Go Matsuo receiving a research award at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in 2013.

May 29, 2015

Go Matsuo, (MPH, ’13) received a Leverett Graduate Student Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dental Public Health from the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD). He received the award on April 27 at the National Oral Health Conference in Kansas City, where he presented a paper on racial and ethnic disparities in dental caries among North Carolina kindergarteners.

Dr. Matsuo’s research was conducted while he served in the NC Dental Public Health Residency Program, a prestigious one-year residency program offered as a partnership between the Division of Public Health’s Oral Health Section in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dr. Matsuo’s paper, which examined the record of dental caries among 80,000 NC kindergarteners, found that Hispanic students were most likely to have experienced dental caries by the time they entered public school, followed by African American students, with white students experiencing the lowest rate of dental caries. Disparities in rates of dental caries between African American and white students were accentuated in non-poor schools. 

Dr. Matsuo entered the NC Dental Residency Program after he received his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Maryland School of Public Health in 2013. The Department of Behavioral and Community Health’s Drs. Alice Horowitz, research associate professor, and Kenneth Beck, professor, served as his advisors. Arriving at the School of Public Health from his native Japan as a dentist, for his MPH internship he taught pre-school and elementary school children about oral health preventative measures through the Deamonte Driver Dental Project, which provides basic dental services to low-income students in Prince George's and Montgomery County schools via a traveling van.

In 2014, Dr. Matsuo received a Leverett Graduate Student Merit Award honorable mention for research conducted during his MPH program, entitled, “What Maryland Dentists Know and Do About Preventing Dental Caries in Children.” 

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