Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry Holds Inaugural Symposium


Philadelphia – The Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD) recently held its inaugural symposium, bringing together dentists, scientists, and engineers to share their work and identify new opportunities to advance oral health innovation at the intersection of dental medicine and engineering. The event was held June 2 at Penn Dental Medicine as well as streamed live.

“Coming together for a day of scientific forums, discussions, and networking like this is central to our mission at CiPD,” says Dr. Michel Koo of Penn Dental Medicine, who co-directs the CiPD with Dr. Kathleen Stebe of Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Launched in 2021, the CiPD was formed to bridge Penn’s School of Dental Medicine and the School of Engineering with cutting-edge research and training to accelerate the development of new solutions and devices to address unmet needs in oral health.

“By sharing problems and approaches across disciplines, teams of engineers, clinicians, and scientists will devise new paradigms to advance research and create solutions to improve oral health,” says Dr. Stebe.

The symposium featured opening remarks from the leadership of both schools — Dr. Mark Wolff, Dean of Penn Dental Medicine, and Dr. Cherie Kagan, Associate Dean for Research, and Dr. David Meaney, Senior Associate Dean, from Penn Engineering – with a morning session addressing tissue regeneration and tissue engineering and the afternoon session focusing on oral infections and SARS-CoV-2. Invited guest lecturers included Dr. David Mooney from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Wyss Institute at Harvard University, presenting on mechanoregeneration and medical devices, and Dr. Kevin M. Byrd, of theAmerican Dental Association, discussing the oral and systemic implications of COVID-19 and their impact on precision oral medicine. Dr. Orlando Lopez from the NIDCR also presented current funding opportunities to advance oral health research and innovation.

In addition, the CiPD faculty members as well as the trainees from the NIDCR T90R90 training program lectured on a diversity of topics, ranging from tissue regeneration, drug delivery, devices, and organs-on-chips technologies to biosensors, plant chloroplast, biomaterials, biofilm microbiomes, and microrobotics.

“The program cemented the CiPD’s vision for the future on advancing oral health through research and innovation,” says Dr. Stebe. “We have built a diverse and vibrant community of faculty and trainees, and developed partnerships with other centers within Penn’s innovation ecosystem, including Penn Health Tech (PHT),” adds Dr. Koo.

Together with PHT, the CiPD created the IDEA prize to kickstart “out-of-the-box” collaborative work at the dental medicine and engineering interface. Among other initiatives, the Colgate Fellowship program, funded through support from Colgate-Palmolive, was created for both dentist-scientists and engineers to advance the training mission of the CiPD. And, the CiPD is working with the American Association of Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) to expand participation of the CiPD faculty members, trainees, and fellows to its annual meetings.

“We are just getting started in moving clinical care innovations forward and developing the next generation of innovators,” says Dr. Koo. “We are excited about the future of CiPD,” adds Dr. Stebe.