DEADLINE: February 5, 2021


                                          Submit Now


The purpose of this fellowship will be to support the awardee's attendance at the IADR Academy and IADR General Session & Exhibition, and then to have a research experience in a renowned research laboratory immediately before or after the IADR General Session.

The purposes of the visit are to:

  • Network with colleagues in in the area of the candidate´s own research. 
  • Develop an understanding of contemporary research environments. 
  • Learn new and innovative research techniques that can advance the science undertaken by Fellow on their return to their home.
  • Develop shared research protocols and possible funding applications.



The candidate:

  1. Must be an IADR member.
  2. Must be a current Ph.D. student OR within five years post- Ph.D.



Each fellowship is $5,000 USD for travel and accommodation for visiting a research laboratory proximate to the meeting for a period of up to three weeks immediately before or after the IADR General Session. Registration for the IADR Academy and IADR General Session is included for the successful applicant. 

The 2021 IADR STAR Network Academy Fellowship labs will take place in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

The following labs are available.

Boston University

Paola Divieti Pajevic, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Translational Dental Medicine

Director, Graduate Programs, Department of Translational Dental Medicine


The Divieti Pajevic Laboratory investigates the effects of hormones (parathyroid hormone; PTH), intracellular signaling (Gsα subunit) and mechanical forces (gravity) on osteocytes both “in vivo”, using genetically modified animal models, and “in vitro” using novel osteocytic cell line. Osteocytes, the most abundant cells in bone, are the cells that reside in the lacunae deep within the mineralized matrix of bone and communicate with one another and with osteoblasts and osteoclasts via gap junctions, located at the ends of long cytoplasmic processes that course through tunnels (cannalicula) in the bone. Their relative inaccessibility and (until recently) the lack of good in vitro cell models have impeded progress in understanding their functional roles. Although it is well established that bone responds to its mechanical environment, the mechanisms underlying mechano-transduction are poorly understood.


Osteocytes are targets for numerous systemic hormones including PTH, which acts through the PTH/PTHrP receptor (PPR). Clinically, PTH is the only available anabolic agent to treat osteoporosis. Moreover, recent evidence from us and other groups, suggests that osteocytes may partially mediate the anabolic effects of PTH via PTH mediated suppression of the osteocyte-specific protein sclerostin, a potent Wnt signaling inhibitor. To understand the role of PPR signaling in osteocytes and to determine if osteocytes directly mediate the effects of PTH on bone, we have generated mice with osteocyte-specific ablation of PPR (DMP1-PPRKO) using Cre-loxP recombination technique. Use of this model promise to greatly enhance understanding of PTH action in osteocytes and possibly lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents for osteoporosis or other osteopenic diseases.


Similarly, to investigate the role of Gsα in osteocytes, we have engineered mice lacking Gsα in these cells by using the Cre-loxP recombination technique. Consistent with the role of osteocytes in regulating bone remodeling, GsαKO mice showed severe osteopenia. Unexpectedly, these mice also displayed hematopoietic abnormalities characterized by increased number of granulocytes and monocytes both in the bone marrow and in the spleen, suggesting an important role of osteocytes in the bone hematopoietic niche. 


Boston University

Russell Giordano, DMD, CAGS, DMSc

Associate Professor, Restorative Sciences & Biomaterials

Assistant Dean, Biomaterials & Biomaterials Research

Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering


Fabrication of multiple phase interpenetrating ceramic composites. This research involves the infusion of various types porous ceramic matrices with resins, glasses and metals to fabricate materials for CAD-CAM machining systems as well as novel medical and dental implant devices.


Analysis of processing conditions and yttria content on zirconia ceramics for dental restorations. Characterization of microstructure, mechanical and optical properties, and effects of low temperature degradation.


Effects of machining and finishing conditions on ceramic materials. Research has involved the analysis of residual stress development as well as strength alteration due to machining and polishing. These conditions have been compared to controlled sequential machining and polishing to analyze the effects of milling tools, load, solutions, and devices on ceramics.


New Materials Analysis. Many new materials are introduced to the dental community each year. A number of our projects involve characterization and analysis of mechanical, physical and chemical properties of ceramic, composite resin and metal restorative systems. Accuracy, mechanical, and physical properties of 3D printed dental prosthetic devices.


Boston University

Maria A. Kukuruzinska, Ph.D.

Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Translational Dental Medicine

Associate Dean for Research

Director, Predoctoral Research Program
Director, Head and Neck Cancer Program


Current research themes:

·       Signaling pathways and epigenomic changes driving cell plasticity in head and neck cancer;

·       Targeting the beta-catenin/CBP axis for the interception of head and neck cancer;

·       Molecular and cellular basis of Sjogren's syndrome;

·       Defining signals directing the patterning of ductal structures in salivary gland branching morphogenesis. 


Some of the methodologies utilized include global RNAseq, single cell RNAseq, ATACseq, ChIPseq, biochemical approaches (IBs, IPs, enzyme assays, etc), FACS, and high resolution imaging, coupled with extensive computational analyses of large datasets.  We use zebrafish and mouse models for functional validation and for preclinical assessment of drug effectiveness.


