Humboldt fellow starts research project in Regensburg
A brasilian Humboldt fellow starts her orthodontic research project in University and University Hospital Regensburg.
Alexander von Humboldt – born 250 years ago (on September 14, 1769) – was a great German research traveller with a field of activity that extended far beyond Europe. In his complete oeuvre, he created over a period of more than seven decades “a new level of knowledge and reflection of knowledge of the world” and became the co-founder of geography as an empirical science. Being a supporter of the promotion of science even during his lifetime, scientists are still supported in his name today – by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The competition is harsh, as according to the Humboldt Foundation only about 20%-25% of all grants are accepted. It doesn’t matter in which subject or country the researcher works. For the Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Scientists, the funded must have above average qualifications, completed his/her doctorate less than twelve years ago, already have his/her own research profile and a record of several years of independent academic work e.g. working at least at the level of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Group Leader. The decisive factors for a selection are the scientific qualification of the applicant and the quality of the project, which is assessed by independent experts.
In this context, Prof. Dr. Erika Calvano Küchler from Universidade Positivo in Curitiba (Brazil) was awarded the honour of receiving one of the prestigious Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowships for Experienced Scientists for an 18-month research project in conjunction with her academic host Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dr. Christian Kirschneck from the Department of Orthodontics, University Medical Centre of Regensburg, starting January 2020. This joint fellowship programme of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Brazilian research funding organisation CAPES will enable bringing her expertise in the field of genetics to Regensburg University in a project aimed at investigating the genetic background of various orthodontically relevant conditions in a clinical study on populations from Germany as well as Brazil.
Prof. Dr. Küchler is a distinguished scientist and paediatric dentist, who received several clinical and academic degrees in Brazil including a DDS and MS in Paediatric Dentistry as well as a PhD in Medical Science. Later, she became a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. After two years, Prof. Dr. Küchler returned to Brazil as a researcher at the University of São Paulo and currently she is Full Professor at the Positivo University in Brazil. From 2017 onward, an active scientific collaboration has been established between her research group in Brazil and the Department of Orthodontics, Regensburg, instigated by her academic host and project supervisor Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dr. Christian Kirschneck, who also aroused her interest in the field of orthodontics.
Prof. Küchler, you are conducting your research project as part of the Capes Humboldt Research Fellowship at and in cooperation with the Department of Orthodontics at the University Medical Centre Regensburg. Why did you choose this research facility or how did this come about?
Prof. Küchler: First of all, I would like to thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and CAPES for being awarded with this well-recognized fellowship. I also want to thank my academic host, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dr. Christian Kirschneck and his research team from the Department of Orthodontics at the University Medical Centre of Regensburg, for enabling me to have this wonderful opportunity as well as for their continuous support. Over the years I have read many interesting research manuscripts from Dr. Kirschneck, who is an internationally recognized scientist in the orthodontic research field. I had the opportunity to start a scientific collaboration with him and his team in 2017 with several joint research results already published in the last two years culminating in the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Experienced Researchers in collaboration with CAPES. The grant is giving me the opportunity to start a long-term joint clinical-genetic research project in the field of orthodontics as well as to have a wonderful experience of working in a modern and progressive university.
The topic of your research project is to explore the effects of genetic polymorphisms particularly in Vitamin-D-related genes in the context of orthodontic treatment and associated phenotypes. How would you describe the project?
Prof. Küchler: A variety of dental and orthodontic conditions, pathologies and malocclusions as well as the individual tissue response to therapeutic interventions has a genetic background. Genes related to Vitamin D might influence the patients’ immune responses and aspects of bone and tooth development. Therefore, our project aims to evaluate, if commonly occurring variations in these genes are involved in some dental-facial aspects or phenotypes and if these genes are involved in the patients’ response to orthodontic treatment.
PD Dr. Dr. Christian Kirschneck
University Hospital Regensburg
T: (+49) 0941 944-6095