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Center for Oral Health Research

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 COHR: Center for Oral Health Research | CTC: Clinical Translational Core

Clinical Core (C-COHR)

The Center for Oral Health Research – Clinical Core (C-COHR) encompasses space and support for researchers interested in conducting clinical oral health research. The goal of the C-COHR is to foster clinical and translational oral health research in a cost effective manner, therefore helping to strengthen the discipline of clinical and translational science. 

The C-COHR is located on the 5th floor of the new James B. Edward College of Dental Medicine (CDM) and it consists of 3 treatment operatories equipped with computers for data entry and patient education, a room for anthropometrics and vital signs collection, as well as for biological specimens collection (i.e. blood) and short-term storage as required by some research protocols. The new James B. Edward CDM is equipped with state of the art central sterilization.

The mission of the C-COHR is to foster clinical and translational research within the CDM and MUSC; to engage more CDM faculty members in clinical and translational research; to facilitate sharing of resources and expertise; to provide an outpatient dental clinical research capacity to support all university projects; to stimulate new research discoveries through community-based participatory research therefore, facilitating the translation and adoption of new research findings into the community settings; to engage academic-community partnerships, transforming oral health care and eliminating oral health disparities in our communities; to establish mechanisms to sustain the progress of community-based initiatives; to provide rigorous methodological and biostatistical support for researchers; to mentor investigators in biostatistical research methods; and to facilitate the grant application process for clinical investigators; therefore, improving the oral health outcomes of the population of South Carolina through discoveries translated into community service.

The CDM has formal agreements signed with two local community outreach dental clinics, the Our Lady of Mercy Outreach Community Dental Clinic, in Johns’ Island and the East of the Cooper Community Outreach Dental Clinic, in Mount Pleasant, that can be used as off-site facilities to facilitate patient/participant recruitment and community engagement.

The specialized C-COHR staff consists of a certified and calibrated research hygienist, a dental assistant, and an experienced program coordinator. C-COHR  staff are highly experienced and trained in making complex research observations and performing precise collections of specimens / data while offering exemplary patient care. C-COHR  staff services are available to assist investigators in conducting protocols as approved by the IRB. In addition, all protocols conducted through the C-COHR  require review and approval by the C-COHR directors.

Clinical and Translational Core services:

  • Comprehensive oral health examinations, provided by calibrated, trained and certified research hygienists;
  • Biological samples collection, process, and distribution for laboratory analysis (i.e.: gingival crevicular fluid, blood), through the COHR;
  • Biological samples collection, process, and storage, through the COHR;
  • Performance of specialized biological assays on biological samples, as required by different clinical protocols, such as Elisa tests;
  • Medication administration and/or dispensing as required by different clinical protocols;
  • Vital signs collection, including, height, weight, pulse, blood pressure, temperature and any other body measurement as required by the different clinical protocols;
  • Off-site visits;
  • Questionnaire administration by trained and certified research staff;
  • Patient education by trained and certified research staff;
  • Digital intraoral radiographs;
  • Assistance with patient/participant recruitment;
  • Assistance with Institutional Review Board (IRB) application;
  • Assistance with database management;
  • Assistance with study protocol development;
  • Assistance with budget development.
  • Statistical collaboration, including assistance with design of new studies, preparation of grant proposals, statistical analyses, and integration of statistical interpretations into scientific conclusions and publications; 
  • Assistance in procurement and analysis of existing data from diverse sources to support COHR studies; 
  • Development of new biostatistical methods as needed for clinical protocol and transfer of recent biostatistical methodologies to the oral health research community.

The C-COHR  is open to any MUSC investigator. All studies conducted through the C-COHR  must have IRB approval prior to implementation. C-COHR must have access to IRB approved documents, such as study protocol, personnel form, informed consent and HIPAA forms. This process may be facilitated by giving C-COHR  program coordinator access through the online IRB system. Investigators may also submit IRB approved documents via e-mail or campus mail.

Please contact C-COHR  prior to grant submission to discuss the protocol, C-COHR staff needed and budgeting for the specific needs of your project.


Ozlem Yilmaz, DDS. PhD - Director
Director, Center for Oral Health Clinical Research
Department of Oral Health Sciences

Lynn West, Program Coordinator  

Karan Bellacicco, Dental Hygienist

Theresa Vanderhorst, Dental Assistant 


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