Distinguished Lecture Series

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry invites world-renowned investigators in oral health research to share their knowledge and expertise with our community through the Distinguished Lecture Series. The series helps to ensure that our students, faculty, researchers, and scientists remain on the cutting edge of dental research.

May 19, 2023

Distinguished Lecturer

Rena N. D'Souza, DDS, MS, PhD
Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health
Topic: The Future of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Distinguished Lecture Series archive

Oral Cancer Progression: Hitting a Nerve

February 24, 2023

Nisha D'Silva, BDS, PhD

Donald A Kerr Collegiate Professor of Oral Pathology,
Professor, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry
and Professor of Pathology, Medical School, University of Michigan

Multiomic Approaches Identify Cellular Responses to Salivary Gland Irradiation

October 28, 2022

Matthew Hoffman, BDS, PhD

Scientific Director | Senior Investigator
Matrix and Morphogenesis Section
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Oral Health for All: Oral Health in America

September 20, 2022

Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque

Deputy Director
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health

Regenerating Epithelial Organs Using the Autonomic Nerve Supply

February 25, 2022

Sarah M. Knox, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Cell & Tissue Biology
University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry


Pulpal & Neural Contributions To Dental Sensitivity: Old Ideas, New Complexities, and Continuing Questions.

October 27, 2021

Margaret Byers, PhD

Research Professor, Emeritus
Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine
University of Washington


Orofacial Cleft Studies Around the World

February 23, 2021

Mary Marazita, PhD

Founder and Co-Director, Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics, Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Oral and Craniofacial Science, School of Dental Medicine, Professor, Dept. of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health, Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry; and Professor, Clinical and Translational Science, School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh


Dental Enamel: Its Evolution, Development, and Genetics

October 20, 2020

James Simmer, DDS, PhD

Professor, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences and Prosthodontics,
University of Michigan School of Dentistry


Development, Renewal, and Plasticity of Oral and Dental Tissues

March 3, 2020

Ophir Klein, MD, PhD

Professor, Orofacial Sciences & Pediatrics School of Dentistry & Medicine, Larry L. Hillblom Distinguished Professor in Craniofacial Anomalies, Charles J. Epstein Professor of Human Genetics Chair, Division of Craniofacial Anomalies


Living Well to 100: The Role of Inflammation

October 30, 2019

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

Mucosal Immunology: The Guardian of Oral Health

February 26, 2019

Jacqueline Mays, DDS, PhD

Assistant Clinical Investigator in the Oral Immunobiology Unit at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health

Is the Polymerization Stress Produced During the Curing of Dental Composite Restorations Clinically Meaningful?

October 10, 2018

Jack Ferracane, PhD

Professor and Chair of Restorative Dentistry, and Division Director of Biomaterials and Biomechanics at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon

Chemistry becomes Patient Care

February 22, 2018

John Featherstone, PhD

Dean Emeritus of the School of Dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Professor Emeritus of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences

Soft Materials to Build Hard Tissues

October 25, 2017

David J. Mooney, PhD

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

Tooth Development: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

February 28, 2017

J. Timothy Wright, DDS, MS

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

Impaired Diabetic Wound Healing

October 19, 2016

Dana Graves, DDS, DMSc

Professor & Vice Dean for Scholarship and Research & Interim Chair of the Department of Periodontics, University of Pennsylvania

Osteoblasts and Macrophages: Teaming up for bone regeneration

February 23, 2016

Laurie K. McCauley, DDS, PhD

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

Long-term Controlled Drug Delivery: Past and Future Perspectives

October 20, 2015

Steven Schwendeman, PhD

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

Genetic Testing for Periodontitis and Tooth Loss: fact or fiction

April 16, 2015

Dr. Thomas Hart, DDS, PhD

Director of American Dental Association Foundation Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center, Chair of ADA Council 

Oral Health and General Health: New Concepts and Clinical Implications

February 24, 2015

Robert Genco, PhD

SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vice Provost University at Buffalo of STTEO

Changing Perspectives and Unresolved Problems in Craniofacial Development

October 30, 2014

Drew Noden, PhD

New York State College of Veterinary Medicine Cornell University

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.

Pluripotent Stem Cells: Opening Another Avenue for Skeletal Regeneration

March 4, 2014

Dr. Paul Kresbach, DDS, PhD

Chair, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, University of Michigan

The Flavor World of Childhood: Good news, bad news

October 17, 2013

Julie Mennella, PhD

Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center

NIH/NIDCR: Health Advances through Discoveries

March 7, 2013

Dr. Martha Somerman, DDS, PhD

Director of NIDCR/NIH

Tissue Rengeration Lessons Learned from the Oral Mucosa

October 30, 2012

Luisa DiPietro, DDS, PhD

Director of the UIC Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, University of Illinois

Exploring Links between Oral and General Health

April 25, 2012

Bryan Michalowicz, DDS, MS

Erwin Schaffer Chair in Periodontal Research of the Minnesota Oral Health Clinical Research Center

Regenerative Dental Medicine: Stem Cell Biology and its Impact on Dentistry

February 29, 2012

Jill Helms, DDS, PhD

Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine

The Salivary Gland Fluid & Electrolyte Secretion Mechanism

October 27, 2011

James Melvin, DDS, PhD

Clinical Director, NIDCR/NIH

Our Genes and Our Sense of Taste

February 24, 2011

Dennis DraynaPhD

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

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.

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

October 27, 2010

John B. Brunski, M.S., PhD

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

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.

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

2010 Research Day

Charles F. Shuler, DMD, PhD

Dean of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia

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

Mechanisms and Prevention of Tobacco-Induced Cancer

October 23, 2009

Stephen Hecht, PhD

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

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.

Salivary Diagnostics

April 23, 2009

David Wong, DMD, DMSc

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 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.

We Are What We Eat: Jaw Muscles and the Skull

February 17, 2009

Susan Herring, PhD

University of Washington

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.

Biofilms and Caries: Sisyphus Meets Streptococcus Mutans

October 30, 2008

Robert Burne, PhD

Chair of Department of Oral Biology, University of Florida

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 illustrate 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 multiple components of the sugar phosphotransferase system. This hierarchical regulatory network also coordinates carbon and energy metabolism in response to diverse environmental and intercellular signals.

Mechanobiology of Bone: Basic Principles & Clinical Application

February 20, 2008

Dr. Charles Turner, PhD

Director of Orthopaedic Research, Associate Director for Biomedical Engineering, Indiana and Purdue University

Orofacial Pain Mechanisms

January 23, 2008

Kenneth Hargreaves, DDS, PhD

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

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.

Composites and Scaffolds for Calcified Tissue Regeneration

October 17, 2007

Antoni Tomsia, PhD

Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Materials Science Division

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.

Hypothalamic Regulation of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

April 17, 2007

Clifford Saper, MD, PhD

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

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.

The NIH Role in Catalyzing Team Research of the Future

October 26, 2006

Dr. Larry Tabak, DDS, PhD

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

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.