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Biologic and Materials Sciences and Division of Prosthodontics


Walter Loesch is 2015 Hall of Honor Inductee

Professor Emeritus Walter J. Loesche will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Honor at the School of Dentistry on October 8, 2015. Dr. Loesche received numerous honors and awards throughout his career. He was appointed the Marcus L Ward Professor in Dentistry and received honorary degrees from the University of Goteborg, Sweden, the University of Ghent, Belgium and the University of Turku, Finland. In 1988, Dr. Loesche served as the president of the American Association of Dental Research and received the Distinguished Scientist Award in 1994. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1957, his D.M.D. from Harvard in 1961 and his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967. Dr. Loesche retired from the dental school in July of 2000 and passed away in October of 2012.

Dr. Paul Krebsbach Featured in Journal of the MDA Article

Dr. Paul Krebsbach, Professor of Dentistry and BMS Department Chair, was featured in the article "U-M School of Dentistry: A Commitment to Core Values" by U of M School of Dentistry Dean Laurie McCauley in the Journal of the Michigan Dental Association (page 55).

Dr. Krebsbach is currently serving as the 44th President of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR).

Dr. Alex DaSilva Featured in AADR Article

Dr. Alexandre DaSilva, Assistant Professor of Dentistry, was featured in the "Strides in Science" section of the AADR journal Science Advocate.

Dr. DaSilva has been an AADR member since 2005 and was recently voted treasurer of the AADR Michigan Section. As an expert in the field, he will present at the upcoming 8th AADR Fall Focused Symposium: Advances in the Biology and Management of Chronic Pain.

Janani Ramaswamy Wins Dziewiatkowski Award

The 2015 Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski award recipient was Janani Ramaswamy. This award was established in 1989 in memory of "Dr. Jay", as he was known, and is given annually to honor an outstanding student researcher. Janani received her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from the Vellore Institute of Technology, India in 2007. She also received her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2009. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering under the mentorship of Dr. David Kohn and expects to complete her training later this year. Janani’s research interests are focused on the prevention and treatment of conditions involving pathological mineral deposition in soft tissues. Janani presented a seminar and was awarded a check and a plaque at the end of the seminar.

Dr. Simmer Wins Award

Dr. James Simmer, Professor of Dentistry, received the 2015 William J. Gies Award for the best Biological Research paper published in the Journal of Dental Research during the preceding year (2014).

Dr. Kohn Serves on Board

Dr. David Kohn, Professor of Dentistry, is Secretary-Treasurer of the Society for Biomaterials, and a member of the Board of Directors.

Dr. Saglik Earns Promotion

The Regents of the University of Michigan approved the promotion of Berna Saglik, DDS, MS to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor.

Congratulations, Dr. Saglik!

Dr. Krebsbach Accepts Chair Position

Paul Krebsbach, the Roy H. Roberts Endowed Professor of Dentistry, has chaired Biologic and Materials Sciences since 2005. Following a comprehensive and thoughtful reappointment review process, the School of Dentistry am pleased to announce that Dr. Krebsbach has accepted an additional three-year term as Chair of BMS that will run through June 30, 2018. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback during this important review process.

BMS has flourished during Dr. Krebsbach’s tenure as chair, demonstrating growth in extramural funding and producing a significant number of scientific publications from these projects. The Division of Prosthodontics, the clinical arm of the department, has advanced with the addition of new Prosthodontic faculty members and increasing numbers of board certified prosthodontists. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Krebsbach led the school’s faculty initiative to develop a plan to transform the DDS curriculum. This effort, the work of the Vision Implementation Team, laid the groundwork for transformative changes to the school’s teaching/learning infrastructure, making our curriculum distinct among U.S. dental schools. More recently, Dr. Krebsbach served on the school’s Strategic Planning Committee and is now a steward for the Research Domain, working on vital faculty mentoring for their research accomplishments. While doing all this for the school, Dr. Krebsbach maintains an active research program and serves as a mentor to his faculty and staff.

The School of Dentistry looks forward to Paul’s continued stewardship of BMS and his thoughtful participation as a member of the school’s leadership.

Yuji Mishina Receives NIH Grant Extension

Dr. Yuji Mishina was awarded a 5-year extension of one of his projects (NIH R01 grant) in which the goal is to determine the molecular pathogenesis of craniosynostosis caused by gain of function mutations in BMP signaling.

A majority of genetic causes (70%) of craniosynostosis are still unknown. However, BMP signaling has been implicated as a player in some forms of craniosynostosis. Results from his study should provide better molecular targets for therapeutic treatment of human cases.

Peter Ma New Materials Research Society Fellow

Dr. Peter Ma, a professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences (BMS), has been named a Fellow by the Materials Research Society.

MRS is an international organization of almost 16,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government from 80 countries. Its mission is to promote interdisciplinary materials research to advance materials that improve the quality of life. Members are in disciplines that include physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering… and now dentistry. Read the full story

Dr. Snyder Earns Two Awards at Faculty Appreciation Banquet

Dr. Mark Snyder was recognized with two awards at the Faculty Appreciation Banquet.

