Doctor of Philosophy in Oral and Craniofacial Biomedical Sciences

The PhD in Oral and Craniofacial Biomedical Sciences is offered through the School of Dentistry and housed in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. The curriculum is designed to provide the candidate with a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of their chosen professional field and training in research methods.  The students have required and elective lecture-based courses and laboratory hands-on training in specific research methods. The required courses are in statistics, responsible conduct in research, and research methodology. All elective course work will be chosen by the student and their advisory committee. The final decision for granting the degree is based on the ability of the candidate to grasp all subject matter and demonstrate the completion of an independent research project. In addition, the candidate must have acquired the skills to clearly communicate research results clearly in both oral and written formats. This degree is not granted solely for the completion of the course work, residence, and technical requirements (although these benchmarks must be met).

All required courses within this program are taught in small, face-to-face classes, at the School of Dentistry, in Dallas, Texas. This program may include research collaboration with investigators throughout the world.

The PhD program is administered by the OBIO/OCBS Graduate Program Committee, which has representatives from the various research focus areas within the Department of Biomedical Sciences, as well as clinical faculty from other departments or specialty areas. The Department of Biomedical Sciences serves as a hub for research at the School of Dentistry. Additional interdisciplinary and translational research opportunities are provided by research faculty located in the clinical departments or specialty areas of Advanced Education in General Dentistry, Comprehensive Dentistry, Dental Public Health, Diagnostic Sciences, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, and Public Health Sciences. The program faculty interests range widely within a central research focus of craniofacial biology.

These research interests include:

  • Bioengineering and Regeneration. This focus area offers a wide range of research projects using bioengineering scaffolds and delivery vehicles needed for tissue regeneration, plus biomechanics of dental tissues (particularly dentin and bone, with the application of this data to the design of new dental materials).
  • Craniofacial Development and Genetics. New discoveries in genetic epidemiology and the functional genomics of commonly inherited disorders have opened up avenues for early diagnosis and intervention.
  • Mineralized Tissue Biology. This area of study includes a broad spectrum of topics covering cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions during organogenesis and structural biology.
  • Translational Research. A highly interdisciplinary field aimed at developing a new cadre of biomedical researchers trained formally in translational and clinical research.
  • Neuroscience, Pain, and Sleep Apnea. This area explores craniofacial pain pathways using TMJ dysfunction as a model along with sleep disordered breathing.
  • Microbiology and Immunology. Molecular mechanisms of host-microbe interactions of homeostasis and dysbiosis for oral systemic health.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program