Awards, Faculty and Staff

De Kok, Nares Receive Junior Faculty Awards

Two UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry faculty members have received the University’s Junior Faculty Development Awards.

Dr. Ingeborg De Kok, assistant professor in the Department of Prosthodontics, and Dr. Salvador Nares, assistant professor in the Department of Periodontology, will each receive awards up to $7,500 to support a research project during 2009.

De Kok, who joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty in 2004, will evaluate post-implant facial bone resorption using a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) system for radiologic assessment. The study will involve 20 participants who need a single implant to replace missing or extracted teeth in the maxillary anterior ridge.

This study will help assess the amount of facial bone that is lost to resorption after implant surgery in the maxillary anterior ridge.  “Up to now,” said De Kok, “this has been difficult to quantify with traditional X-ray methods due to the thin nature of the buccal plate. Now modern CBCT technologies offer a more promising method of detecting post-implant facial bone loss.”

Other sources of funding for this study are Astra Tech Dental and Sirona.

Nares, who joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty in 2005, will investigate the role of microRNA, small endogenous regulators of gene expression, in the modulation of the inflammatory response to periodontal pathogens in the oral cavity.

“As excessive inflammation triggered by these pathogens can result in bone and ultimately tooth loss, regulation of this process is of great therapeutic interest,” said Nares.