In August 2018, Apoena De Aguiar Ribeiro, DDS, MS, PhD, began her appointment as an associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry Department of Diagnostic Sciences.
In her role at UNC-CH School of Dentistry, she will provide didactic teaching to pre-doctoral and graduate students, participate in research and offer committee service.
She will also provide service to dentists around the country through her work with the school’s clinical microbiology service, performing analyses of cultures for identification and quantitation of potential pathogens and implementation of molecular techniques for diagnostic microbiology.
“Dr. Ribeiro brings a wealth of expertise to the Oral Microbiology Division of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences,” said Chair of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Valerie Murrah, DMD, MS, MAEd. “Her knowledge of pediatric caries and the oral microbiome adds significantly to the expertise of our Oral Microbiology Division. Her track record of recent publications and her national and international recognition will no doubt result in a synergy with multiple investigators in the school.
“In addition to serving as part of the oral microbiology team, Dr. Ribeiro will join Dr. Kimon Divaris as part of his research team working on an NIH grant addressing pediatric caries. We are excited to welcome Dr. Ribeiro to the department and to the UNC-CH School of Dentistry!”
Ribeiro will prepare grant applications for submission to NIH and other potential funding agencies, in addition to mentoring students in research projects, performing data analyses and manuscript preparation. Her research interests include translational science with a focus on the oral microbiome communities and their metabolic profiles as determinants in oral and systemic health and dysbiosis, as well as dental caries in children and adolescents. The latter will allow her to work closely with faculty in the school’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry, like Divaris.
“I’m deeply honored and very excited to join the Department of Diagnostic Sciences at UNC-CH School of Dentistry, now as an associate professor,” said Ribeiro. “I cannot think of a better place to work alongside faculty and researchers, and to engage our brilliant students in dentistry that can impact the world.
I feel fortunate to be part of the UNC-CH family again and look forward to sharing my experiences, as well as having new experiences and ideas with colleagues and students. I will actively contribute with my experience in teaching, researching and service to support the UNC-CH School of Dentistry’s move beyond excellence!”
During her 20 years of teaching, she most recently served as an associate professor in the Fluminense Federal University Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Cariology for 12 years, with a joint appointment in the Department of Microbiology for five years at the Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Prior to that role, she was an associate professor in the Grande Rio University Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Cariology for eight years. Over the course of her career, she also maintained a part-time role in a solo dental practice for 22 years, devoted to providing oral health care to infants, children, adolescents and children with special needs.
Ribeiro received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Fluminense Federal University in 1995. She earned a master’s degree and certificate in pediatric dentistry in 2000, as well as a doctorate degree in microbiology in 2006, from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. She completed two years of postdoctoral training in oral microbiology at UNC-CH School of Dentistry in 2015. She has been a member of the International Organization for Caries Research since 2007, a member of the International Association for Dental Research since 1998, and a member of the Brazilian Association for Dental Research since 1997.