Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology

The T90/R90 Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology builds on 30-plus years of experience with highly-productive T32 and T90/R90 Training Programs at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, and provides extensive breadth and depth in training to basic and clinical scientists in multiple areas of oral health research designated as high priority by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and other National Institutes of Health entities.

2022 Summer Research Program

The T90/R90 Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology builds on a core group of UFCD faculty who collaborate extensively with one another, and with other leading scientists at University of Florida and around the globe. In addition, the research and training opportunities provided by the program are further enhanced by the recruitment of a distinguished group of mentors from other UF colleges who collectively provide an extensive set of training experiences in the biomedical sciences that are directly relevant to oral health and diseases.

Armed with the excellent resources of an R1 research institution and top-five public university, situated on a single campus, this cohesive group of mentors is extremely well-equipped to provide rigorous and focused, yet optimally flexible, training opportunities for dentists and basic scientists.

UFCD Awarded for Excellence in Training

uf college of dentistry awarded

ADEA Gies Award

The UF College of Dentistry's Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology was awarded an ADEA William J. Gies Awards for Vision, Innovation and Achievement in 2018. The Gies Awards honor individuals and organizations that exemplify the highest standards in oral health and dental education, research and leadership.

UFCD 2022 Summer Research Program

Areas of Investigation

The scientific areas encompassed in the Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology include, but are not limited to:

  • Oral Infectious Diseases
  • Mechanistic Connections Between Oral and Systemic Health
  • Virology
  • Human Microbiome
  • Salivary Gland Biology
  • Autoimmunity
  • Bone Biology
  • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Bioinformatics/Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Stem Cell Biology

Training Opportunities


  • PhD training: Individuals in this track pursue the PhD degree in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program in one of seven advanced concentrations with the option of augmenting their training with formal course work and certificates in Clinical & Translational Science through UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, or in Implementation Science or Biomedical Informatics through the Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics (HOBI) program.
  • DMD/PhD combined-degree training: Individuals in this track complete three years of dental school, then undergo PhD training in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program while completing the requirements of their fourth year of dental training during years 4 through 7. Options for formal training in Clinical & Translational Science, Implementation Science and/or Bioinformatics are also available and encouraged for the combined-degree candidates.


  • PhD-trained, non-degree seeking: Individuals in this track pursue traditional intensive post-doctoral training and will also have the option of augmenting their training with course work in Clinical & Translational Science, Implementation Science or Bioinformatics, as detailed above.
  • DMD or DDS, non-degree seeking: Individuals (non-citizen/non-permanent resident with DDS/DMD and PhD degrees) in this track are supported by the R90 and pursue intensive postdoctoral training. They also have the option to obtain training or complete a certificate program in Clinical & Translational Science, Implementation Science or Bioinformatics.

Program Director

Jose A Lemos

Jose A Lemos PhD

Phone: (352) 273-8843

Program Administration

Program Administrators

Administrator Contact Information
Associate Director Shannon Wallet, Ph.D., Louis and Marge Atkins Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Oral Biology
College of Dentistry Office of Research Ronda Breton, Assistant Director of Research Administration / Christina Mason, Research Administrator Manager
DMD Student Liaison Denise Webb, Office of Research

Internal Advisory Committee

External Advisory Committee

  • Mina Mina, D.M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pediatric Dentistry at UConn School of Dental Medicine, Program Director of the NIDCR T90/R90 Skeletal, Craniofacial and Oral Biology Training Program, DMD/PhD Program Director at UConn Health
  • Stefan Ruhl, D.D.S., Ph.D., Professor of Oral Biology, University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and Dean Emeritus, University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Training Grant Mentors

Professor College & primary/secondary Department Research Interest
Dr. Jacqueline Abranches, Associate Professor Dentistry / Oral Biology Streptococcal and fungal oral infections; clinical translational research
Dr. Jeannine Brady, Professor Dentistry / Oral Biology Host: pathogen interactions, bacterial adhesion, and immunomodulation
Dr. Seunghee Cha, Professor Dentistry / Oral & Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences and Oral Biology Epigenetic regulation of autoimmunity, Sjögren’s Syndrome, Stem cells/salivary glands
Dr. Edward Chan, Professor Dentistry / Oral Biology and Medicine / Anatomy & Cell Biology MicroRNA in cell biology, autoimmunity and oral cancer
Dr. Jia Chang, Associate Professor Dentistry / Periodontology & Oral Biology Bone development and turnover in inflammatory diseases
Dr. Jorge Frias-Lopez, Associate Professor Dentistry / Oral Biology Complex human microbial systems (microbiomes) & their interactions with the host
Dr. Frank Gibson III, Associate Professor Dentistry / Oral Biology Anaerobic bacterial infections, innate immunity and animal modeling
Dr. Jeffrey K. Harrison, Professor Medicine / Pharmacology & Therapeutics Significance of chemokine networks in the central nervous system and the development of malignant brain cancers
Dr. Gregory Hudalla, Associate Professor Engineering / Biomedical Engineering Biomaterials that direct host immune responses
Dr. Robert W. Huigens III, Associate Professor Pharmacy / Medicinal Chemistry Novel biofilm-eradicating agents that target human pathogens