Ann Arbor, MI — November 13, 2015 — Dr. Margherita Fontana and Dr. Russell Taichman, two faculty members at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, were recently inducted into the American College of Dentists during the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Both were nominated by Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, associate dean for Academic Affairs.
Fontana, a professor in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, was described by Murdoch-Kinch as an outstanding dental educator and dental scientist who has devoted her career to studying the impact of caries on children and assessing various treatment strategies to reduce oral health disparities.
Murdoch-Kinch said Fontana’s career “has been driven by her vision for a caries free world, to ease the suffering of children with oral pain and dental caries.” That passion, Murdoch-Kinch said, “infuses her teaching and drives her to continually improve student learning and to change how dentists practice.”
Fontana has received major awards for her work from scientific organizations and was a recipient of the 2012 the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers during a White House ceremony. She has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications, five book chapters and several hundred research abstracts.
Taichman is the school’s associate dean of the Office of Research and a professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine. “He is truly an outstanding dentist, research scientist, mentor and educator,” Murdoch-Kinch wrote in her nomination of Taichman. “He demonstrates outstanding leadership skills, innovation and excellence in dental education, and a strong commitment to organized dentistry and the future of the dental profession.
She noted Taichman’s “deep commitment to the future of the profession and students” having mentored more than 50 students in research and career development. This includes directing the Scholars Program in Dental Leadership and the Leadership module of the Pathways Program.
Taichman’s research focuses on how bone cells regulate stem cell development and function. His work is trying to determine how cancer cells thwart stem cell development and discovering molecular pathways in the bone that may lead to prostate cancer or breast cancer. He has published more than 100 research papers and 10 book chapters and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cancer Stem Cell Research.