Biodontics® Strategic Goals

I. Enhance school's organizational culture and structure to support the relationship between management, entrepreneurship, and dentistry.
II. Education in dental informatics, technology transfer, and biotechnology.
III. Research and clinical applications.
I. Enhance school's organizational culture and structure to support the relationship between management, entrepreneurship, and dentistry.

Dental educators and dental schools have a central role to play in encouraging and promoting Oral Health basic sciences, both in the clinical and managerial aspects, which include the ability to effectively distinguish and design oral health services, identify and design cost-effective strategies and ability to implement these strategies. No one is more capable of identifying problems related to health care than health care practitioners. In many respects higher education is a “buyers’ market” for today’s prospective students. Because competition for students has increased, college and university enrollment officials must now move beyond the limited practices of the past and aggressively pursue the right mix of students, becoming not only promoters and statisticians, but also visionaries. Nothing succeeds like a well-thought-out, carefully executed plan, and an increasing number of institutions are developing innovative strategies, incorporating high-tech tools, and applying inspired techniques to yield higher enrollment numbers. Changes in the Oral health system are emerging, and only through formal training in administrative and entrepreneurial arenas, will the profession be ready and prepared to be cognizant of these changes. Oral health professionals should be prepared to monitor, analyze and respond to these changes and propose new alternatives, ideas, and approaches, which may be more available, affordable and effective.

With this initiative, we will attempt to consolidate and strengthen the mutual benefit that will arise from the relationship between this academic discipline and the school of dental medicine. It will provide a sound basis for financial management and entrepreneurship, into its educational, research and patient care foundation. The Biodontics® initiative is aware that there exists a series of factors that contribute to resistance to curriculum change, including faculty conservatism, slow change in academic institutions and economic limits. However, a streamlined, innovative and futuristic administration should offer the profession:

  • Flexibility that allows a collective yet prompt response to the challenges of the changing oral healthcare marketplaces

  • Promotion for more local control of work design and products

  • Capacity to tolerate ambiguity and to stimulate creativity through entrepreneurial ventures

  • Strategies, programs and actions required to realize the desired future

  • Leadership in fostering partnerships as an integral part of the education and research infrastructure, organized around an open door School of Dentistry

  • Consolidate the biomedical research enterprise and its funding

Implementation Strategy

  • Provide leadership, advocacy, support and assistance to administrators and faculty in improving professional growth, evaluation techniques, leadership skills, the quality of the scholarship of teaching, and the ability to participate in interdisciplinary activities.

  • Encourage faculty, post-doctoral fellows and staff to actively participate in the enterprise level effort to generate greater funding

  • Encourage faculty, post-doctoral fellows and staff to proactively support enterprise-level efforts

  • Encourage faculty/staff development to promote continuous learning and enhance likelihood of success in achieving goals.

  • Offer a leadership development program for faculty through executive formats

  • Organize leadership structure to facilitate the new management approach
    Actively recruit post-doctoral students, faculty and staff applicants from minority and underserved communities, providing supportive environments for their professional activities

  • Work with leadership of University of Connecticut Health Center to optimize synergy with schools within the academic center and other organizations

  • Encourage externally funded collaborations with interdisciplinary programs within the University of Connecticut

  • Foster increased commercialization of technology and development of business and industrial relations

  • Establish long-term partnerships with federal/state agencies and private foundations

  • Chairs, Health Center and School of Dental Medicine Leadership will work together to identify where potential success in these innovative areas can be achieved.

  • Develop incentive programs to encourage faculty and fellows to participate in these innovative Oral Health initiatives

  • Develop resources that will increase productivity, quality, efficiency and profitability in oral health practice plans and clinical activities.

  • Encourage research and investigations towards the generation of innovative new products, devices, processes, or services.

  • Promote the transformation of scientific discovery into social benefits and to emphasize private sector commercialization.

  • Conduct projects that can potentially result in the application of a product, process, or device concept to the clinical dental environment.

  • Promote and acquire leadership in the technology-intensive business environment of the twenty-first century.

