Summer 2016                                         Office of Research



Esquivel-Upshaw Awarded $3.2 million Grant

Dr. Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw and Dr. Arthur Clark, professors in restorative dental sciences, Division of Prosthodontics, along with their team have been awarded a $3.2 million, five-year NIH-NIDCR R01 grant for their research project, “Novel coatings to minimize surface degradation and fracture susceptibility of dental ceramics.”  The collaboration is with the UF departments of chemical engineering and materials science engineering.

Dr. Esquivel-Upshaw has conducted numerous clinical studies relating to wear and survival of ceramic materials. Recently, Dr. Esquivel-Upshaw completed her NIH-K23 grant on factors affecting the survival of implant-supported all-ceramic prostheses. Dr. Clark has conducted research on bioactive silicate glasses.  

Dr. Fan Ren is a distinguished professor and the main collaborator in chemical egineering. He specializes in transistor design and fabrication, including dielectric coating. Dr. Ren has worked on laser facet dielectric coatings to improve laser performance and reliability. Dr. Christopher Batich, a professor in materials science, founding director of the Graduate Biomedical Engineering Program at UF and chief operating officer for the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute is working in collaboration with the team, examining how brittle materials can be made to withstand the challenges of the oral environment using special coating techniques and materials.

Additionally, the team has been awarded the Opportunity Seed Fund Award from the University of Florida. Truly, an incredible accomplishment since the team competed with applications not only from the Health Science Center but from the entire university. Panel funding recommendations were reviewed and 16 awards were approved by the vice-president for research, including the proposal, “Novel coatings to minimize bacterial adhesions and tooth wear in denture acylic." This project has been a joint effort with the departments of restorative dental sciences, periodontology and chemical engineering.

Surely, these partnerships between the colleges of dentistry and engineering will foster more intercollegiate and interdisciplinary collaborations in the future. As a result of these two projects, patents have been filed with the UF Office of Technology and Licensing.


2016 Summer Research Students


The Summer Research Program initiated in 1995 is designed to provide incoming dental students with an interest in research the opportunity to carry out a ten-week research project, under the direction of a faculty member. No prior research experience is required to participate in this program. Since its inception, the program has been well received by both student and faculty participants.

The 2016 Summer Research Program participants began their journey on May 16.  Students will deliver an oral presentation about their research findings at the end of the program in July. 



Ann Progulske-Fox recognized as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named 168 leaders of invention and innovation to Fellow status, including 12 Floridians:

Bhansali, Shekhar                           Florida International University

Zheng, Jim P.                                   Florida State University

Letson, G. Douglas                         H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Institute

Clancey, William J.                         Institute for Human and Machine Cognition

Batarseh, Issa                                 University of Central Florida

Li, Guifang                                       University of Central Florida

Curtiss III, Roy                                 University of Florida

Progulske-Fox, Ann                        University of Florida

Schally, Andrew V.                         University of Miami

Chacour, Selim A.                           University of South Florida

Eddy, David M.                                University of South Florida

Martin, Dean F.                               University of South Florida

Those named today bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 582, representing over 190 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2015 Fellows account for 5,368 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000.

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 80 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 310 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, NAM), 27 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 32 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science, 27 Nobel Laureates, 14 Lemelson-MIT Prize recipients, 170 AAAS Fellows, and 98 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.

Learn more>>>    or go to  

Published Tuesday, December 15, 2015



Meet Our Two Newest Faculty Researchers


Zsolt Toth, Ph.D. has been recruited under the aegis of the Cancer Preeminence initiative, and appointed Assistant Professor in the College of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Biology.  Dr. Toth studies fundamental aspects of latency of herpesviruses and the role of Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) in the development of human cancers. He received postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California and then with a leading expert in viral:host interactions, Dr. Jae U.Jung, Ph.D. at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Toth has been funded by multiple grants from NIH (NIAID, NIDCR) and foundations for his groundbreaking work on the role of epigenetics in KSHV latency, with an excellent publication record (peer-reviewed and book chapters). He is also a skilled mentor and educator. When his expertise is combined with the extensive resources already at UF in the areas of virology and cancer, his knowledge base offers the students excellent new opportunities to receive outstanding training and advance their careers.


Dr. Bernadett Papp has been appointed as a research assistant professor in oral biology. Her area of expertise is in induced pluripotent stem cells and Dr. Papp will work closely with UFCD faculty to develop new externally funded projects in wound healing, diabetes and tissue regeneration.


 The Conversation

A website where researchers or experts write about topics of interest.

What is chronic pain and why is it hard to treat?  Dr. Robert Caudle, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Neuroscience Division, University of Florida. 



Office of Research

New Website Information 

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Responsible Conduct of Research



the site for New Awards &  Notifications 



Enjoy the lazy days of summer!