Interim Pre-Doctoral Program Director and Interim Director of Finn Clinic at University of Alabama at Birmingham
Kyounga Cheon is faculty in the Department of Pediatric dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Cheon graduated from the Dental School at South Korea (D.M.D 1996) and was trained as an orthodontist at the Korean Orthodontic Research Institute (1999). Her research career began at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas where she worked on an interdisciplinary research project bridging clinical and molecular biology to identify novel biomarkers for lung cancer patients (2001~2006). Inspired by this research experience, she pursued an academic career at UAB. She successfully completed the Pediatric Dental Residency Program while at the same time working on her master’s degree in Oral Biology by receiving a number of fellowships including Rahemtulla Endowed Scholarship Award (2008-2010) and NuSmile Graduate Student Research Award competition (AAPD, 2011) for Achievement in Research. Her master’s thesis works were published in the prestigious Journal of Dental Research and European Journal of Oral Science. In addition, she was awarded a National Research Service Award T32 post-doctoral fellowship for her postdoctoral research. Currently, Dr. Cheon’s clinical research has mainly branched in 2 major focuses. One is the investigation of Streptococcus mutans genotypes to determine the cause of caries in high risk children and develop early diagnostic tool for prevention of dental caries. And the other focus is root regeneration using novel antibiotic encapsulated nano-peptide. While she is developing the research programs, her research efforts have been recognized by UAB funding (Faculty Development Program, 2014-2015) as well as her with receipt of NIH/NIDCR-Loan Repayment Program award (and renewal). She has presented her research projects at numerous national and international conferences including International Association of Dental Research, American Association of Dental Research, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.