  • Enable strategic and tactical approaches in the marketing of biotechnological products to the dental industry

  • Analyze tools for investment opportunities and conceptual factors that impact the value of new emerging companies

  • Design product analysis for new markets and conduct market surveys

  • Provide concepts and framework that will be useful in the management of new entrepreneurial firms

  • Enhance formal education in leadership, to:
    a) Conceptualize and articulate a vision of a future state that is achievable
    b) Modify the current state of science to accommodate to changing requirements
    c) Forge new, innovative and relevant ideas and data into workable proposals
    d) Communicate new vision to stakeholders
    e) Motivate stakeholders to make financial and personal investments necessary to pursue proposal and potential projects
    f) Address and analyze how to successfully install new initiatives

  • Encourage interdisciplinary training in the development of new ideas into viable products and implementation of marketing strategies

  • Establish specific guidelines for conducting market research and marketing activities, which involve pricing, promotion and quality control.


II. Education in dental informatics, technology transfer, and biotechnology.

In today’s highly changing technology industries, firms and academic institutions are under intense pressure to bring highly technical products to the market in a timely manner. Oral health sciences and industry is not the exception. Technology is changing how faculty presents material to students, how they work with their colleagues, conduct patient care, and create new knowledge.

Effective training requires access to new technologies and information systems that adequately integrate clinical, management, and research needs. In the 21st century, dental education faces challenges in all faces, especially the technological. The advance of science in the fields of molecular biology, biotechnology, technology transfer and genetics will bring new expectations in the alternate treatment methods.

Dental schools have often been criticized for slow introduction of biomaterial and biotech innovations within their curriculum. Educators and scientists should and must have a primary role in the contribution to appropriate use of biomaterials and biotechnology to improve clinical practice in dentistry and oral health status in general, though formal education in new, established and innovative techniques. In a scenario where technology is constantly changing both in quality and volume, continuing education should stress its importance.

The primary objective of the Biotechnology emphasis is to provide fellows with interdisciplinary and multidimensional training in biotechnology-related research and in establishing formal mechanisms for the transfer of technology from the University research setting to the dental industry. This training initiative will integrate talent, programs, and services from the University of Connecticut, in order to educate a new group of professionals that will effectively apply interdisciplinary research tools to solve problems of biotechnological significance and their clinical application to the Oral Health environment. In the clinical dental environment, research will be oriented towards Biomaterials, including biocompatibility, bioengineering applications of polymers, biomimetics, implant materials, dental materials, connective tissue biophysics and mechanics; tissue engineering; biotechnology, including gene therapy and delivery, drug delivery, transport and dynamics; molecular engineering, including macromolecular structure, protein structure, and molecular therapies.

Implementation Strategy

  • The School will remain an important local, regional, and national resource for the transfer of new knowledge, improved techniques and new technology.

  • Establish and maintain a technologically advanced ITS infrastructure that is readily available

  • Enhance biodental research by improving infrastructure

  • Expand core technologies that support research focus areas and complement UCONN’s infrastructure needs (informatics, biostatistics, etc.)

  • Provide Knowledge in the major steps in technology transfer: disclosure of inventions; record keeping and management; evaluation and marketing; patent prosecution; negotiation and drafting of license agreements; and management of active licenses.

  • Provide tools to measure technology transfer results in order to (1) provide accountability, (2) facilitate the process of technology transfer, and (3) demonstrate the value of a particular technology transfer project.
    Provide tools that enhance the movement of research results from the University to private companies so that products can be developed and commercialized based upon this new knowledge.

  • Dominate the technology transfer tasks:
    • Transition planning
    • Technical development
    • Matched capabilities
    • Human barriers
    • Risk

  • Establish formal training mechanisms that will apply how dental Informatics encompasses information technology and the organization of information and knowledge comprising dentistry, emphasizing the application of this knowledge to education, patient care, research, and administration

  • Develop new models for teaching and collaboration, utilizing information technology and information connectivity to redefine the processes of learning and investigation

  • Acquire basic knowledge about computer systems, learn how to organize information about a clinical problem, understand the system theory behind an information system applications, and be able to evaluate special dental applications

  • Stress the importance of applied research, technology transfer and the development and commercialization of intellectual property, both through the appointments and promotion practices of the University and by recognizing the primary interests of the creators in any commercialization of intellectual property

  • Propose a model of for technology transfer between basic sciences and clinical sciences

  • Emphasize the understanding of technology transfer impact on dental disciplines: Diagnosis, Restorative Dentistry, and Periodontics

