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SIU School of Dental Medicine

About the School

About the School of Dental Medicine


SIU SDM Research Handbook

The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine Research Handbook is intended to assist faculty and students in their efforts to develop and manage their research projects. The handbook provides information about internal funding, external funding, research compliance protocols, and the ethical and responsible conduct of research.

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SIU SDM Research Videos

The SIUE Research and Creative Activities group recently published a video highlighting the groundbreaking research of Drs. Kevin Rowland, Section Head of Physiology at SIU SDM, and Cyril Pandarakalam, Assistant Professor in the Section of Diagnostic Sciences at SIU SDM. The two esteemed faculty members at SIU SDM are studying the effects and safety of a newly formulated topical drug to alleviate oral pain in dental procedures.

Watch this exciting SIU SDM Research Video on YouTubeYouTube

SIU SDM Research News

SIU SDM’s Garcia to be ADEA Scholar in Residence

Dr. GarciaSouthern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine’s (SIU SDM) Dr. Nathalia Garcia will participate in the American Dental Education Association’s (ADEA) Enid A. Neidle Scholar-in-Residence program. The award was announced at the March 2017 ADEA Annual Session in Long Beach, Calif.

To obtain the award, Garcia had to propose a research project related to women issues in a dental academic career. She is studying “Gender and Faculty Research Productivity in Academic Dentistry.”

“During my experience at ADEA, I will survey faculty from dental schools around the country to evaluate productivity, and determine what perceptions and practices might be encouraging or discouraging their ability and willingness to engage in the kind of advanced studies the field requires,” said Garcia, a periodontist at the SIU SDM. “In the course of my experience at ADEA I would also use every opportunity to be more informed about promotion and advancement policies for women in academia in other areas of the country.

“I would like to know how gender related issues are dealt with successfully in other institutions, and how other universities or organizations promote greater satisfaction and quality of teaching for women in academic dentistry nationally.”

Garcia will spend time at the ADEA office in Washington, D.C. during July 2017, and again in both March and June 2018. She will conduct her research, and at the same time explore issues facing women faculty, including promotion, advancement and tenure policies, entry and re-entry into the workforce, child care and elder care, women’s health, work patterns, advanced education and research opportunities, and other gender-related issues. Each scholar is assigned to a senior ADEA staff member and involved in a range of ADEA activities, in addition to her principal project.

Garcia expects the experience to not only benefit her personally and professionally, but also the SIU SDM. “The ADEA experience will provide discovery of new avenues of leadership in my work and personal life,” she said. “I hope to develop contacts and guidance, so that I can provide greater leadership and opportunities for the women that I teach and mentor.  

“I expect to access information to promote excellence in education and gender fairness,” Garcia said. “I would also like to become a resource for women, who may be considering careers in academic dentistry, and thereby reinforce the importance of women in the field of dental education nationally. If we increase female participation at every level of dentistry, it will become easier for both genders to be successful and find the personal balance necessary to provide high quality dental care to their patients.”

This Scholar-in-Residence Program honors Enid A. Neidle, former president of ADEA (1985-86). Under her leadership, ADEA adopted its policy of promoting the advancement of women in dental education. The program offers a unique opportunity for a dental educator to concentrate on issues affecting female faculty.

Photo: Dr. Nathalia Garcia, periodontist at the SIU School of Dental Medicine.

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SIU School of Dental Medicine Hosts Research Day

The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) highlighted the important role research plays in the daily practice and continued advancement of the dynamic profession of dentistry during its 2017 Research Day held Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

“Our profession is constantly improving treatment alternatives and introducing new and better options,” said Bruce Rotter, DMD, dean of the SIU SDM. “The dental practitioner must often make choices regarding which are the best procedures and materials to treat their patients. Research forms the basis for these decisions.”2017 Research Day

At the School of Dental Medicine, we want our students to have a functional understanding of basic and translational research so they have the ability to make informed decisions as practitioners,” he added.

The event’s featured speaker was John A. Sorensen, DMD, PhD, FACP. Sorensen is a professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry, associate dean of Graduate Studies, director of the Biomimetics Biomaterials Biophotonics Biomechanics and Technology laboratory (B4T) and director of research for the Graduate Prosthodontics Program at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle.

Dr. Sorensen’s presentation was entitled, “Evidence Based Dentistry are Not Dirty Words – answering questions that arise in everyday practice.”

“As future and currently practicing clinicians, it is critical to understand that the practice of dentistry can be enhanced by asking and answering relevant questions,” said Anita Joy, BDS, PhD, associate professor and director of the SIU SDM Office of Research. “Research at various levels can help us do just that.”

Research Day also featured a Student Table Clinic Exhibition, which featured 13 posters detailing the scholarly work of dental students, as well as resident and faculty-produced research.2017 Research Day

Year 2 student Vidhi Pandya was awarded first place for her research project: “Role of TGF-β in Cyclosporine-Induced Gingival Overgrowth: A Pilot Study.”

