Student Research Fellowship Program 2021 – Submission Process
Are you a student interested in research? Do you want to work with a faculty member to research a key area of dental health? TUSDM offers several opportunites for student researchers. The Student Research Fellowship Program funds students on faculty‐mentored research projects. The research will culminate in a poster presentation at the annual Bates‐Andrews Student Research Day, where you will be eligible to receive awards. In addition, all Student Research Fellowship participants are eligible to receive travel support if the abstract based on their research is accepted to a national dental research conference. Application to the Student Research Fellowship Program involves the submission of a complete research proposal that will be evaluated by members of the TUSDM Research Committee. Please see the important submission deadlines below. Additional information is available on the Student Research Fellowship website.
D24 Dean’s Research Scholars
The introductory meeting for the D24 class of Dean’s Research Scholars was held via Zoom in August. This year, the five students chosen for the research scholarship are Nicholas Wong, Anna Kim, Cassandra Escobedo, Olivia Marino, and Ashley Blanc‐Feodore. They will be choosing faculty research mentors this Fall and will be meeting with them regularly (remotely for now) in preparation for submitting a proposal for next Summer’s research. They join the following upperclassmen who have been involved in the program for several years: D23: Tamara Biary, Natasha Fansiwala, Johnson Fong, Jiahui Huang, Maxwell Perelgut; D22: Matthew Evers, Ashley Gagnon, Gina Kim, Mark Tanchanco; D21: Anthony Atalla, Yi‐Chen Chiang, Alex Joseph, Min Kim, and Rachel Obeid.
Research Ramp Up: Phase 2
On‐campus research activities will continue to ramp up slowly over three phases. TUSDM has prepared ramp‐up guidelines for each phase of research that follow university, local, state, and federal guidelines. Currently, TUSDM is in Phase 2 for our research activities. Please see below for information regarding Phase 2 on‐campus research. All Phase 1 activities that were previously approved in a Ramp‐Up Plan submitted to DRA may continue as is. Any changes to the plan (i.e. number of study staff on‐ site per day, initiation of a new project, etc.) must be submitted to DRA in a revised Ramp‐Up plan, and receive approval before the changes are implemented. The TUSDM Research Ramp‐Up Guidelines: Phase 1 and forms for Phase 1 (benchwork only) can be found here. Please reach out to Pamela.Corrado@tufts.edu with any questions.
Phase 2: Reduced On‐Campus Operations: All individuals seeking to conduct on‐campus research activities must receive prior approval from the Dental Research Administration, in accordance with TUSDM and OVPR guidelines. Effective August 1st, as part of Phase 2 of research ramp up, face‐to‐face human subjects research where there is a lower risk of COVID‐19 exposure may resume upon approval from Dean Kugel. All researchers planning to request to resume research activities falling under Phase 2 must read the TUSDM Research Ramp‐Up Guidelines‐Phase 2. Please see details below and on our website regarding the different types of research.
Basic Science Research: The focus will be a continued gradual increase of on‐campus research, performing experiments in the labs. This phase will allow for more on‐campus research time, as well as the return of more individuals to the labs. Phase 2 will also allow for the resumption of lower risk face‐to‐face human subjects research. The health and safety of faculty and staff continues to be the most important, while also allowing us to ramp down on‐campus research activities to Phase 1 as needed if conditions change. All researchers seeking to begin the resumption of Phase 2 research activities must submit the Research Ramp Up Form Phase 2 (Researcher Form) to Dean Kugel and their Chair to ensure compliance with building density, social distancing, PPE/infection control, and training requirements. All Phase 1 activities that were previously approved in a Ramp‐Up Plan submitted to DRA may continue as is. Any changes to the plan (i.e. number of study staff on‐site per day, initiation of a new project, etc.) must be submitted to DRA in a revised Ramp‐Up plan, and receive approval before the changes are implemented. Ramp‐up plans for TUSDM researchers must be compliant with guidelines from Tufts University and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. Approval from DRA must be received before research activities can begin.
Human Subjects Research: Face‐to‐face human subjects research where there is a lower risk of COVID‐19 exposure may re‐ sume upon approval from Dr. Gerard Kugel. Face‐to‐face human subjects research where there is a medium or higher risk of COVID‐19 exposure will continue to be suspended until further notice. We strongly encourage the continued use of remote work whenever possible. Principal Investigators (PIs) and Faculty Advisors (FAs) are ultimately responsible for identifying and minimizing risks in human subjects research protocols, and for pausing research which cannot be safely conducted. If the protocol falls entirely within the features designated as lower risk (see Guidance for Face‐to‐Face Human Subjects Research Ramp Up), develop a mitigation plan following the Tufts University Research Infection Control Manual and submit a request to resume your study to Dr. Gerard Kugel using the Ramp Up Request Form (still pending finalization by OVPR).
Student Research: For students seeking to resume research activities please complete the Research Ramp Up Form Phase 2 (Student Form) and submit it to Dean Kugel, Eileen Doherty, and your Principal Investigator. Approval from DRA must be received before research activities can begin.
The Tufts University Biosafety Office recently released guidance to research labs that will be handling and processing human specimens, environmental samples, or other materials known or potentially containing SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID‐19). This also applies to human specimens in which the SARS‐CoV‐2 status is unknown. Work with unfixed human specimens requires the use of Universal Precautions and Biosafety Level 2 containment and work practices because all human materials must be treated as potentially infectious. There is also a new training for Tufts personnel that will handling patient samples that may contain COVID‐19: Biosafety Overview for Processing COVID‐19 Patient Samples – Tufts University.