  • Develop a measure of technology transfer effectiveness

  • Promote and encourage the creation of a Technology Transfer Office to transfer research results to commercial application for public use and benefit

  • Provide academic support to clinical programs on the use of clinical data for improving programs and providing data for research

  • Promote the utilization of information technologies in all sectors of the dental profession, through the planification and sponsoring of conferences, symposia that focus on research development and applications of dental informatics

  • Evaluate and examine applications, technology and ethics of Teledentistry

  • Acquire knowledge in the development of biomarkers for the progression of acute and chronic diseases and disorders

  • Establish traditional growth models, strategies and foundations for development of entrepreneurial and biotechnological products

  • Investigate increasing diagnostic elements to the clinical practice in the areas of Radiology, Periodontics, Pharmacology, lasers, electronic anesthesia and In-office imaging.


III. Research and clinical applications.

The creation and discovery of new knowledge within the educational scenario has been considered as the heart and soul of the research phenomena. However, the research mission should include the training in new methodologies of disseminating this information, educating clinician to appropriately assess scientific and technological innovations and educating future researchers.

The importance of clinical research in strong dental schools has been recognized. Although most training programs have basic elements conducive to research, not all centers have a demonstrated commitment to, or good understanding of, the infrastructure required for training in clinical research. Similarly, despite this long-lasting interest in and affection for clinical research in the academic setting, formal education in clinical research has been undervalued. The lack of formal education in clinical research in schools of dental medicine will become more of a problem as telemedicine and dental informatics enables more oral health professionals to participate in protocols. Likewise, in order to prepare both students and scientists, dental educators and schools of dental medicine will need to evaluate new teaching approaches displaying new models of clinical practice.

The Biodontics®, New Age Dentistry Plan, attempts to include within the continuum of education, the understanding of clinical sciences, population-based sciences such as statistics and epidemiology, the behavioral and social sciences such as biophysics and bioengineering, and new sciences such as oral health management and technology transfer.

Implementation Strategy

  • Develop an infrastructure in the School of Dental Medicine to support and promote research in new Oral Health initiatives and measurements of outcomes

  • Explore new paradigms for clinical practice, that leads to outstanding patient care/education and research

  • Create research working groups

  • Develop infrastructure for an Oral Health New Products and Technology

  • Clinical Research Center to support and exploit new and innovative ideas

  • Enhance interdisciplinary research that builds on the clinical interface and applications

  • Sustain clinical practice characterized by outstanding patient-care that complements the educational and research mission.

  • Expand clinical faculty with outstanding oral health professionals to meet educators/researchers needs

  • Establish a highly functional and multi-disciplinary group practice and research-oriented group

  • Increase and expand the established multi-disciplinary clinical center, built upon the premise of the opportunity of better patient care/education/research

  • Develop service lines that complement research and/or education that are fiscally sound and acceptable

  • Address biological research in human gene mapping and its implication on

  • Amelogenesis imperfecta, Dentinogenesis Imperfecta, Craniofacial dysmorphologies

  • Analyze tissue-engineering efforts and its potential in clinical environments

  • Analyze and assess advances in biomimetics, or implanting man-made materials and devices into humans, focusing on the applications for dental devices

  • Evaluate new biomaterials in clinical dentistry, including bone, cartilage, dentin, enamel and periodontal ligament; hard tissue wound regeneration, enamel and bone induction materials

  • Investigate innovative remineralization strategies to optimize and preserve the health of dental tissues

  • Encourage research of principles and clinical applications of tissue engineering on dentistry

  • Evaluate and investigate the clinical impact of biological research, molecular biology and genetic engineering and its effects on dental progress

  • Encourage research in molecular genetics of Craniofacial development

  • Evaluate developments of bone tissue for dental applications

  • Encourage excellence in research and scholarship across all disciplines, while concentrating resources where researchers, research groups and research activities are of demonstrably international quality

  • Provide postgraduate research students with research supervision, infrastructure and support of the highest possible quality, enhancing their career prospects through programs designed to develop leadership and professional skills, and using regular, systematic feedback from such students to assist in the professional development of supervisors

  • Improve the dissemination of prevention interventions, increasing evidence-based clinical treatment guidelines in Oral Health