Esquivel-Upshaw receives $3.2 million NIH grant

Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, D.M.D., M.S.
Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, D.M.D., M.S.

Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, D.D.S., M.S., and Arthur Clark, D.D.S., professors in the department of restorative dental sciences, division of prosthodontics, and their team received a $3.2 million, five-year NIH-NIDCR R01 grant for their research project, “Novel coatings to minimize surface degradation and fracture susceptibility of dental ceramics.” The research project is a collaboration with the UF departments of chemical engineering and materials science engineering.

Esquivel-Upshaw has conducted numerous clinical studies relating to wear and survival of ceramic materials. She recently completed a NIH-K23 grant that funded research on factors affecting the survival of implant-supported all-ceramic prostheses. Clark has conducted research on bioactive silicate glasses.

Fan Ren, Ph.D., is a distinguished professor with the UF department of chemical engineering and the main collaborator on the research project. His research specializes in transistor design and fabrication, including dielectric coating. Ren has worked on laser facet dielectric coatings to improve laser performance and reliability. Christopher Batich, Ph.D., is a materials science professor in engineering and founding director of the UF Graduate Biomedical Engineering Program and chief operating officer for the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Batich is also collaborating with the team, examining how brittle materials can be made to withstand the challenges of the oral environment using special coating techniques and materials.

In addition, the team received a UF Opportunity Seed Fund Award, competing with applications from throughout the university. A panel reviewed funding recommendations and 16 awards were approved, including their proposal, “Novel coatings to minimize bacterial adhesions and tooth wear in denture acylic.” This project is also a joint effort with the UF departments of restorative dental sciences, periodontics and chemical engineering.

As a result of these two projects, patents have been filed with the UF Office of Technology and Licensing.