Eric Schiffman, DDS, MS, is a Professor and the Director of Clinical Research in the School of Dentistry. He has received over $19 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has over 60 peer-reviewed publications, 12 book chapters and 3 patents – with another pending. Past research as a NIH study principal investigator includes developing and publishing validated Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (DC/TMD) for the most common TMD - for use in both the clinical and research settings. Past research in TMD management includes assessing the long-term effectiveness, in patients with symptomatic TMJ closed lock with limited mouth opening, of medical management compared to comprehensive rehabilitation with and without TMJ surgery. He has also researched the longitudinal impact of TMJ intra-articular disorders on jaw pain, function and disability. In addition, in the NIH-funded National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, he assessed the management of TMD patients by dentists in their practices. In his last completed project, funded with NIH/NIDCR’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, he developed and clinically tested a new version of the Restful Jaw device – a device attached to the dental chair that is designed to support the jaw during dental procedures including the surgical removal of third molars.
John Look, DDS, MPH, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate, currently serving as the epidemiologist for the Oral Health Clinical Research Center (OHCRC). From 1995 until his appointment with OHCRC, he was continuously funded by research grants from NIH as well as corporate funding. As the OHCRC epidemiologist, Dr. Look has the role of assisting investigators in grant writing, research implementation and scholarly publications. Along with his wife, Judy, Dr. Look has spent a large part of more than 50 years doing community health development projects in the Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, India, Myanmar, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica and Bolivia. He currently serves as director of Global Health Services, a division of MissionGO based in Buffalo, New York. His honors include; Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Dental Society (1963); Outstanding Service Award from the Association of Residences for prosthodontic treatment of Down syndrome patients (1985); The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (1991); Recipient of the First Annual School of Public Health Alumni Award (1992); and the University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service (2007).
Data Analyst and Informatics Consultant
Nikhita Kutala BDS, MHI is a Data Analyst and Informatics Consultant. She currently works in coordination with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the School of Dentistry (SOD) to support clinical research and ensure data compliance for the SOD. She received her dental degree in India and her Master of Health Informatics from Indiana University which focused on the management of healthcare data and data exchange through the application of information technologies, elements essential to an EHR. After graduating from the IU, Nikhita worked at Riley Children’s Hospital – IUSM, where she supported several on-going research projects that required database management and data analysis. With experience over 4 years in healthcare, her understanding of dentistry, health systems, research, analytics and data exchange enables her to best support the research requirements of the SOD.
Qi Wang, MS in biostatistics, has been a biostatistician at the Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Minnesota since 2008. She received her master's degree in biostatistics from the University of Minnesota in 2008. She has collaborated with over 50 investigators in a variety of disciplines over the past 12 years. She is proficient in t-tests, correlation analysis, ANOVA, ANCOVA, multiple linear regression models, logistic regression models, Chi-square tests, survival analysis, longitudinal data models, sample size/power estimates, randomized trial design consultation, and interpretation of results.
Kelli Trauger, MS, DH, RF is a Licensed Dental Hygienist and Study Manager for the Oral Health Clinical Research Center (OHCRC). She graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Minnesota in Kinesiology Exercise Science (2011) and Dental Hygiene (2014). Since 2009, she has been involved in various research projects at the University. After graduation, Kelli practiced in private, corporate, community-based, and specialty clinic settings. In 2015, Kelli began her teaching career at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in the Division of Dental Hygiene. After completing her Master of Science degree, she worked in the Division of Periodontology as a Clinical Assistant Professor to provide clinical education to dental students. Kelli works in collaboration with Principal Investigators and study teams to design, conduct, and coordinate research at the OHCRC by implementing studies into the field.
Danna Paulson RDH, MSDH is a Registered Dental Hygienist and a Research Project Manager. She originates from Toronto, Canada, where she graduated with a degree in Dental Hygiene 2010. She practiced in general, pediatric, and orthodontic dentistry in Canada and the Cayman Islands for 6 years. In 2016, she moved from the Caribbean to Minnesota to pursue her Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Management Degree through the University of Minnesota and the Carlson School of Management. After completion of her master’s degree, she was offered a faculty position as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Researcher at the University of Minnesota. Her role primarily includes coordinating and conducting a variety of research endeavors at the OHCRC, in addition to providing clinical education to dental hygiene and dental therapy students.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Carla Campbell AA, AAS is the center’s executive assistant. In 2017 she received an associate’s degree in liberal arts and an associate’s degree in biology in 2020 from the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She has previously worked as an administrative assistant and PCA.