September 17, 2020

Oral health topics awarded by NIH Fogarty fellowship

Ashley Karczewski, head shot

Ashley Karczewski

The Fogarty International Center (FIC) is dedicated to advancing the NIH mission by supporting and facilitating global health research conducted by the U.S. and international investigators, building partnerships between health research institutions in the U.S. and abroad, and training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs. By facilitating exchanges among investigators, providing training opportunities and supporting promising research initiatives in developing countries, FIC has served as the bridge between NIH and the greater global health community for more than 50 years. While the initial FIC support has traditionally been allocated to infectious diseases, new opportunities for noncommunicable diseases have been opened and that includes oral health.

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 estimated that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide, with caries of permanent teeth being the most common condition. Globally, it is estimated that 2.3 billion people suffer from caries of permanent teeth and more than 530 million children suffer from caries of primary teeth. Investing in oral health will improve global health.

Catherine Mwesigwa

Catherine Mwesigwa

For the last 2 years, FIC Fogarty Fellowship awarded two fellows in oral health. The 2019-2020 fellow is Ashley Karczewski with her project titled “The association between levels of salivary antimicrobial peptides (LL-37) and the presence of periodontal disease in HIV-infected adolescents,” and the current 2020–2021 fellow is Catherine Mwesigwa with her project titled “Feasibility of integrating oral health in the primary care of HIV-positive pediatric patients in a low-resource setting.”

We hope FIC continues its support to in building up research training and capacity for global oral health.