At its heart, COHRA is a research project that aims to identify factors that contribute to the burden of dental problems, and oral health disparities, in children and their families in our state, and throughout Appalachia, and thus to select the most promising areas for intervention. 

In all of the COHRA projects, we are assessing a broad array of factors that lead to health and disease, particularly in the realm of oral health.  Our areas of investigation include genetics, psychosocial factors (including maternal/postpartum depression, among others), microbiological indices, water quality, degree of rurality, and many more.

The COHRA bibliography, which can be found HERE includes over 100 refereed journal articles and other scholarly works, including publications, posters, abstracts, presentations, as well as student theses and dissertations.

Selected papers are presented here in various domains of interest for COHRA.

Oral Health in Appalachia

McNeil, D. W., Crout, R. J., & Marazita, M. L. (2012).  Oral health in Appalachia.  In

  1. L. Ludke & P. J. Obermiller (Eds.), Appalachian health and well-being (pp. 275-294). Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

COHRA1 Protocol

Polk, D. E., Weyant, R. J., Crout, R. J., McNeil, D. W. Tarter, R. E., Thomas, J. G., & Marazita, M. L. (2008). Study protocol of the Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia (COHRA) etiology study.  BioMed Central: Oral Health, 8, 18.

[PMID: 18522740; PMCID: PMC2443132; doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-8-18]


Neiswanger, K., McNeil, D. W., Foxman, B., Govil, M., Cooper, M. E., Weyant,R. J., Shaffer, J. R., Crout, R. J., Simhan, H. N., Beach, S.R., Chapman. S, Zovko, J. G., Brown, L. J., Strotmeyer, S. J., Maurer, J. L., & Marazita, M. L (2015). Oral health in a sample of pregnant women from northern Appalachia (2011-2015). International Journal of Dentistry, 2015, 1-12. [PMID: 26089906; PMCID: PMC4451284; doi: 10.1155/2015/469376]


Randall, C. L., McNeil, D. W., Shaffer, J. R., Crout, R. J., Weyant, R. J., & Marazita, M. L. (2016). Fear of pain mediates the association between MC1R genotype and dental fear. Journal of Dental Research, 95, 1132-1137. [PMID: 27555332; PMCID: PMC5004243; doi: 10.1177/0022034516661151] [2017 Giddon Award for Distinguished Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral, Epidemiologic & Health Services Research Scientific Group of the International Association for Dental Research]

Psychosocial Factors

McNeil, D. W., Hayes, S. E., Randall, C. L., Polk, D. E., Neiswanger, K., Shaffer, J. R., Weyant, R. J., Foxman, B., Kao, E., Crout, R. J., Chapman, S., Brown, L. J., Maurer, J. L., & Marazita, M. L. (2016). Depression and rural environment are associated with poor oral health among pregnant women in Northern Appalachia. Behavior Modification, 40, 325-340. [PMID: 26643277; PMCID: PMC4893820; NIHMS: 758511; doi: 10.1177/0145445515615353]


Foxman, B., Luo, T., Srinivasan, U., Ramadugu, K., Wen, A., Goldberg, D., Shedden, K., Crout, R., McNeil, D. W., Weyant, R., & Marazita, M. L. (2016). The effects of family, dentition and dental caries on the salivary microbiome. Annals of Epidemiology, 26, 348-354. [PMID: 27157862; NIMHSID: NIHMS776725; PMCID: PMC5015694; doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2016.03.006]