New NAU research project to improve oral health of Arizona’s preschoolers

| April 5, 2017

By Northern Arizona University 

According to experts, approximately 23 percent of American children aged 2 to 5 years have caries, or untreated tooth decay. But that number is dramatically higher in Arizona, where 40 percent of preschoolers have tooth decay. Among the more rural, economically disadvantaged Hispanic and Native American populations of Northern Arizona, that number is even higher.

NAU bioinformatician and assistant professor Viacheslav “Slava” Fofanov recently received a $224,000 grant from the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission to determine the biological factors behind the caries epidemic. As the principal investigator of the project, Fofanov will lead an interdisciplinary team to research the root causes of the disease and develop potential solutions.

“Something is happening here in Arizona, especially Northern Arizona, that puts us at the top of a list we don’t want to be on,” Fofanov said.

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Category: Child Welfare, Education, Health

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