Faculty member named KL2 Scholar

Dr. S. Esra Sahingur

The VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research selected S. Esra Sahingur, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., as a 2013 KL2 Scholar. This is an NIH supported award that provides salary support and funds for research and for mentored career development.

“It is really rewarding and encouraging seeing that all the hard work I put into research  is being recognized within the university,” said Dr. Sahingur, assistant professor, Department of Periodontics. “Being both a clinician and a basic scientist, I have the advantage of being aware of the challenges that are faced in the clinics and working on identifying solutions to these challenges at the bench side. This award will provide tremendous support to expand my studies. I have no doubt that the VCU School of Dentistry will continue to excel in research, and I am happy to be part of it.”

Dr. Sahingur’s research interests include periodontal immune and inflammatory responses, host-pathogen interactions and genetic susceptibility to periodontal diseases, as well as periodontal disease interactions with systemic diseases.

“Dr. Sahingur is following an upward trajectory in building her research career, and her work is a key component of our vision to enhance the research program in the School of Dentistry” said Dean David Sarrett.

Dr. Sahingur received her dental degree from Istanbul University, Turkey in 1994. She then continued her academic career at the State University of New York at Buffalo and received an M.S. in Oral Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Oral Biology with a concentration in Immunology and a specialty certificate in Periodontics in 2004. Dr. Sahingur joined the VCU School of Dentistry Department of Periodontics in October 2006 as a full-time assistant professor. She has published several articles in well-recognized, peer-reviewed journals and presented at both national and international meetings. Besides her role in research within the dental school, she also is involved in clinical and didactic teaching, both at the pre-doctoral and post-graduate level, and currently serves as a course director for two periodontics courses and as a periodontics section coordinator for the International Dentist Program. Dr. Sahingur also is an affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the VCU School of Medicine.

KL2 Scholars receive 75 percent of their salary support up to $75,000 per year and $25,000 per year to conduct research. The two-year program is open to faculty members who have obtained a terminal degree, completed relevant postgraduate training, who have not served as principal investigator for R01 or R29 research grants through the National Institutes of Health and who do not have an existing career development (K-series) award.

To learn more about the KL2 Scholars program and to meet the 2012 Scholars, please visit www.cctr.vcu.edu/education/kl2.

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