This application from the College of Dental Medicine (COM) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) requests renewal of the COBRE for Oral Health. The initial COBRE award in 2002 had a catalytic impact on the development of research capacity in MUSC's College of Dental Medicine and dramatically enlightened awareness of and interest in oral and craniofacial research campus-wide. The overall objective of this proposal is to firmly establish the MUSC Center for Oral Health Research (COHR) as a sustainable, independent multidisciplinary research center. Continued funding through the NCRR COBRE Program will ensure that the momentum gained during the first cycle will be unabated and the trajectory of research competitiveness will continue to climb in terms of both individual investigator awards and multi-investigator mechanisms such as program projects, center grants and additional training grants. In this renewal proposal we are requesting support for five junior investigators (four currently at MUSC and one to be recruited), who will conduct research projects of their own design with substantial one on- one and team mentoring, as well as two critical scientific cores and an administrative core that includes proven components for management and oversight, faculty development and program planning. The specific aims for the COBRE renewal are: AIM 1 Expand the critical mass of funded investigators in oral and craniofacial research by: a. mentoring the research career development of 5 to 6 additional outstanding new targeted investigators with interests and talents relevant to our theme, and b. enhancing the long-term development and continuing success of graduates as independent investigators. AIM 2 Enhance scientific core resources that will serve as platforms to increase the capacity of our targeted faculty to compete successfully for NIH funding. AIM 3 Fully implement the MUSC Center for Oral Health Research as the vehicle for successful transition to long-term competitive, renewable support from a diverse range of federal and non-federal sources.
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