Dental School receives $4.5 million

Thomas W. Oates, D.M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas Oates directs the Southwest Region of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

The Dental School at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio received a seven-year, $4.5 million subcontract from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (NDPBRN) coordinating center. The NDPBRN is supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Dental School will lead the Southwest Region of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (NDPBRN). As part of the national network, the subcontract will be used to develop a network of dental practitioners across five states, including Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Kansas, interested in collaborating on research.

Thomas W. Oates, D.M.D., Ph.D., is director of the NDPBRN Southwest Region. He is assistant dean for clinical research in the Health Science Center Dental School and is professor and vice chair in the Department of Periodontics.

“This network seeks to strengthen the relationship between research and the oral health needs of the community and to build research studies targeting those needs,” Dr. Oates said. “We’ll also look to partner with state dental and dental hygiene associations, dental schools and dental educators.”

Dr. Oates said the grant will build on the already established South Texas Oral Health Network (STOHN), a local practice-based dental research network headquartered at the Health Science Center Dental School, which includes more than 60 dental practitioners from throughout South Texas.

Rahma Mungia, B.D.S., MS.c., co-director of the STOHN and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the Health Science Center, is deputy director for the NDPBRN Southwest Region, and Claudia Cavazos, D.D.S., an alumna of the Dental School and dental director of Gateway Community Health Center, one of the Dental School’s first clinical partners in Laredo, is an NDPBRN Southwest Region executive committee member.

Dentists and dental hygienists interested in enrolling in the network should visit

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