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Stay up to date on the latest news at AADR by reading our press releases. Use the search and keyword features on the left to sort past press releases. 

July 2021 – Dina García

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Dina T. García, is a Xicana scholar born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and raised in Milwaukee, Wisc. Currently she serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where she directs the Kalpulli Research Group and is also a faculty affiliate with the iCubed Oral Health Transdisciplinary Core. Her research program examines the social and structural determinants of oral health inequities with the goal of developing community-based interventions targeted at different causal pathways. She is formally trained in community-based participatory research, qualitative and quantitative methods as well as science communication. Her freelance work has appeared in popular publications such as CNN Español. García was selected for the inaugural cohort of the AADR MIND the Future Program funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. She is a graduate of the 2016 Linton-Poodry Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Leadership Institute, founder of Cientificas de Milwaukee and a 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellow.

June 2021 – Joshua Emrick

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Joshua Emrick is a scientist and dentist with an interest in oral somatosensation, particularly pain. He received his B.S. in neuroscience with honors and highest distinction from the University of Michigan,  Ann Arbor. He was awarded his D.D.S. and Ph.D. in oral and craniofacial biology from the University of California, San Francisco as part of the integrated Dentist Scientist Training Program. Emrick completed his dissertation with Dr. David Julius studying the molecular mechanisms of pain and itch. He is now a Clinical Research Fellow at the NIDCR in the laboratory of Dr. Nicholas Ryba: his recent work aims to uncover the biological underpinnings of “tooth pain” and other oral sensations.

Emrick was awarded the NIDCR Career Transition Award (K22) this year and is now in the process of beginning his extramural research program as a new investigator. He a past recipient of an NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F30), the UC Regents Scholarship and the Elizabeth Fuhriman Gardner Award. His work has contributed to publications in the Journal of Dental Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cell, Nature and Pain. He served as the President of the AADR National Student Research Group (NSRG) and as Student Representative to the AADR Board of Directors (2013-14).

May 2021 – Kevin Byrd

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Kevin Matthew Byrd is the Anthony R. Volpe Research Scholar and Manager of Oral & Craniofacial Research at ADA Science & Research Institute (ADASRI). He is a clinician-scientist who completed his D.D.S. at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2013 and his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018. Byrd’s research has focused on understanding oral stem cell heterogeneity and how their regulation contributes to wound healing and head and neck cancers. Recently, he has expanded his scope through active collaborations across the world to apply advanced technologies to catalog the oral and oropharyngeal tissues at single cell resolution, leading to his appointment as the Coordinator for the new Human Cell Atlas Oral & Craniofacial Biological Network. His research has been supported by industry, foundations and the NIH. At ADASRI, he leads the Lab of Oral & Craniofacial Innovation (LOCI) which  explores: 1) oral epithelial stem cell regulation and heterogeneity, 2) the role of the oral cavity in systemic disease and 3) contributing to the human cell atlas for categorizing the unique and undiscovered cell types in oral and craniofacial tissues.

April 2021 – Susana J. Calderon

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Susana J. Calderon is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Illinois State University, Mennonite College of Nursing, Normal. Calderon is a veteran of the United States Air Force and holds a M.S. in nursing from Millikin University, Decatur, Ill. and a Ph.D. in nursing from Illinois State University. She conducted her post-doctoral studies at the University of Iowa, College of Dentistry, Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research on children's oral health — mainly using early behavioral intervention using social media and dietary to reduce the risk for dental caries and obesity.

Calderon is recognized for her research focused on factors influencing children's oral health behavior and overall health to prevent systematic inflammation and chronic diseases. She has been the principal investigator of extramural funding research projects and the corresponding author for the research projects' publications. Calderon is part of the inaugural class (2020-21) of the AADR Mind of the Future. Within Illinois State University, Calderon has been recognized with the University Research Initiative award (2021),  MCN Early Career Research Award (2020) and nationally in the AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholar Johnson & Johnson (2012).

Calderon serves as a journal and grant reviewer in the fields of nursing and dentistry. She is an active member of several national and international organizations and enjoys mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.

March 2021 – Stephanie Momeni

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Stephanie Momeni is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the laboratory of Hui Wu in the Department of Integrative Biomedical & Diagnostic Sciences at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland. She graduated with a M.B.A., M.S. in Dentistry and Ph.D. in Biology with specialization in Oral Microbiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Momeni’s research is focused on investigating the role of oral microbiota in overall human health. Previously a Dental Academic Research Training (DART, T90) Pre and Postdoctoral Scholar, Momeni is currently supported under a Diversity Supplement and is an NIH Loan Repayment Awardee. Her current postdoctoral research is concentrated on the identification and determination of the role of novel small molecule metabolites from biosynthetic gene clusters of Streptococcus mutans in early childhood caries. Momeni’s long-term career goal is to build a multidisciplinary research program bridging epidemiological associations with molecular science validations to further advance the study of oral microbiota impact on overall health. 


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