Boston University 

Makoto Senoo, PhD

Associate Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology


Stem cells are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into specialized cell types, and their use has emerged as a novel therapeutic treatment in regenerative medicine. Although the functions of various stem cells have been extensively studied, the specific factors and mechanisms that control stem cell fate are not well understood. The focus of Senoo laboratory is to understand the regulatory mechanisms of self-renewal and differentiation of epithelial stem cells, with a long-term goal of developing novel strategies for stem cell-directed therapeutic treatments of epithelial diseases.


Discovery of p63, the master regulator of epithelial stem cells.

We and others have identified the transcription factor p63 (variably referred to as KET, p51, p40 and p73L) with high sequence identity to the tumor suppressor p53 and its homolog p73. Our initial efforts involved investigating the potential role of p63 in human cancer. However, mutation of p63 is very rare and it does not appear to function as a classical tumor suppressor. Instead, we found that p63 is essential for the proliferative potential of epithelial stem cells. Since then, our research program has been dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of self-renewal and differentiation of epithelial stem cells.


Intrinsic mechanisms that regulate epithelial stem cell self-renewal.

p63 is expressed in stem cells in many different epithelia, such as the skin, teeth, cornea, prostate, and breast. Loss-of function mouse models for p63 have revealed a dramatic epithelial phenotype during embryogenesis, marked by the loss of these tissues. As such, p63 was among the first genes proposed to function in the maintenance of stem cell populations. However, function of p63 is not simple due to the existence of isoforms with growth suppressive functions (TAp63) as well as dominant negative isoforms with oncogenic properties (DNp63). Notably, the carboxy (C)-terminus of p63 is mutated or lost in patients with ankyloblepharon-ectodermal defects-cleft lip/palate (AEC) syndrome and other ectodermal dysplasias (EDs), characterized by developmental abnormalities of ectodermal structures. Recently, by generating a novel mouse model, we found that p63 C-terminus regulates self-renewal of epithelial stem cells by balancing the TAp63 and DNp63 isoform functions. Deciphering gene programs mediated by the p63 C-terminus will provide significant insight into our understanding of physiology and pathogenesis of epithelia.


External cues that regulate epithelial stem cell self-renewal.

Stem cell function is intimately linked to extrinsic factors provided by the stem cell microenvironment, so called “stem cell niche.” Although epithelial stem cell niche has not been well characterized in vivo, many of its aspects are recapitulated in co-culture with 3T3-J2 cells, a system developed by Howard Green and colleagues in 1970’s. This co-culture has been used worldwide to regenerate skin grafts for the treatment of patients with massive full-thickness burns, and more recently for damaged corneas. By dissecting signaling pathways, we have revealed the existence of a uniquely configured mechanism in 3T3-J2 cells that optimizes support for epithelial stem cell self-renewal. Decoding “Green’s magic” will help us to develop novel strategies for manipulating external cues that regulate epithelial stem cell self-renewal in regenerative medicine.


Harvard University
Yingzi Yang

The Yang Laboratory uses molecular, cellular, genetic and genomic approaches to investigate critical roles of cell signaling in embryonic morphogenesis, adult physiology and injury repair. We mainly focus on the mammalian skeleton (craniofacial bones included) and liver, and we are exploiting these systems to explore human biology and address the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of diseases including cancer.

Cell-cell signaling plays essential and pivotal roles in both development and physiology. We are particularly interested in the Wnt, Hedgehog and Hippo signaling pathways that are evolutionarily conserved, act repetitively in different systems and regulate a diverse array of biological processes. Mutations in components of these signaling pathways cause devastating congenital defects, degenerative disorders and cancer. Our current efforts are divided into the following major projects:

1. Understand the role of signaling pathways in cell fate determination. We are investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms whereby Gs regulates fate choices of differentiating mesenchymal progenitor/stem cells by controlling several key signaling pathways in the cranial bone and periodontal tissues.

2. Understand the function of directional information in development and disease. We are investigating the regulatory mechanisms whereby Wnt signaling controls planar cell polarity (PCP) in various aspects of embryonic morphogenesis, skeletal development and homeostasis.

3. Understand the molecular and cellular mechanism underlying mechanotransduction in the skeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is a major effector of biomechanical forces. We are investigating the signaling pathways in mediating the effects of mechanotransduction in development, homeostasis and regeneration in the skeleton.








Application requires the following:

  • CV – (10 pages maximum)
  • Letter of Interest
  • Reference Letter from Dean/Chair of applicant’s current institution

Recipients of the IADR STAR Network Academy Fellowship will be required to submit a brief report on their experiences to IADR at the conclusion of the fellowship which may be published as part of the IADR Global Research Update, and will be reported to the IADR Board and Council on an annual basis.




Anthony Jones
Awards, Fellowships and Grants Coordinator


View Past Recipients of the IADR STAR Network Academy Fellowship