Ohio State Dental Journal

Alumni Awards

Having demonstrated exceptional distinction in their careers, College of Dentistry alumni Lawrence F. Andrews ’54 DDS and Susan Mallery ’78 MS, ’81 DDS, ’90 PhD were among 11 Ohio State alumni recognized at The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s (OSUAA) annual awards ceremony on September 18.

The night before the big event, the College of Dentistry recognized “its own” by hosting a reception at the Faculty Club.

These awards are not given, they are earned,” said Patrick M. Lloyd, dean of the College of Dentistry to the crowd of well-wishers who gathered at the Faculty Club to congratulate Drs. Andrews and Mallery on their achievements. “What they have in common is world influence and a capacity to do something with their lives that will impact how people are cared for—people who will do better because the two of them were around.”

Dr. Susan Mallery: “Contagious” Dedication

Dr. Mallery was honored with the Archie M. Griffin Professional Achievement Award. A lifelong Buckeye, Dr. Mallery boasts four Ohio State degrees and the distinction of being a member of the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame for track and field. In 1999, as a member of faculty at the College of Dentistry, Dr. Mallery was selected by her peers to be the first recipient of the Fields Faculty Award, recognizing excellence in teaching and research.

Chair of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Radiology at the college, as well as a practicing oral pathologist and researcher, Dr. Mallery has studied new strategies for detecting and preventing oral cancer for more than 30 years. As part of her research, Dr. Mallery has investigated a variety of agents to identify new methods and therapeutics to suppress the conversion of precancerous cells. Her first breakthrough was the creation of an oral gel based on anthocyanins—powerful antioxidants found in black raspberries that when applied to the mouth suppress genes associated with functions that allow cancerous cells to grow, thus diminishing the risk for recurring lesions. For those patients who are non-responsive, Dr. Mallery and her research team— which includes Peter Larsen DDS, chair of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Anesthesiology— explored ways to treat precancerous lesions directly in the mouth and prevent recurring lesions.

Partnering with two pharmaceutical chemists from the University of Michigan, Dr. Mallery and her team developed a first-of-its-kind patch that can stick to the inside of the mouth and deliver a continuous therapeutic dose of fenretinide directly to the lesion. Through Ohio State’s Technology Commercialization Office, the researchers connected with Venture Therapeutics, a Columbus-based biotechnology research and pharmaceutical development company, to transition the oral patch for human clinical trials. Ohio State and University of Michigan researchers, in conjunction with Venture Therapeutics, created the first joint-venture company in Ohio State’s history. The College of Dentistry is the exclusive treatment site where patients can receive local delivery chemo-preventive treatment for precancerous oral lesions.

 “Dr. Mallery’s loyalty to her alma mater is perhaps exceeded only by her incredible and contagious dedication to science, compassion for patients, and devotion to teaching at all levels,” wrote nominator Gregory Ness DDS, clinical professor in the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Anesthesiology at the College of Dentistry. “Her sustained, substantial impact on Ohio State dentistry for both dental education and cancer research nationwide make her a superb candidate for this award.”

Dr. Lawrence Andrews: Breakthrough Innovation

College of Dentistry alumnus Lawrence Andrews was honored with the Alumni Medalist Award, the OSUAA’s highest honor. Dr. Andrews remains one of the most influential figures in modern orthodontia. His groundbreaking work is taught in every dental school throughout the world and his innovative “Straight-Wire” appliance is used to correct millions of smiles.

Following service in the Korean War and completion of his orthodontics residency at Ohio State, Dr. Andrews and his wife, Sharon, moved to San Diego, where he founded his own orthodontics practice. His natural curiosity and inclination toward research pushed him to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontists. Over several years, Dr. Andrews worked on his Diplomate thesis, taking impressions of approximately 120 mouths with naturally stable contacts between the maxillary and mandibular teeth. After a meticulous study to determine what, if anything, the good occlusions had in common, Dr. Andrews came to a conclusion that would establish universal treatment goals in orthodontics: his Six Keys to Normal Occlusion.

From that breakthrough, Dr. Andrews turned his attention to orthodontic appliances. At the time, they were very simple and did not address the fact that tooth positions vary in relation to the other teeth. “It seemed to me,” said Dr. Andrews, “that the archwire could be built into brackets that would direct the teeth to the correct position naturally.” Dr. Andrews started his own company that manufactured his Straight-Wire Appliance System, the use of which is now standard throughout the world.

Next, Dr. Andrews developed a methodology for tooth position measuring and the discovery of the Six Elements of Orofacial Harmony. The Six Elements have provided orthodontists across the globe with new treatment goals that delve beyond beautiful smiles, helping establish three-dimensional jaw movements and correct dental arch discrepancies to improve oral and facial health and function.

Dr. Andrews’ insights into how human teeth fit together “turned the whole profession on its head,” wrote nominator Brent Larson DDS, director of the Division of Orthodontics at the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry. Dr. Andrews “fundamentally changed the concept of how braces are made and fit on teeth to make them straight.”

Dr. Andrews is currently a clinical professor at the University of California at San Francisco and the co-director of the L.F. Andrews Foundation for Orthodontic Education and Research. He maintains a private practice limited to orthodontics and orofacial harmony in San Diego,  where he treats a number of patients without the means to pay for orthodontic treatment.

“Drs. Andrews and Mallery are driven by an insatiable desire to do great things,” said Dean Lloyd at the college reception. “What an inspiration, and what deserving recipients of the OSUAA awards.”