Foundation for Endodontics Names First-Ever Research Fellow
The Foundation for Endodontics, the philanthropic arm of the American Association of Endodontists, announced Dr. Annie Shrestha, B.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., FRCD(C), assistant professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry, as the recipient of the Research Fellowship Award. The award is the first of its kind in the field of endodontic research and was made possible by Dentsply Sirona.
The Research Fellowship Award was developed in early 2019 in order to recruit and cultivate the next generation of endodontic clinician-scientists who will contribute to scholarship in endodontics and harness extramural resources to advance the specialty. The award emphasizes the value of formal and rigorous research training along with the importance of mentorship.
Dentsply Sirona agreed to partner with the Foundation and fund the first award, in which $250,000 is disbursed to Dr. Shrestha’s institution over a five-year period, to support her project directly. In recognition of Dentsply Sirona’s generous and enthusiastic partnership, Dr. Shrestha is termed the 2019 Dentsply Sirona Research Fellow.
Dr. Shrestha’s research project entitled “Immune Dysbiosis in Diabetes and Apical Periodontitis – Role of Cell Microenvironment” explores the role of immune dysbiosis in adaptive immune cells in the development of apical periodontitis and increase understanding of how diabetes mellitus influences this process. As part of the Research Fellowship Award, Dr. Shrestha will submit an application for extramural grant funding to continue to develop her findings and make progress toward developing immuno-therapies in which specialized biomaterials may attract and activate adaptive immune cells in order to modulate healing of apical periodontitis in immunocompromised patients.
President of the Foundation Dr. Mary Pettiette believes supporting clinician-academicians has always been important to the Foundation: “We’re proud to expand the funding opportunities available to endodontic researchers. Dentsply Sirona’s generous support of the Research Fellowship demonstrates their commitment to advancing science in endodontics. They share in our desire for more governmental funding to be allocated toward endodontic research that focuses on pulpal diseases.”
The Foundation hopes the new Research Fellowship Award will be a pipeline for junior faculty in endodontics to become impactful, independent investigators whose research advances science in the field of endodontics, and it feels strongly that Dr. Shrestha will help do this.