Colgate Pediatric Dentistry DScD Fellowship Supporting Student Research


Dr. Yuan Liu (second from left) with (left to right) Dean Denis Kinane, Colgate representatives, and Drs. Hajishengallis and Koo.

Philadelphia — A new resource to support Penn Dental Medicine postdoctoral students pursuing advanced training in research has been established through the creation of the Colgate-Palmolive Pediatric Dentistry DScD Fellowship. The Colgate-Palmolive Company is providing multi-year support to create this new fellowship, which will provide financial support for a student pursuing a Doctor of Science in Dentistry (DSCD) degree or engaged in postdoctoral research studies through the Penn Dental Medicine Division of Pediatric Dentistry.

Dr. Yuan Liu, who will begin the DScD program in July, has been selected as the first recipient of the Fellowship.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Liu’s caliber as our first DScD student pursuing pediatric research,” says Dr. Betty Hajishengallis, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry, “and we are equally excited by the establishment of the Colgate Fellowship, which will play a key role in strengthening our Division’s clinical research activities overall.”

Dr. Liu holds a DDS, MS, and PhD from West China College of Stomatology, and since 2014, she has been a postdoctoral researcher at Penn Dental Medicine in the lab of Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo, Professor, Department of Orthodontics and Divisions of Pediatric Dentistry & Community Oral Health. She previously served as vice director of pediatric dentistry at her alma mater, where her research focused on dental caries.

The research-centered DScD program, introduced at Penn Dental Medicine in 2011, is designed to prepare students for careers in academic dentistry as clinical and basic science researchers and educators. Dr. Liu’s research work within the DScD program will target the identification of risk biomarkers for early childhood caries and the development of new anti-plaque/anti-caries approaches using novel, Penn-developed technologies. Her research mentor will be Dr. Koo.

“I’m eager to have Dr. Liu continue to help advance the research activities with my group,” says Dr. Koo. “She is exactly the type of outstanding candidate who can hit the ground running to partner in collaborative, industry-supported and translational-clinical research while training to join the ranks of faculty and beyond.”

As part of the Colgate Fellowship, Dr. Liu will also spend time at the Colgate research facilities on projects of mutual interest and explore of the possibility of collaborative research projects between Colgate and Penn Dental Medicine.