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Annual Research Day returns in-person on Feb. 17, features keynote address by NIDCR deputy director4 min read

February 3, 2022

Annual Research Day returns in-person on Feb. 17, features keynote address by NIDCR deputy director4 min read

The 2022 Research Day poster session returns to the Michigan League Ballroom, shown in this 2020 file photo.

Ann Arbor, Mich., Feb. 3, 2022 – The annual event celebrating scientific research at the School of Dentistry returns in-person on Thursday, Feb. 17, featuring 94 research projects and a keynote address by the deputy director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

Research Day, which dates to the 1960s, features presentation of the latest scientific studies by the school’s dental and dental hygiene students, graduate students in various specialties, PhD students and postdoctoral trainees.

The event returns to in-person this year after being held online last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The poster session where researchers display their projects returns to the Michigan League across the street from the dental school. As a pandemic precaution to reduce the number of people gathered together, the previous afternoon-long poster session will be divided this year into a morning session from 10:30 a.m. to noon and an afternoon session from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Dr. Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque

In between the poster sessions, at 1 p.m. in Kellogg Auditorium at the School of Dentistry, Dr. Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque, deputy director of NIDCR at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., will speak in person on “Oral Health for All: Opportunities for Improvement and Understanding.” An accomplished clinician, researcher and leader, Dr. Webster-Cyriaque joined NIDCR in December after 21 years as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina’s schools of dentistry and medicine.

At UNC, she led research into a potential etiologic agent for salivary gland disease in patients living with HIV, assessed the oral microbiome and its implications for cancer-causing viruses, and studied the impact of the oral microbiome and oral health on HIV outcomes. She has more than 80 published scientific articles and abstracts.

In addition to her research, Dr. Webster-Cyriaque has held leadership roles as the chair/vice chair of the Oral HIV/AIDS Research Alliance; research director at the National Dental Association Foundation; and multiple roles within the American Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research and the International Association for Dental Research. Since 2004, she has led the UNC Malawi project and provided assistance in founding Malawi’s first dental school in 2019.

Dr. Webster-Cyriaque earned a PhD in microbiology/immunology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1998, her DDS from SUNY Buffalo in 1992, and her BA in biology and interdisciplinary social science from SUNY Buffalo in 1988.

File photo: The 2019 Research Day poster session.

Research Day awards for the best projects in several categories will be determined by a set of faculty judges who will interview researchers and review their posters. Additional awards are presented for mentoring by faculty, exemplary support by research staff and other contributions to research at the school. Awards will be announced on the Research Day website the day after the event.

Numerous dentistry-related companies help fund Research Day and are exhibitors at the event. This year’s two lead sponsors are the Delta Dental Foundation and the Michigan Dental Association.

The public is invited to attend Research Day poster sessions and keynote address. Proof of vaccination and/or a successful screening check via the university’s ResponsiBlue app will be a requirement for attendance.

Research Day is organized by staff in the dental school’s Office of Research, led by Dr. Vesa Kaartinen, the Dr. Roy H. Roberts Professor of Dentistry and Associate Dean for Research.

More information about Research Day can be found here on the event webpage.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.