Upcoming Research Conferences
ADEA ‐ The ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition is meeting online this year, March 13 ‐16, 2021. Educational sessions, poster presentations and ADEA TechExpo presentations should have already been submitted to ADEA. Notifications of acceptance should go out in the middle of November from ADEA. If you want to start working on your presentation, please follow this link to the Tufts approved templates for the ADEA meeting. Don’t forget to check out ADEA Presenters Corner.
IADR ‐ The International Association of Dental Research (IADR) will be meeting in Boston, MA July 21‐24, 2021. If you plan on presenting/attending please notify DRA by emailing Katie.Dunn@tufts.edu. The abstract submission deadline is Monday, March 1, 2021. Before submitting an abstract, reference the IADR Call for Abstracts and be sure to reference the DRA website for helpful examples and documents, here. Please note, if you are a predoctoral student submitting to the IADR meeting, you must get approval from Katie Dunn before submitting your abstract.
Effective towards the end of November, Zoom will require all meetings to have a Passcode enabled. These security measures have been designed to give you control over your meeting security options while keeping the join experience as frictionless as possible. These changes also protect the privacy of your meetings by helping to prevent uninvited guests. To enable a smooth transition, all NEW meetings scheduled on 9/14 or after will include a passcode (formerly password) and no action will be necessary. Step‐by‐step instructions on how to navigate the new Zoom Passcodes and Waiting Room requirements are linked here. If you encounter any issues using Zoom, please contact the 24/7 TTS Service Desk by calling 617.627.3376 or emailing email@example.com.
Research Applications and Services
Do you use a variety of tools to enable research that involves sensitive and/or regulated data (i.e. HIPAA)?
Tufts Technology Services (TTS) has created a resource for researchers that provides a list of tools and services TTS has reviewed for use in research studies and the information needed to easily request a review of a tool or service. Researchers are encouraged to check out the Research Tools: Security and Privacy website to see important disclaimers, a list of tools that have been reviewed by TTS, and information on how to request a review for a research tool or service.
If you have feedback or questions about research tools, please contact the Research Technology team. If you have questions about the privacy and security guidelines, please contact the Information Security team.
Dr. J. Murray Gavel Center
The Dr. J. Murray Gavel Center is a restorative dental research laboratory located on the 8th floor of TUSDM. Under the direction of Dr. Gerard Kugel, Associate Dean for Research, the laboratory is fully equipped with a variety of dental materials testing equipment such as: an Instron®, microhardness tester, spectrophotometer, fluoride probe, handpieces and curing lights, TRIOS scanner, several 3D printers, and a microscope.
Recently, Dr. Yoon Kang, Assistant Professor in Comprehensive Care, worked with Joseph Cimmino, Research Project Manager, and Tiffany Bairos, Research Dental Hygienist, to build a toothbrush simulator. The toothbrush simulator is a device that simulates brushing on the surface of extracted teeth or typodonts. It has 8 chambers that can hold either manual or power brushes. All the chambers are controlled by a central drive system, and the chosen type of movement is therefore the same for all specimens used in each trial. Great work to Dr. Kugel, Dr. Kang, Joseph, and Tiffany for getting this device up and running.
Are You Up-to-Date on Trainings?
HIPAA Refresher Course: As we continue to re‐open our services at Tufts Dental and adapt to changes in our daily routines, it is important to always continue to be mindful of the privacy and security of our patients’ personal health information. With this in mind please complete the required HIPAA Refresher course. Here is the link on Tufts Absorb and if there are any issues please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flu Vaccination 2020‐2021: The new Flu immunization requirement put out by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) states all individuals above 6 months must be immunized ASAP. This means that all pre‐ doctoral students & post‐doctoral residents or masters candidates plus faculty and staff must get the flu vaccine. Due to the pandemic, the University requires a deadline of October 15, 2020. The only criteria for exemptions include: religious reason or PCP/doctor’s note. All staff/faculty must access and enter your immunization in the Tufts Learning Center. Here is a link to the online form.
IBC Training: There are new biosafety guidelines in the handling and processing of human specimens for research. Any human samples used for research now require some or all of the following biosafety trainings: BSL Level 1, BSL Level 2, and the COVID Samples Trainings. Click on the name of the training to be brought directly to it. Once you have completed these training, you can locate your certificates on the course transcript and print them for safe keeping. You can find the course trainings on Tufts Learning Center.
CITI Program: The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) is a mandatory education requirement for all individuals who will be involved in research at Tufts. There are 16 modules which cover topics related to the protection of human research subjects and identifiable data. Please follow this link to register for CITI training and complete the Tufts‐specific modules. This training needs to be completed every four years.
Tufts Face Mask Fundraiser
Keep yourself protected by acquiring Tufts exclusive design soft, washable, double/triple‐ layered, antimicrobial masks. Uniquely crafted by the International Students at Tufts Dental as a fundraiser for students, these beautiful masks are perfect gifts to friends and family; and help keep them protected every day while showing Tufts pride. Each mask is $7 for one, or $20 for 3 masks. You can either pick them up at TUSDM, or have them delivered to your home for an additional $4. To place your mask order, please follow this link.
Recently Awarded Grants
Please see the list below of grants awarded since last summer, and join us in congratulating the Principal Investigators and associated research team members for their accomplishments.
Click HERE to check out the TUSDM clinical trials currently enrolling patients
Please note these up‐ coming NIH Deadlines. If you wish to apply for any of these awards please contact your local Research Administrator as soon as possible.