Mark received the Faculty Appreciation Award from students in 3-Blue and also received a faculty appreciation award, now termed the Paul Gibbons Award, from the class of 2015.

The Gibbons award, established more than 50 years ago, recognizes one faculty member that dental graduates consider the most influential during the four years of their education. Mark will be honored at the commencement ceremonies on May 8th.

Anastasia Katsavochristou Receives Rackham Research Grant

Congratulations to Anastasia Katsavochristou (graduate program in Prosthodontics at the School of Dentistry) for receiving a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant award on March 9, 2015, for study at the University of Michigan.

Joe Nguyen Wins 2nd Place in AADR Hattan Award

Joe Nguyen, an OHS/PhD student from the Krebsbach Lab, won 2nd place in the AADR Hatton Award at the IADR General Session March 2015. This award is designed to provide an opportunity for the best junior investigators to present their research at the annual IADR General Session.

Joe was also one of 20 students to win the AADR Student Research Fellowship. This Fellowship was created to encourage dental student to consider careers in oral health research.

Congratulations Dr. Krebsbach

Paul Krebsbach will be inducted as President of the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) at the forthcoming AADR meeting in Boston.

Xu Qian and Joe Nguyen Win Awards at Research Day

Xu Qian and Joe Nguyen won awards for their presentations at the UM School of Dentistry Research Day. The Dean also made a comment that Joe did a great job when alumni viewed his poster.

Award Winners Announced

Graduate Prosthodontic resident award winners this year:

  • Edward J. Billy Scholarship Award
    • Anastasia Katsavochristou
    • Sabrina Garcia Gazaui
  • Joseph A. Clayton Scholarship Award
    • Mika Stefos
    • Andrew Dill

Congratulations Dr. Kane

Dr. Lisa Kane has successfully completed the certification process and is officially a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics.

Promotions for Four BMS Faculty

The Regents of the University of Michigan approved the promotion of the following BMS faculty effective September 1, 2014:

  • Vesa Kaartinen to the rank of Professor of Dentistry w/tenure
  • Kenichi Kuroda to the rank of Associate Professor of Dentistry w/tenure
  • Yuji Mishina to the rank of Professor of Dentistry w/tenure
  • Marianella Sierraalta to the rank of Clinical Professor

Congratulations Dr. Mistretta and Dr. Bradley

Congratulations to Charlotte Mistretta, Robert Bradley and two colleagues from the Medical School. Charlotte is the corresponding Principal Investigator on a new multi-PI award from.

Chris Donnelly Wins Dziewiatkowski Award

The 2014 Dr. Dziewiatkowski award recipient was Chris Donnelly. His Mentor is Brian Pierchala. Chris presented a seminar and then was awarded a check and a plaque at the end of the seminar.

Dr. Hu and Dr. Mendonca Receive Awards at the 2014 IADR in Boston

Dr. Jan Hu, Professor of Dentistry, will be awarded the 2015 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award for Basic Research in Biological Mineralization. Dr. Hu has a long and distinguished career in the field of mineralized tissues where her emphasis is on the tissues that make up the mammalian tooth. Dr. Hu’s primary research interests and contributions are in the area of enamel mineralization, the characterization of genes and proteins in tooth formation, and the identification of genetic mutations associated with inherited dental defects. Her laboratory has made major contributions to the characterization and biologic understanding of ameloblastin, enamelin, and kallikrein-4 in mouse, porcine and human tissues.

Dr. Gustavo Mendonca, Associate Clinical Professor of Dentistry, will be awarded the 2015 IADR Academy of Osseointegration Innovation in Implant Science Award. Gustavo will receive this innovation grant to support his project to determine how microRNAs modulate osteoblast differentiation on nanoscale titanium surfaces.

Big congratulations to both Gustavo and Jan. You bring honor and distinction to our department and school.

Dr. Peter Ma Elected Fellow of Materials Research Society

Dr. Peter Ma was recently elected as a Fellow of the Materials Research Society. Peter will be honored at the annual meeting of the Materials Research Society this year.

Fellowship status in the MRS is an international achievement and serves to recognize outstanding members who have demonstrated sustained and distinguished contributions to the advancement of materials research. Congratulations, Peter.

Dr. John Drach Recognized by International Society of Antiviral Research

The International Society for Antiviral Research is recognizing Dr. John Drach, Professor Emeritus and former chairman of the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, the 2014 Gertrude B. Elion Memorial Lecture Award.

This is the highest award given by this professional society to a senior scientist for outstanding career accomplishments, an excellent record of mentoring students and younger scientists, and emulating the spirit and standards set by Dr. Elion.

Dr. Elion was an accomplished scientist and mentor who co-invented drugs to treat leukemia and herpes virus infections. She and co-workers also developed novel research methods that led to the development of the AIDS drug azidothymidine (AZT). She shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988.

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