“Vidhi investigated the feasibility of using a novel 3D tissue model to replicate in the lab the dynamics of human gingival tissue,” Joy explained. “She was able to show that the tissue model is a viable tool to study gingival diseases in the lab.”

“I was pleasantly surprised to win first place and appreciated my hard work being recognized,” Pandya said. “I find periodontology and its related aspects to be incredibly interesting. Thus, I wanted to gain more in-depth knowledge into it.”

Pandya conducted her research through the SIU SDM Dean’s Summer Student Research Fellowship (DSSRF), a competitive program designed to introduce students to research.

 “I enjoyed the opportunity to apply various concepts that we have learned in class to an experiment,” she added. “It was a rewarding experience that I hope will allow me to stay current on the latest research in order to provide the best possible care for patients in future.”

Dentsply Sirona sponsored the first place award, which provides the recipient the opportunity to present their work at the Annual American Association for Dental Research (AADR) meeting. Pandya will present in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in March 2018.

Photo: SIU SDM Research Day featured speaker Dr. John A. Sorensen.

SIU SDM Y2 Vidhi Pandya earned first place during the Student Table Clinic Exhibition. She holds her award, and stands with representatives from Dentsply Sirona Amy Schneider and Joel Pluymert and SIU SDM Dean Dr. Bruce Rotter (far right).

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Student Research

Research Day

Each year, the SIU SDM Research Day features the annual Student Table Clinic Competition. Winners of the competition earn opportunities to present their research at research competitions throughout the country.

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2018 Dean’s Student Research Fellowship Program

Each year, funding is made available for student participation in research, sponsored by SDM faculty. Research fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis as determined by merit of a submitted research proposal. This program is designed to introduce a student to research. Funding for a second year student is approved only in rare cases. Details of the research program and how to apply are offered through the links that follow:

American Association of Oral Biologists Award

Each year, one student earns the American Association of Oral Biologists Award. The award recognizes a senior dental student who has made significant contributions to the advancement of oral biology and has demonstrated the potential for further achievement in this field. This award recognizes the ability of the student to think critically and to participate in original research related to oral biology, as well as the student’s academic achievement and enthusiasm for oral biology. Casey Ritchhart earned the honor and award for the Class of 2017.

Quintessence Award for Research Achievement

Each year, one student earns the Quintessence Award for Research Achievement. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in research. Spencer Blackham earned the honor and award for the Class of 2017.

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SIU SDM Research Committee and Research Forms

All research conducted by SDM faculty (regardless of the type or source of funding) and changes to current/ongoing research projects must be approved in advance by the SDM Research Committee. No scholarly activity points will be awarded for research activity which was not pre-approved by the Research Committee.

The SDM Research Committee requests all materials which need consideration and/or approval be submitted to Office of Research for processing at least one week before the next committee meeting. The FY2018 SDM Research Committee meeting schedule is:

SDM Research Committee
FY 2016 Meeting Schedule
Materials for
Due By
September 20, 2018 September 13, 2018
October 18, 2018 October 11, 2018
November 15, 2018 November 8, 2018
December 20, 2018 December 13, 2018
January 17, 2019 January 10, 2019
February 21, 2019 February 14, 2019
March 21, 2019 March 14, 2019
April 18, 2019 April 11, 2019
May 16, 2019 May 9, 2019
June 20, 2019 June 13, 2019

Other important events for FY 2019

April 8, 2019: Research Day Table Clinic Competition

April 9, 2019: Research Day

April 30, 2019: Research Day Awards Luncheon

If you have any questions, please contact the Director of Research any member of the SDM Research Committee for assistance.

  • Dr. Omran, Chair; Ext. 7292
  • Dr. Garcia, Vice Chair; Ext. 7180
  • Dr. Welch; Ext. 7248
  • Dr. Utreja; Ext. 7215
  • Dr. Rowland; Ext. 7212
  • Dr. Joy, Director of Research; Ext. 7028 or Ext. 7117

Pilot Project Application Forms

Advanced Investigation Award Application Forms

2018 Dean's Student Research Fellowship Program

SDM Research Projects – No Funds Requested (N.F.R.)

SDM STimulus Award for Resubmissions (STAR)

Other Office of Research Forms

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American Association for Dental Research

The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine is an Institutional Section member of the American Association for Dental Research, and we encourage our faculty, research staff and students to join AADR at the individual level. Dedicated scientists turn to AADR to move their research into action.


Being an AADR member will give you:

  • Increased opportunities to advocate for the future of dental, oral and craniofacial research;
  • Online access to cutting-edge science published in the Journal of Dental Research;
  • A subscription to the monthly AADR Science Advocate e-newsletter;
  • Discounted registration rates to attend AADR and IADR meetings;
  • A platform to network and collaborate with researchers and others in the field of dentistry;
  • And much more!

For more information and to join, visit

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