Researcher of the Year

Man-Kyo Chung bio

Man-Kyo Chung, DMD, PhD

School of Dentistry
Professor, Department of Neural and Pain Sciences
Interim Assistant Dean of Research
Co-Director, UMB Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research

Dr. Chung is a distinguished dentist-scientist noted for his research on the molecular mechanisms of oral and craniofacial pain and the neural regulation of alveolar bone remodeling. He has been on the School of Dentistry (UMSOD) faculty since 2008 after serving a six-year postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

He has received numerous National Institutes of Health grants during his time at UMSOD, including a prestigious eight-year, $8 million Sustaining Outstanding Achievement in Research grant, which is given by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to mid-career professionals in recognition of outstanding research, leadership, and service. Widely published in scholarly journals, Dr. Chung’s writings have been cited almost 3,000 times.

Using multidisciplinary approaches, Dr. Chung and his research team have made great strides toward understanding the peripheral and central neurobiological mechanisms underlying dental pain, craniofacial muscle pain, and neuropathic pain. 

Dr. Chung is an expert in the electrophysiological, biophysical, and genetic analysis of nociceptors and nociceptive ion channels, including transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a receptor for capsaicin (an active component of chili peppers), and he studies how capsaicin receptors produce and alleviate craniofacial pain. His other research focuses on how TRPV1 afferents modulate the remodeling of alveolar bone under pathophysiological conditions such as periodontitis and orthodontic tooth movement.

As co-director of the Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research, Dr. Chung is passionate about facilitating vibrant and collaborative environments at UMB for basic, translational, and clinical pain research that will improve the well-being of chronic pain sufferers in the United States.

He received his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree and PhD from Kyung Hee University School of Dentistry in Seoul, South Korea.