Within each component of the OHS curriculum, there is opportunity for a student to select among content and methodological approaches to research by choosing laboratory settings and courses in specific topics that emphasize a basic, translational or clinical approach to problems in oral health. In addition, core experiences provide a foundation for all students in OHS.
Essential to the OHS curriculum is a strong base of scientific breadth accomplished through the seminar and journal club series, a biostatistics course, the culture of science and research responsibility series, the graduate core courses, and basic science courses in biochemistry and cell and molecular biology. Participation in these courses brings OHS students an exposure to science that is foundational to any research approach and also incorporates students with interests from the laboratory bench to the clinic in the same curriculum. This models a modern approach to science, where teams of investigators who have different content and methodological skills work collaboratively on complex problems in oral health maintenance and disease.
To gain experience in a particular scientific approach, from basic to translational to clinical, the laboratory rotations and graduate core courses are crucial. Lab rotations provide a practical experience in research approaches and the core courses give an opportunity to study the literature and understand content and methods that may be more basic or translational in nature.
To acquire a content focus and scientific depth within oral health sciences for the dissertation research, advanced science courses and ongoing lab rotations provide an advanced knowledge base that solidifies the scientific area for the student to build on in the dissertation.