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Tuskegee University and her doctorate in microbiology from Auburn University. She completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at UAB.
“The goal of this fellowship is to support researchers from under-represented racial and ethnic groups at the early stages of their scientific careers and to increase representation of these under-represented groups at the faculty level in science and academia,” said Ryan.
Supported by P&G Professional Oral Health, Crest + Oral B, the $10,000 award must be put towards post-doctoral research, establishment of a laboratory, the completion of a research project, or preparing research for publication or grant submission.