NIH official leads list of Research!Louisville 2012 presentations


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health will keynote “Research!Louisville 2012,” the annual celebration of research at the Louisville Medical Center, Sept. 18-21.

    Research!Louisville is sponsored by the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, UofL Health Care, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation of KentuckyOne Health and Norton Hospital.

    Martha J. Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D., will address “Accelerating Gains in Health through Interdisciplinary Research and Partnerships” at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the North Conference Room of UofL’s Clinical and Translational Research Building (CTRB), 505 S. Hancock St.

    Somerman will highlight NIDCR-supported research that is targeted at accelerating the pace in making health discoveries and is being conducted in collaboration with other NIH centers. Among the research topics discussed will be oral and pharyngeal cancer, the human microbiome project, diagnostics, public health challenges, cleft lip and palate and inflammation, among others. She also will provide an overview of NIH activities and appropriations as well as NIH/NIDCR training and career development opportunities.

    Data from research conducted by faculty and students also will be on display. Other key presentations at Research!Louisville 2012 include:

    Tuesday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. -2 p.m.: GEAR Session — Gaining Essentials About Research: “Practical Applications in Screening, Recruitment and Enrollment: You Finally Have Your Study Open…Now What?”
    Speaker: Karriem Watson, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., Director of Clinical Research Recruitment, Retention and Community Engagement for the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago
    Location: Norton Healthcare Pavilion, 315 E. Broadway, Interactive Conference Room

    Wednesday, Sept 19, presented twice from 7:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and 11:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.:“Conducting Ethical Research in Nursing,” a panel discussion introducing nurses to the ethical principles of research in human subjects and related regulations.
    Keynote Speaker: Troy Brinkman, J.D., M.A., C.I.P., Regulatory Council at Western Institutional Review Board
    Panel Speakers: Celeste R. Romp, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., C.C.N.S., R.N.-B.C., Critical Care Educator and Clinical Nurse Specialist, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, and Jodi Behr, M.S.N., R.N.C.-N.I.C., Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Kosair Children’s Hospital
    Location: Norton Hospital, 200 E. Chestnut St., Wade Mountz Auditorium

    Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1-3 p.m.: “Core Facilities: Technologies Available to Help Support Collaborate Research,” a look at high-end technologies and expertise available through UofL Core Centers to help researchers and company partners who might want to collaborate on joint programs.
    Location: CTRB, 505 S. Hancock St.

    Also featured will be two events at the Louisville Science Center, 727 W. Main St.:

    Tuesday, Sept. 18, 5:30-8 p.m.: “R!L Family Science Night”
    Middle school students and their families get after-hours admission to the Louisville Science Center and exclusive programming to showcase current medical research going on in the community. There will be special activities and patches available for Scouts. Activities sponsored by Norton Healthcare. Reservations requested but not required. Free admission for the first 200 people to check in. Cost thereafter is $3 per person.

    Wednesday, Sept. 19, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: “Research!Louisville at the Louisville Science Center”
    Middle and high school students will visit the Louisville Science Center to learn about careers in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The latest research being conducted in Louisville will be showcased and students will be able to interact with research scientists from the Louisville Medical Center. Groups must make reservations in advance at

    For information, go to the Research!Louisville website or call 502-852-2647.

    About Martha J. Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D.
    Martha J. Somerman was named the eighth director of the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research in August 2011. Also, she is chief of the Laboratory for Oral Connective Tissue Biology, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

    Somerman was dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry and Professor in Periodontics, from 2002 to 2011 and associate dean for research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 2001-2002, as well as professor in the Department of Periodontics/Prevention/Geriatrics. She chaired that department from 1995-2000 and was concurrently a professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School. From 1984 to 1990, she was an assistant professor and later an associate professor at the University of Maryland College of Dentistry in the departments of Periodontics and Pharmacology.

    In the early 1980s, she was a staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Dental Research (NIH/NCDR). There, she served first in the Developmental Biology and Anomalies Laboratory and then in the Laboratory of the Clinical Investigations and Patient Care Branch. Somerman earned her B.A. in biology from New York University and her D.D.S. degree from NYU in 1975, and then specialized in periodontology and pharmacology at the Eastman Dental Center and University in Rochester, NY, earning in a certificate in periodontics in 1978 and a Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1980.

    Somerman’s research focuses on defining the key regulators controlling development and maintenance and regeneration of tissues that form the dental-oral-craniofacial complex. In addition, she studies the appropriate cells, genes and scaffolds needed to rebuild periodontal structures lost through disease.

    Somerman has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and serves on several editorial boards, including those of the Journal of Dental Research and International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants. In the past, she has reviewed grants submitted to NIH/NIDCR and the National Center for Research Resources, and has served on committees for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the IADR/AADR (International/American Association for Dental Research) and American Dental Association. In addition, she served on the Legislative Advisory Committee of the American Dental Education Association, advising on public policy in the areas of dental and biomedical research, education and training, access and disparities in care, and infrastructure and workforce.

    Among Somerman’s awards and honors are the William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professorship at the University of Michigan, which she held from 1992 to 2002. She was named a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology in 1990 and was president of AADR in 2001. Dr. Somerman has received the Geis Award from the American Academy of Periodontology (2003) and IADR’s Distinguished Scientist Award for Research in Oral Biology (2005). In 2010, she received the IADR/Straumann Award in Regenerative Periodontal Medicine and in 2011, the Paul Goldhaber Award, Harvard School of Medicine. From 1999 to 2002, she was a member of the National Advisory Dental Research Council of NIH/NIDCR. In addition, Somerman is a Fellow of AAAS, the International College of Dentists, and the American College of Dentists.

    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.