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Economic stimulus ‘completed commitment’ for dental research

Bethesda, Md.—The 2009 economic stimulus law pumped $112.6 million into dental, oral and craniofacial research, the National Institutes of Health reported Oct. 5 in a “completed commitment” statement.

The NIH also awarded $24.2 million in stimulus grants to dental education and research facilities for infrastructure projects.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research provided the lion’s share of dental stimulus funding, $101.8 million, to support 141 new or competing two-year research and research training grants, 128 administrative supplements to scientists with active NIDCR grants and research projects in 33 states.

The NIH spent an additional $10.8 million to support or co-fund NIDCR-issued awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“Biologists have been laying the scientific foundation for personalized dentistry and medicine,” said Dr. Isabel Garcia, NIDCR acting director. “The Recovery Act funds not only helped to push the science forward, they have enabled laboratories across the country to hire new staff and bolster their local economies.”

ARRA funds allowed for “strategic investments” in virtually all areas of dental, oral and craniofacial research, Dr. Garcia said.

The announcement highlights NIH investments in research on oral cancer, Sjogren’s Syndrome, restorative materials, faculty recruitment and oral health behaviors.

The NIDCR awarded its final Recovery Act grant on Sept. 27, 2010, and said the dental research institute “has completed its commitment.”