Research at the College of Dentistry
Research takes place throughout the College of Dentistry. The Dows Institute for Dental Research, established in 1976 with a gift by the Dows family, offers collaborative, joint-use research laboratories and core research space.
The College of Dentistry's research goals include advancing research and scholarship in oral, craniofacial, and general health. Faculty researchers pursue research through funding from federal or state sources, industrial/corporate partnerships, and private foundations. Using core research facilities, dental researchers pursue basic, clinical, and translational research collaborations.
Current research includes the role of immunity and oral infection; the use of fluoride; developing ceramics for biomedical applications; dental implants from the molecular and cellular levels; access to oral health care; how tobacco use affects oral health; craniofacial birth defects; and caring for patients with medical issues or special needs.
In Memorium: Dr. James Wefel (1947-2012)
Dr. James S. Wefel came to the UI College of Dentistry in 1972; later, he joined the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and became a research intensive faculty in the Dows Institute for Dental Research. Over the years, Jim was appointed director of the Center for Clinical Studies, head of the division of cariology, and director of the Dows Institute. In 1999, he also became administrative director of the Office of Clinical Research.
Over 40 years, Dr. Wefel received federal, industrial and foundation funding that shaped the future of research at the dental college. He received the Regent's Award for Faculty Excellence in 2000 and the prestigious International Association for Dental Research Distinguished Scientists E.W. Borrow Memorial Award in 1997 and again in 2010.