Awards, Faculty and Staff

Ribeiro Receives UNC-Chapel Hill Junior Faculty Development Award 

Apoena Ribeiro, DDS, MS, PhD, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry, was awarded a 2020 UNC-Chapel Hill Junior Faculty Development Award of $10,000. 

The award is sponsored by the UNC Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and administered by the provost’s committee on faculty research and scholarly leaves. 

Ribeiro’s 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. 

“This award will support the initial characterization, using the new Whole Genome Sequencing shotgun, of the salivary microbiome composition of 12-year-old children enrolled in a clinical investigation of dental caries,” said Ribeiro.  

“Dental caries (tooth decay) remains the most prevalent chronic disease among children between 5 and 17 years old in the US. I am thankful for this award because it will generate preliminary data for future grant applications and support me initiating my basic, clinical and translational research projects, aiming a sustainable research program in Cariology at the Adams School of Dentistry.” 

“Dr. Ribeiro is a dynamic faculty member who has the ability to blend her substantial knowledge of the oral microbiome with an in-depth understanding of the clinical aspects of caries,” said Chair of the Division of Diagnostic Sciences, Valerie Murrah, DMD, MS, MSEd, MBA. “This makes her uniquely qualified to do ground-breaking translational research in the field.” 

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 Adams 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. With 20 years of experience in teaching and researching in Brazil, Ribeiro joined the Adams School of Dentistry was an associate professor in August 2018.