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Colgate-Palmolive Announces 2023 Recipients of the Colgate Award for Research Excellence (C.A.R.E.)

Colgate-Palmolive, New York, is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Colgate Award for Research Excellence (CARE), who will each receive a 1-year research grant ($30,000) to foster the development of their areas of interest in dental, oral, and craniofacial research. The 2023 CARE Program recipients and their research topics are:

Heidi Steinkamp, PhD, DDS, MS – The University of Iowa College of Dentistry
“Impact of Stress on the Oral Microbiome of Children” 

Cheryl Paulo Malave, BS, DMD – University of Puerto Rico
“Vitamin D levels and Severe Early Childhood Caries in Puerto Rican Children”

Mateus G. Rocha, DDS, MS, PhD – University of Florida, College of Dentistry
“Restorative dental materials with wavelength-controlled light-responsive release and recharge of L-arginine”

Bhakti Desai, DMD – College of Dentistry, University of Illinois Chicago
“Assessing Infant Fluoride Use and Caries Experience”

Justin Kaspar, PhD – The Ohio State University, College of Dentistry
“Correlation of Streptococcus mutans Microcolony Size to Disease Potential and Therapeutic Tolerance”

Proposals were reviewed by an independent, esteemed panel of senior academic dental researchers. Winners were selected based on the program’s criteria, which includes innovation, clinical significance, originality and scientific quality.

“The CARE Program, now entering its 7th year, fosters the development of much needed dental academicians by providing seed research funding to emerging leaders at a time in their career path when it is most needed,” said Dr. Maria Emanuel Ryan, DDS, PhD, Chief Clinical Officer, Colgate-Palmolive. “We recognize the importance of fostering the careers of young academics and researchers as they are essential to the education of the next generation of dental professionals and play an important role in advancing the science of dentistry. This is more important now than ever before as the need for faculty is acute, with several hundred faculty positions unfilled throughout the country. The shortage in research focused faculty in dental schools carries over into other sectors, such as industry and government, where a significant amount of research is conducted.”

Established in 2016, the Colgate CARE Program is designed to foster and provide financial support to young academic researchers. In order to be eligible for the Colgate CARE grant, faculty applicants must be in the first five years of an academic appointment. To date the CARE program has supported the research projects of 31 academicians in numerous areas of oral health research.

Colgate is also instrumental in other programs to support dental researchers. In conjunction with the National Dental Association Foundation, the Audacity to Dream Program and TORCH Program have the important goal of helping address racial disparities in oral health research.

Every year Colgate-Palmolive celebrates the research projects at Colgate’s Clinical Research Innovation Day, where recipients of the CARE program, the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, the Audacity to Dream Program and the TORCH Program all come together at Colgate-Palmolive’s global technology center in Piscataway, New Jersey, to present and celebrate their research. This year’s Clinical Research Innovation Day took place on May 24th, 2023.

“On behalf of Colgate’s 34,000 people around the world, we offer sincere congratulations to the winners of this year’s grant awards,” said Dr. Ryan.

For more information about the Colgate CARE Program for Young Academic Researchers and application guidelines, visit for US and for Canada.

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