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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. 

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. 

February 2021 – Modupe Coker

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Modupe Coker is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Oral Biology at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, Newark, N.J. Coker completed her dental training from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. After graduation, she completed her internship at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria, and served at a rural hospital in Northern Nigeria. Coker completed her M.P.H. with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md. and her Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she studied the association between HIV infection and perinatal exposure, oral microbiome and dental caries in young Nigerian children under the NIH Fogarty program. 

Building on her microbiome, HIV and clinical expertise, Coker’s laboratory is currently conducting large-scale human microbiome research in the context of longitudinal molecular epidemiology studies in young children. Her lab is focused on building clinical infrastructure for a longitudinal cohort and utilizing metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metabolomic characterizations of oral samples to fill the aforementioned gaps and further advance understanding of the gene expressions and metabolic functioning of salivary, buccal and dental plaque microbiomes in context of the health and disease.

January 2021 – Kevin Matthew Byrd

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Kevin Matthew Byrd is currently 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 Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2018. Byrd has received numerous research honors and held various professional affiliations and memberships. Byrd’s research has focused on understanding oral stem cell heterogeneity and how their regulation contributes to wound healing and head and neck cancers. He has expanded his scope recently 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. Byrd’s research has been supported by industry, foundations, and the NIH. At ADASRI, he leads the Lab of Oral & Craniofacial Innovation (LOCI) and will 1) continue to explore oral epithelial stem cell regulation and heterogeneity, 2) study the mechanisms of oral inflammation in pediatric inflammatory diseases, and 3) lead the creation of the Human Cell Atlas for categorizing the unique and undiscovered cell types in oral and craniofacial tissue across the lifespan.

December 2020 – Cristina Vidal

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Cristina Vidal is an Assistant Professor at the of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City. Vidal obtained her D.D.S. and M.S. in Dental Sciences (Restorative Dentistry) from the São Paulo State University, Araçatuba School of Dentistry, Brazil and her Ph.D. in Dental Materials from the University of Campinas, Piracicaba School of Dentistry, Brazil. She completed a two-year post-doctoral research training at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. 

Vidal’s research interests are on endogenous mechanisms that promote degradation of dentin organic matrix in caries lesions and in adhesive interfaces. Her previous work was focused on the presence and activity of different families of endogenous proteases in sound and carious dentin. Moreover, she has expertise in therapies to inhibit collagen degradation, strengthen dentin mechanical properties and increase tissue biostability by promoting collagen cross-linking with natural-derived compounds. Vidal’s recent research projects aim to characterize host-microbiome interactions in dentin caries progression to ultimately develop novel therapies that modulate proteases involved in dentin degradation and repair processes. With more than 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts published in the last 10 years, Vidal collaborates with different research groups in U.S., Brazil and Finland. Vidal served as Vice-president and President of the Iowa Section of AADR in 2019 and 2020 and currently is a member of the IADR Awards Review Committee.  


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