The UCLA School of Dentistry has been awarded a five-year grant of more than $3 million for the scientific training and career development of dentist-scientists and oral health researchers.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Institutes of Health are the awarding agencies.  

Hung Ton-That, professor in the division of oral biology and medicine, and Dr. David Wong, Felix and Mildred Yip Professor of Dentistry, will serve as program directors.

The grant enables a research training and career development program encompassing five tracks for doctor of dental surgery/Ph.D., dentist-Ph.D., dentist-postdoctoral fellows, predoctoral Ph.D. and post-Ph.D. research fellows.

The four research pillars of the program include: cancer biology, oral cancer and stem cells; craniofacial biology, bioengineering and regenerative medicine; microbes–virulence mechanism and advanced imaging by cryo-electron microscopy; and translational genetics, epigenetics, and genomics.

Ton-That is a two-time UCLA alumnus and leader in the study of molecular and cellular mechanisms of infectious diseases. Wong studies oral cancer and saliva diagnostics, and is also a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.