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Biologic and Materials Sciences and Division of Prosthodontics



Pros Faculty Earn Awards at Faculty Appreciation Banquet

Mar 28, 2017 - The annual Evening of Appreciation for faculty and staff was successfully held on March 28th. These Prosthodontic faculty members were nominated and chosen by students as the most appreciated faculty of the year:

  • D2 Class: Dr. Geoffrey Gerstner
  • D4 Class Gibbons Award: Dr. Renee Duff
  • 2 Green Clinic: Dr. Charles Beard
  • 3 Green Clinic: Dr. Andres Sierraalta
  • 3 Blue Clinic: Dr. Mark Snyder
Research Day 2017

2017 Research Day Award Winners

Mar. 2, 2017 - A graduate student studying how zebrafish regenerate body tissues won a top award at the School of Dentistry’s 2017 Research Day, and the school presented two new awards for faculty mentoring and excellence in research. Read the full story

For a complete list of awards at the 2017 Research Day, see the Office of Research web page.

Kenneth May photo

Dr. May Receives Ida Gray Award

Feb. 22, 2017 - A celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Multicultural Affairs Committee was the backdrop Wednesday as the School of Dentistry presented its annual Ida Gray Awards.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Day ceremony honored the many MAC members and school administrators who have worked over the last two decades to create a welcoming atmosphere for the diverse community of students, faculty, staff and patients.

This year’s Ida Gray Awards were presented to Dr. Ken May, faculty; Teresa Patterson, staff; and Carlotta Fantin-Yusta, student. The award honors individuals who have contributed to the advancement of diversity and who have improved the climate for work, learning, research and patient care. The award is named for Dr. Ida Gray, the first African American woman in the country to earn a DDS when she graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1890. She was also the first black woman to practice dentistry in Chicago.

May, associate professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences and Division of Prosthodontics, was cited for his longstanding commitment to diversity in working with students, colleagues and patients. The nomination included his clinic work with underserved populations, including Native Americans, and his mentoring of numerous minority student groups. He is also a past director of the school’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Recruitment Initiatives.

Lisa Kane photo

Dr. Kane elected President of the Michigan section of the ACP

Dec. 20, 2016 - School of Dentistry faculty member Dr. Lisa Kane is the new president of the Michigan Section of the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP). She is the first woman to lead the Michigan affiliate of the organization.

Dr. Kane (MS 2012) is a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Prosthodontics in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and has a private practice in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. In her new role, over the next two years she will organize and lead 80 members of the Michigan Section, which includes prosthodontists, graduate students, predoctoral students, certified dental technicians and academic alliance affiliates for non-prosthodontists who teach in prosthodontics programs more than half-time.

Award Winners Announced

Graduate Prosthodontic resident award winners this year:

Edward J. Billy Scholarship Award

  • Daniel Cortés Treviño
  • Yuan-Lynn Hsieh

Joseph A. Clayton Scholarship Award

  • Daniel Hammaker
Alex DaSilva photo

DaSilva Lab receives $2.2 million grant for TMD pain research

Oct. 13, 2016 - Dr. Alex DaSilva, assistant professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, has received a $2.2 million award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to study one of the most important analgesic systems in the brains of patients with chronic temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMD.

Chronic TMD represents a major clinical problem in our society, and empirical treatments offer uncertain relief for a large number of patients. In this five-year project, the DaSilva team will investigate and modulate μ-opioid receptor mechanisms mediating individual experiences in acute and chronic TMD pain using advanced positron emission tomography and neuromodulation protocols. The study was motivated by publications from DaSilva’s lab showing that non-invasive brain stimulation methods developed by the team and collaborators provide significant pain relief in multiple chronic pain disorders, including chronic migraine, cancer pain and fibromyalgia.

Jae Shin

Jae Min Shin Wins Dziewiatkowski (Dr. Jay) Award

June 3, 2016 - The 2016 Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski award recipient was Jae Min Shin.

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. Jae Shin received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI in 2009. He began his studies at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry as a dental student in 2009, but soon transitioned into the dual degree DDS/PhD Oral Health Sciences Program in 2011. Jae is currently pursuing his PhD studies under the mentorship of Dr. Yvonne L. Kapila. In addition, Jae has two key co-mentors and collaborators, Dr. Alexander H. Rickard and Dr. J. Christopher Fenno. Jae’s research interests are focused on studying the oral microbiome and novel agents that can prevent and treat oral-biofilm associated diseases, such as caries, periodontal disease and oral cancer. Jae investigates the role of two novel anti-biofilm agents: nisin and L-arginine in these disease processes. He also works on characterizing the physical, molecular and mechanistic properties of oral biofilms and their host interactions to better understand the implications for improving oral health. Given the significant public health burden associated with biofilms, Jae’s research investigations will have broad implications for improving systemic and oral health. Jae presented a seminar and was awarded a check and a certificate at the end of the seminar.

