Two dental faculty members among Texas A&M’s inaugural Presidential Impact Fellows
Potential for future discoveries, service and premiere scholarship led Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young to announce the first class of Presidential Impact Fellows — and two Texas A&M College of Dentistry faculty members are included among the 24 individuals.
Biomedical sciences professors Dr. Chunlin Qin and Dr. Jerry Feng, also assistant dean for research, are researchers whose projects have garnered multiple grants and advanced the knowledge base in their respective areas of dental research. Qin and Feng, along with all Presidential Impact Fellows, will receive $25,000 for each of the next three years to enhance their teaching, research and service initiatives. Fellows may keep their title for life and will be counted upon to advance partnerships in the national and global arenas.
Most recently, Feng’s work has been linked to upending long-held schools of thought on the role of chondrocytes, or cartilage cells, in the temporomandibular joint. This research recently received $1.85 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health-National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research as well as multiple accolades, including the JDR Cover of the Year 2015. Another current NIH-funded project in Feng’s lab involves work to unlock the mysteries of tooth root formation in strides to create a “bio-tooth.”
A fascination with dentin throughout Qin’s career has led to more than $5 million in National Institutes of Health funding, more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and, in June 2016, recognition with the Distinguished Scientist Award for Pulp Biology and Regeneration from the International Association for Dental Research.