Students meet with Congressman Walter B. Jones
First year dental students Brett Leslie, Matthew Moore, Luke Current and Jessica Shamberger met last week with Congressman Walter B. Jones in his district office in Greenville to discuss the value and importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research and oral health.
The students urged Representative Jones to work with Congress to develop a budget deal, avoid sequestration and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
Matthew Moore said, “The congressman was very motivated by the presence of young researchers who were passionately advocating to positively impact the world through dental research.”
According to the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), members of Congress make decisions every year on how much funding to provide to federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health and NIDCR. These agencies provide funding for research programs and projects. As a result of Congressional decisions, in 2015 NIDCR awarded the lowest number of research grants in 14 years. Therefore, AADR encourages its members and students to schedule in-state meetings with members of Congress, like Moore and his colleagues, because these voices carry more weight than a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. In fact, research conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation found the most effective way to influence a policymaker is through an in-person meeting.
Leslie, Moore, Current, Shamberger and their faculty mentors presented research posters at a juried exhibition during the ECU School of Dental Medicine’s Celebration of Research and Scholarship on August 24, 2015.