Kevin Byrd, DDS, PhD, recently began his appointment as a research instructor in the UNC-CH Adams School of Dentistry’s Division of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences.
In his new role, Byrd will collaborate across disciplines and universities, from basic science discoveries to clinical applications. He also will dedicate time to mentoring undergraduate and pre-doctoral students, working directly with organizations responsible for preparing students for the new integrated national board dental examination, including the UNC Student Research Groups, the Carolina Medical Student Research Program, and the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute, among others.
“Quite simply, it is an honor to be working alongside so many brilliant and talented faculty here at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. I invite anyone—faculty, staff, or student—to approach me with ideas of how I can continue to improve the mission of this school,” said Byrd. “I am looking forward to contributing to this prestigious institution’s scholarship and teaching, and I promise to do so through creativity and collaboration.”
Byrd’s research interest focuses primarily in adult stem cells and their application for human health. His research areas include: how the lining of the oral cavity protects the head and neck from microbes, toxins, and injury; technologies for better post-operative wound healing and soft tissue grafting; and continuing work to contribute to the human cell atlas for categorizing the unique and undiscovered cell types that contribute to oral and craniofacial diseases.
Byrd received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and his PhD from the UNC-CH Adams School of Dentistry. He published two peer-reviewed articles during his doctorate of philosophy studies, received numerous clinical honors and awards, and held various professional affiliations and memberships. His research has been supported by the NIH/NIDCR, including: the Training Program for the Next Generation of Oral Health Researchers (T90); an NIH/NIDCR Loan Repayment Program award; and a five-year Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08).