Vernon Brightman Research Society

The Vernon Brightman Research Society (VBRS), named in honor of Vernon J. Brightman, former Penn Dental Medicine faculty member and strong supporter of student research, is the primary student research organization at Penn Dental. Since its inception, VBRS has helped numerous students find their niche in research at the School as it aims to promote interest, participation, and appreciation of the basic and clinical oral health research that keep dentistry a science and research-based profession.

The VBRS is Penn Dental Medicine’s chapter of the American Association for Dental Research AADR National Student Research Group (NSRG). Questions to the group can be sent to

Dr. Francis Mante, Associate Professor, Division of Restorative Dentistry, is the VBRS Faculty Advisor; reach out to him at


Vernon Brightman Research Society Newsletter

The PDM Explorer highlights students’ research accomplishments, past and upcoming events, and student and faculty interviews. The bi-annual newsletter serves as a resource to students interested in research as it contains important information and dates on a number of programs. We are proud to share student and faculty research through the publication.

Winter 2023:




Student Research Programs »


Faculty Advisor

Dr. Francis Mante is currently working as Associate Professor in the Division of Restorative Dentistry and Director of Biomaterials at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Currently, he teaches dental materials to the 1st and 2nd year dental students and clinical dentistry.

Dr. Mante obtained a BDS from University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana in 1979, and MS in Dental Material from Marquette University in 1988. He went on to complete his PhD in Biological Materials from Northwestern University in 1991 and DMD from University of Pennsylvania in 1995. He was awarded with an honorary MA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.

Dr. Mante’s current research effort involves development of a new resin based endodontic retrograde filling material, strategies for reducing friction in orthodontic appliances and the development of superior appliances that facilitate the movement of teeth during treatment. Additionally, he also researches improvement of fracture toughness of dental composites and is investigating the use of liquid rubbers as toughening agents for dental composites.



Have questions? Want to get more involved in research?

Contact us at