February 22, 2019

Oral Health Under the Spotlight at UW Inter-CFAR Sub-Saharan Africa Symposium in Kenya

Prof. Scott McClelland (center), the Symposium organizer from UW CFAR, listens to a colleague during a group discussion.

Prof. Scott McClelland (center), the Symposium organizer from UW CFAR, listens to a colleague during a group discussion.

On February 1st and 2nd 2019, hundreds of researchers attended the Inter-CFAR Sub-Saharan Africa Symposium in Machakos County, Kenya. CFAR (the University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research) and the National Institutes of Health sponsored the Symposium. The goals of the CFAR-SSA working group include a) promoting new collaborative research opportunities by developing, improving, and fostering multidisciplinary and inter-CFAR research conducted by its members directed at high-priority scientific and public health challenges, and b) mentoring young SSA investigators by providing a unique, collaborative, and cross-institutional capacity building setting for young investigators working in SSA.

Dr. Kemoli, Prof. Ramos-Gomez, and Dr. Seminario at the symposium.

Dr. Kemoli, Prof. Ramos-Gomez, and Dr. Seminario at the symposium.

This year was the first time the oral health component of HIV was incorporated into the Symposium agenda. Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario of the UW School of Dentistry and Dr. Arthur Kemoli of the University of Nairobi both gave presentations regarding their research in the field. Dr. Seminario’s presentation, entitled “Current research work in oral health and HIV in Kenya,” discussed ongoing studies that aim to understand more about HIV’s effect on children’s oral health and quality of life. Dr. Kemoli’s presentation, “Efforts to increase research capacity at University of Nairobi,” described the collaborative work happening at the University of Nairobi in the realm of oral health training and research. Joining the UW team, Prof. Caroline Shiboski, Chair of the Department of Orofacial Sciences at the University of California San Francisco presented her work on “Oral Diagnostic Tool for Non-Dentists: Evolution of Inter-Professional Collaborations to Advance HIV-related Global Oral Health Research”; Prof. Francisco Ramos-Gomez, Director of UCLA Center for Children’s Oral Health (UCCOH) and Director of UCLA Pediatric Dentistry Advanced Clinical Training Program (ACT), lectured on “Oral Manifestations of HIV in children.”

Prof. Shiboski and Prof. Ramos-Gomez speak with other Symposium attendees over tea.

Prof. Shiboski and Prof. Ramos-Gomez speak with other Symposium attendees over tea.

This is a milestone in the integration of oral health within HIV research at the University of Washington and CFAR. We are excited for this collaboration! More information about this milestone.