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 2019 IADR STAR Network Academy Fellowship labs will take place in the Washington D.C. area and are to be determined.

Sponsoring Laboratories as of July 18, 2019:

Howard University, Washington, D.C.

1. Sponsoring Lab: Molecular Biology research
Mentor: Dr. Xinbin Gu 

Description: Dr. Xinbin Gu has primarily focused her research in cancer biology, cancer chemoprevention and cancer treatment for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and other types of cancers. Her group has reported that vitamin E succinate (alpha-TOS) is able to effectively inhibit HNSCC growth and viability in in vitro and in animal model systems (Clin Cancer Res 2008;15:1840-8). Dr. Gu’s group has discovered a natural compound, Salvianolic Acid B (Sal-B), that suppresses cancer growth through selectively inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression to modulate the cell cycle and apoptosis (Int J Cancer 2009:124:2200-9; Cancer Prevention Res 2010;3:787-96; Oncotarget 2018, PMID: 30555632). Overexpression of COX-2 in the oral mucosa increases the risk of HNSCC. Understanding that selective COX-2 inhibitors can be used as chemo-preventative agents to reduce the risk of cancer. Currently, her group is working on understanding Sal-B’s pharmacokinetics and is developing a delivery system for future clinical trials. 

Dr. Gu’s group has also identified a set of cancer-associated miRNAs and characterized their functions and specific targets using various molecular techniques. Some miRNAs have shown promise in developing novel diagnostic markers and targeted therapies for head and neck cancer (Cancer Prevention Res 2011;4:1073-1083; Oncotarget 2017, PMID: 28212569). In recent years, Dr. Gu’s group has been working on a NIDCR funded project to develop the next generation of immunotherapy for cancer. Some of their ongoing developments include a humanized EGFR and EGFRvlll-bispecific immunotoxin for head and neck cancer therapy. In addition, Dr. Gu’s group has been working on a NDAF funded project to identify noninvasive salivary biomarkers for early diagnosis of diabetes and gum disease. They have found that the levels of salivary mucin proteins, such as mucin 7 and 5, are correlated with A1C levels. Their next step involves comparing and verifying the results within various populations.        

2. Sponsoring Lab: Dental Material Research
Mentor: Dr. Tongxin Wang 

Description: Dr. Tongxin Wang is a professor, who is jointly appointed with the College of Dentistry and Center for Nanomaterials in College of Engineering. Dr. Wang obtained his Ph.D. from the Institute of Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS) in 2003. Before he joined Howard University in 2007, Dr. Wang worked at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Germany in 2003 and at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 as a postdoctoral fellow. The unique feature of Wang’s lab is to combine polymers, nanomaterials, biomimetic / bio-inspired materials, and composites in order to develop novel biomaterials for bone and tooth application. Dr. Wang’s research has been supported by NIH R01, R56, RCMI/RTRN, the Department of Defense, and the Colgate Palmolive Company. His current research projects include: 

  • High performance bioresorbable nanocomposites for bone repair;
  • Biomimetic mineralization for tooth repair;
  • Tooth remineralization and tooth erosion prevention;
  • Biomimetic dental composites with prolonged lifespan;
Dr. Tongxin Wang has published more than 40 publications in peer reviewed journals including: J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem., Langmuir, Adv. Mater., J. Dent. Res., etc. Several of them have been featured on the front covers or inside covers of the journals and have been reported by many media platforms. Dr. Wang has established wide collaborations with both domestic and internationally renowned institutions such as the American Dental Association, the Paffenbarger Research Center at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) School of Stomatology, Peking University, and the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Dr. Tongxin Wang has received the First Prize Award (2012) from the Junior Faculty on Health Sciences Research Day and the Inspirational Interdisciplinary Project Award for Faculty (2014) at Howard University. Dr. Wang also currently serves as a grant reviewer for NIH/SBIR/STTR, R21, R15, and R01 on bone and dental materials.


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