I am Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and Lee Hysan Chair of Oral Epidemiology in the School of Dentistry and Director of the UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health (CAN-DO) and the Coordinating Center to Help Eliminate/Reduce Oral Health Inequities in Children. Previously, for more than 4 years, I was Director of the Data Coordinating Center for NIH-funded Early Childhood Caries Collaborative Centers at UCSF, University of Colorado Denver, and Boston University.
I was an Assistant Director of the UCSF CTSI Mentor Training Program before it transitioned to the Mentor Development Program.
My research concentrates on oral health research, health disparities and health equity research, applied statistical analyses and related methodological issues. Balancing these components is essential to successful and practical oral epidemiology research. Methodological examination helps ground health research and build convincing arguments, while collaborative health research generates opportunities for innovative statistical practice and provides challenges for developing ways to solve real world problems.
I have played a key role in the NIH funded UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health (CAN-DO) since its inception. I was PI on an individual R01-type project to study early childhood caries risk prediction methods using knowledge discovery and data mining techniques and PI on a pilot project studying the effects of translation on the readability of informed consent documents. Moreover, I was Director (PI) of the Measurement & Evaluation Core and oversaw a group of statisticians and programmers. Previously I was Director of the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) for the competing renewal of CAN-DO; NIDCR asked us expand the DCC to coordinate trials at Boston Univ and Univ Colorado Denver (Health Sciences Campus) in addition to UCSF. "CAN-DO" has continued with NIDCR funding for a U01 Coordinating Center and 2 UH2 projects - one of which continued as a UH3 project - as part of the Oral Health Disparities in Children Consortium.
Other oral health research projects have included a series of studies examining dentin, bonding, and tissue engineering; studies of chronic pain conditions including temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), widespread body pain (WBP) in young women, and rheumatoid arthritis; caries risk assessment studies; and tobacco initiation prevention and tobacco use cessation interventions. For these projects, I designed research studies, developed and performed analyses, and coauthored publications. I focus mostly on projects relating to health disparities and health equity.
Although much of my research involves statistical applications, I have also researched some methodological issues. In 2007, I was awarded an NIH/NIDCR R03 grant to extend methods to estimate confidence intervals for health disparity indices (ratios or other functions) in complex sample surveys, develop and distribute related software, and to report results and association models from the 2004-5 California Oral Health Needs Assessment of Children after multiple imputation of missing data. This work helps build capacity at UCSF and beyond.
Thus, my research has included a variety of applications with statistical and methodological aspects. Integrating these components along with additional biological and behavioral knowledge and directing students and mentoring junior colleagues will continue to be vital for my research program to be effective.