Joe Nguyen

Joe Nguyen wins AADR Student Research Fellowship

April 20, 2016 - Dual Degree DDS/OHS PhD Student Joe Nguyen won a Student Research Fellowship from the American Association for Dental Research.

Project Title: Mammalian EAK-7 (MEAK-7) activates mTORC1 signaling through S6K2, but not S6K1 (Mentor: Paul Krebsbach)

David Kohn

Dr. Kohn elected President

April 8, 2016 - Dr. David Kohn has been elected to serve as President of the Society for Biomaterials for the 2017-2018 term.

Lisa Kane

Dr Lisa Kane using CAD/CAM to mill crowns from metal

The increasing use of digital technology is beginning to affect dental patients in positive ways because of techniques the oral health care profession has borrowed from the aerospace and automotive industries. Read the full article


2016 Research Day Award Winners

The following won awards for their presentations at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry Research Day:

  • Chelsea Cummiford / mentor Alex DaSilva
  • Emily Bellile / mentor Alex DaSilva
  • Thiago Nascimento / mentor Alex DaSilva
  • Honghao Zhang / mentor Yuji Mishina
  • Joe Nguyen / mentor Paul Krebsbach

Congratulations to all!

Peter Ma

Dr Peter Ma Finds New Way to Repair Bone without Adding Cells

For the first time, scientists at the University of Michigan have developed highly branched biodegradable polymers that self-assemble into a nano-scale “shell-in-shell” structure to efficiently deliver a microRNA. Read the full article

Jan Hu

Jan Hu Featured in AADR’s “Strides in Science”

Dr. Jan Hu, a professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and director of the Oral Health Sciences PhD program, is featured in AADR’s “Strides in Science.” A member of AADR for about 25 years, Hu is also interim chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry.

After clicking the link, scroll down to “Strides in Science” to read more about her work.

Juliana Castro-Lapeira Jesse Kane

Award Winners Announced

Graduate Prosthodontic resident award winners this year:

Edward J. Billy Scholarship Award Juliana Castro-Lapeira
Joseph A. Clayton Scholarship Award Jesse Kane
Mark Marunick

Dr. Mark Marunick receives Ackerman Award

At the October annual meeting of the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics held in Orlando, FL, Dr. Mark T. Marunick, DDS, MS received The Andrew J. Ackerman Memorial Award. This is the highest honor and award that any individual can receive in the subspecialty of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. It is to honor the individual for "outstanding contributions to Maxillofacial Prosthetics." Only 33 people have been given this award in the last 63 years.

Dr. Marunick received his DDS from the University of Michigan in 1975, his MS from the University of Michigan in 1980, and his Certificate in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics from UCLA in 1981. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics.

Photo from Dr Fenno's lab featured on cover of AEM journal

A photograph of fluorescence-labeled cells by Dr. Christopher Fenno, an associate professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, is featured on the cover of the September issue of AEM, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Fenno is senior author of an article that appears in the publication, “A Modified Shuttle Plasmid Facilitates Expression of a Flavin Mononucleotide-Based Fluorescent Protein" in Treponema denticola ATCC 35405.

Read the full announcement

Drs. Kohn and Giannobile Leaders of New Michigan Regenerative Medicine Center

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of 10 institutions in the country selected by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to establish a center that will develop clinical applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that have dental, oral and craniofacial tests. The Michigan Regenerative Medicine Resource Center, as it’s official known, will be led by Drs. William Giannobile and David Kohn.

Read the full article

Dr. Kuroda Interviewed by American Chemical Society

Dr. Kenichi Kuroda was recently interviewed on his paper about dental adhesives by the American Chemical Society. For more information, you can read the full article and listen to the podcast.

Congratulations Dr. Rodney

Dr. Jeffrey Rodney recently received board certification from the American Board of Prosthodontics (ABP). The certification is the highest credential a prosthodontist can receive.

Dr. Charlotte Mistretta receives Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

The Rackham School of Graduate Studies announced the awardees for the 2015 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards. Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards honor senior faculty who consistently have demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarly research or creative endeavors, teaching and mentoring of students and junior faculty, service, and a variety of other activities. Dr Mistretta was one of five such awardees and was honored at a banquet and ceremony held on October 5th.

Read the full announcement

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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