Approximately 23 percent of American children aged 2 to 5 years have untreated tooth decay. But in Arizona, that number is almost doubled. And among the more rural, economically disadvantaged Hispanic and Native American populations of Northern Arizona, the number is even higher.

Northern Arizona University bioinformatician and assistant professor Viacheslav “Slava” Fofanov recently received a $224,000 grant from the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission to determine the biological factors behind the epidemic.

“Something is happening here in Arizona, especially Northern Arizona, that puts us at the top of a list we don’t want to be on,” Fofanov said.

SOURCE:, April 3, 2017