Distinguished Lecture Series Archive


Kenneth S. Kornman, DDS, PhD

Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Periodontology
Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine
University of Michigan

Living Well to 100: The Role of Inflammation

October 30, 2019


David J. Mooney, PhD

Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,
Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute

"Soft Materials to Build Hard Tissues"

October 25, 2017

J. Timothy Wright, DDS, MS

​James Bawden Distinguished Professor
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of North Carolina

"Tooth Development: The Good, Bad, and Ugly"

February 28, 2017


Laurie K. McCauley, DDS, PhD

Dean, William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor
University of Michigan, School of Dentistry

“Osteoblasts and Macrophages: Teaming up for bone regeneration”

February 23, 2016


Steven Schwendeman, PhD

Chair and Ara G. Paul Professor Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
University of Michigan

"Long-term Controlled Drug Delivery: Past and Future Perspectives"

October 20, 2015

Robert Genco, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology and Microbiology
University of Buffalo

"Oral Health and General Health: New Concepts and Clinical Implications"

February 24, 2015


Drew Noden, Ph.D.

New York State College of Veterinary Medicine Cornell University

"Changing Perspectives and Unresolved Problems in Craniofacial Development"

Molecular analyses and lineage tracing of embryonic neural crest and mesodermal cells have greatly refined our appreciation of how structures of the skull, face and oral regions develop in species representing all vertebrate classes, and have changed our view of conserved vs. derived features underlying vertebrate head development. However, our understanding of the cell interactions and molecular signals that coordinate and control these processes is much less complete. This seminar will present an overview of the current state of understanding about head morphogenesis and highlight those areas in which mechanistic explanations for developmental processes are lacking.

October 30, 2014

View Dr. Noden's lecture.

Dennis Drayna, Ph.D.

Chief, Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders Laboratory of Molecular Genetics; National Institutes of Health - National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

"Our Genes and Our Sense of Taste"

Dr. Drayna's lecture presents the results of his research on the substantial differences in taste perception that exist between individuals, with a focus on identifying genetic variations that contribute to these differences. His studies have revealed previously unrecognized aspects of human taste perception that may facilitate the discovery of worldwide patterns of genetic diversity which affect taste perception and food choices.

John B. Brunski, M.S., Ph.D.

Senior Research Engineer at Stanford University's School of Medicine - Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

"A Look at Mechanobiology of the Bone-Dental Implant Interface: Macro, Micro, and Molecular Views"

Dr. Brunski, who holds both a B.S. and a Ph.D. in Metallurgy and Materials Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University, focuses his research on oral and maxillofacial implants and the bone-implant interface.

Charles F. Shuler, D.M.D, Ph.D.

Dean of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia

"When Oral Biology and Clinical Dentistry Collide: Bisphosphonates and Osteonecrosis of the Jaw"

Dr. Shuler's presentation focuses on osteonecrosis of the jaw and its linkage to the use of bisphosphonate medications.

View Dr. Shuler's lecture.


Stephen Hecht, Ph.D.

Wallin Land Grant Professor of Cancer Prevention; American Cancer Society Research Professor

"Mechanisms and Prevention of Tobacco-Induced Cancer"

October 23, 2009

Dr. Hecht's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which carcinogens in tobacco products, the human diet, and the general environment are metabolically activated and detoxified in humans, with the aim of developing practical strategies for cancer prevention.

View Dr. Hecht's lecture.

David Wong, D.M.D., D.M. Sc.

Associate Dean of Research, Director of Dental Research Institute, UCLA, F Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), AADR Vice President

"Salivary Diagnostics"

April 23, 2009

Salivary diagnostics play an important part in health monitoring and disease detection. A number of foundational research tools that use salivary diagnostics are now in place with the recent development and maturation of two diagnostic alphabets -- the salivary proteome and the transcriptome. In addition, nanotechnology-based biosensors are concurrently being developed to capture and optimize multiplex disease-specific salivary bio markers for disease detection. Using these foundational tools, the translational application of salivary biomarkers for oral cancer screening and detection has begun, resulting in the discovery of a panel of salivary biomarkers of proteomic and genomic origins that mark the presence of early stage oral cancer with >90% clinical accuracy.

View Dr. Wong's lecture.

Susan Herring, Ph.D.

