Research Spotlight: Kelly Kennedy, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Anesthesiology
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
In 2012, Dr. Kelly Kennedy was awarded an OMS Foundation Research Support Grant for the project: Bone Regeneration Directed by TCP, Stem Cells and Controlled-Release Growth Factors. This project has generated one full paper, with another in preparation, three abstracts, and six presentations on the research.
In layman’s terms, describe your research and its potential benefit to patients.
Kelly Kennedy: The idea behind the research is to deliver methods for bone regeneration that avoid the use of autogenous bone grafts. This, of course, would decrease the associated surgical morbidity. We are also exploring methods using time-released growth factors which have the potential to tailor the bone graft to the patient’s needs.
Why did you choose a career in academics versus private practice?
Kelly Kennedy: Through a little luck! A faculty position became available as I was finishing my chief year and I was fortunate enough to get an interview and be chosen for the job. This has been one of my best “life moments” to date. An academic practice provides all of the necessities to keep me stimulated professionally. Teaching in the classroom and operating room keeps me sharp and intellectually challenged. Additionally, working in a large medical center provides endless opportunities for collaboration in excellent patient care and multi-specialty research projects.
What other research areas do you see as vital for the future of the OMS specialty?
Kelly Kennedy: I think that we must look at ideas that clearly define how valuable we are to healthcare through the services that we provide. This is especially important in areas where the OMS specialty overlaps with others. For example, data on the safety and success of the operator-anesthetist model in our practices, in my opinion, will be critical to our specialty moving forward.
What would you say to encourage OMS’s to apply for research awards from the OMS Foundation?
Kelly Kennedy: Go for it! The Foundation and supporting staff make the entire process very user friendly with timely responses and constructive feedback. From personal experience I must say that it is extremely rewarding to have your project funded and deemed valuable to the specialty by peer OMSs.
How is the OMS Foundation valuable to research and education in the OMS specialty?
Kelly Kennedy: The OMS Foundation is indispensable in advancing our specialty. The way that we grow as a specialty is founded on research and education. Continually evolving in our treatment methods is what is necessary to continue providing excellent care for our patients. The OMS Foundation supports clinicians in endeavors to see that this evolution continues.