Global Innovation Grant Awarded to Support International Learning Lab for Oral Health

Dr. Kavita Ahluwalia's work will address oral health disease and disparities in Kenya and Brazil

The Columbia President’s Global Innovation Fund has awarded funding for Kavita Ahluwalia’s proposal for “A Global Learning Laboratory for Oral Health Step 1: A Planning Grant to Create a Kenya-Brazil Cross-National Collaboration in Support of Research, Education and Policy.”

Kavita Ahluwalia, DDS, hopes to develop a framework for oral health policy, prevention, and management.

The proposal was one of 11 chosen to receive funding out of a pool of 28 proposals submitted. The projects were selected by a review committee of senior faculty drawn from both the Morningside and medical campuses.  

The proposal builds on an existing collaborative established through the “Children’s Global Oral Health Initiative.” Kenya and Brazil both have increasing rates of oral diseases and unequal access to care, says Dr. Ahluwalia, who hopes to lay the groundwork needed to develop a comprehensive framework for oral health policy, prevention, and management in low- and middle-income nations. “We will work with the Global Centers in Nairobi and Rio de Janeiro to bring together academic, research, policy, and clinical partners to develop a cross-national learning laboratory which will be used to leverage expertise, develop collaborative oral health policy, planning and funding targets, and bring visibility to oral health needs.We anticipate that this work will be critical to informing oral health policy and programming in other low- and middle-income countries, and will explore the possibility of expansion to other Global Centers.  While the eventual learning laboratory will be cross-national, it will be steeped in community-participatory methods to ensure that strategies and interventions are sustainable, build local capacity, and are relevant to the local context.”


Dentistry, Public Health, Global Health


Population health, oral health