University of Washington

"We Are What We Eat: Jaw Muscles and the Skull"

February 17, 2009

The muscles of mastication are large and powerful. The pull of these jaw muscles on their bony attachments constitutes the largest load received by the skull outside of traumatic impact. Masticatory muscle contraction is also the direct cause of occlusal force and reaction loads on the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. Growth and maintenance of bone (and probably cartilage) are responsive to mechanical forces; therefore, changes in jaw muscle usage have consequences for skull structure. The mechanical effect of muscles on the skull is dynamic and complex, and thus far has resisted accurate modeling. Techniques are available for direct measurement in animal models, and exploration of the relationships between masticatory muscle function and craniofacial bones has shown an influence of muscle force on condylar and sutural growth, and and even more striking effect on bone density.

View Dr. Herring's lecture.


Kenneth Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Endodontics, President's Council Endowed Chair in Research, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

"Orofacial Pain Mechanisms"

January 23, 2008 

Orofacial pan mechanisms are poorly understood, and pain management strategies are less than effective. The families of ion channels and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are likely candidates for detecting an array of stimuli, including intense heat, cold, acids, and certain noxious chemicals such as capsaicin or mustard oil. PRL (prolactin) receptor antagonists may serve as a novel class of analgesics; basic research into the role of TRP channels and pain has resulted in the identification of several new methods that may offer utility in the control of orofacial pain.

Robert Burne, Ph.D.

Chair of Department of Oral Biology, University of Florida

October 30, 2008

Lecture 1: "Biofilms and Caries: Sisyphus Meets Streptococcus Mutans" Dr. Burne's first lecture focuses on Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium commonly found in the mouth, and other organisms that contribute to the initiation and progression of tooth decay. This presentation also discusses molecular, genetic, biochemical, ecological and clinical studies that ilustrate dental caries; resistance of antagonistic interactions between commensals and cariogenic organisms.

Lecture 2: "Complexities in Catabolite Modification of Gene Expression in Streptococcus Mutans"
Dr. Burne's second lecture focuses on genetic and biochemical studies which show that Streptococcus mutans has developed a complex, hierarchical regulatory network that includes diverse transcriptional regulators and multpiple components of the sugar phosphotransferase system. This hierarchical regulatory network also coordinates carbon and energy metabolism in response to diverse environmental and intercellular signals.

View Dr. Burne's lectures:
Sisyphus meets Strep
Catabolite Modification of Gene Expression in Streptococcus mutans

Charles Turner, Ph.D.

Indiana University/Purdue University

"Mechanobiology of Bone: Basic Principles and Clinical Application"

February 20, 2008

Mechanobiology merges the older science of mechanics with the newer and emerging disciplines of molecular biology and genetics. At the center of mechanobiology is the cellular process of mechanotransduction, or the way cells sense and respond to mechanical forces, as well as the ways that mechanical loads signal bone cells to build stronger bones. A discussion of the methods for identifying the genes that influence skeletal form and strength will also be included in this presentation.


Antoni Tomsia, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Materials Science Division

"Composites and Scaffolds for Calcified Tissue Regeneration"

October 17, 2007

Permanent damage to organs and their constituent parts is a major cause of morbidity in medicine. The development of a systematic method to generate new organs would transform medicine. Dr. Tomsia's presentation focuses on the design and synthesis of artificial tooth-like and bone like composites, as well as the development of novel strategies for calcified tissue regeneration using natural materials such as nacre, bone, or tooth as a guide through architectural control that expands a range of scales from the atomic to the macro levels.

Clifford Saper, M.D., Ph.D.

James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Chairman, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

"Hypothalamic Regulation of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms"

April 19, 2007

Dr. Saper's lecture explores the circuitry of the brain that controls basic functions such as wake-sleep cycles, brain responses to immune stimulation, and the brain's control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.


Lawrence Tabak

NIDCR Director and NIH Roadmap Research Teams of the Future Co-Chair

"The NIH Role in Catalyzing Team Research of the Future"

October 26, 2006

Dentistry in the future will be different from that of today because of advances in genomics that are enabling advances in molecular medicine. Dentists of the future will play a larger role in early diagnosis of disease than they do today. This session also discusses the importance of collaboration among and between disciplines, as well as the involvement of industry groups in new investigations.

View Mr. Tabak's lecture.