University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) Dean Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD is pleased to announce that the school recently was awarded matching funds by the Maryland Department of Commerce as part of its E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF). The matching funds, in the amount of $1.5 million, in combination with private philanthropy support the establishment of the school’s first endowed professorship.
The endowed faculty position, which holds the title, Frederick G. Smith, MS, DDS and Venice K. Paterakis, DDS Professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, is a joint appointment with UMSOD’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. The new faculty position, for which recruiting is underway, will provide resources to fund the work of an outstanding research scientist in the field of tissue engineering (primarily bone) who will pioneer translational research within the two departments in addition to providing leadership in education, outreach, and service.
“Our vision is that the School of Dentistry remains a top-tier institution, well positioned for leadership that will advance patient care and indeed, the overall healthcare landscape,” said Frederick G. Smith, DDS, MS, vice president and director of Sinclair Broadcast Group, and member of the board of trustees of the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc. With their $1. 5 million gift, given to the school in 2016, Smith, and his wife, Venice K. Paterakis, DDS, both UMSOD alumni, made the largest one-time gift in UMSOD’s history and created the school’s first endowed professorship.
“Advancing oral health through scientific discovery and deep commitment to patient care form vital components of the School of Dentistry’s mission,” Reynolds said. “Endowed professorships provide critical support to outstanding faculty as they conduct innovative research, make new discoveries, and provide leadership in educating the next generation of oral health professionals. I am deeply grateful to Drs. Smith and Paterakis for their visionary leadership and support, which will enable us to recruit and retain superlative faculty.”
The innovations and discoveries made by the Frederick G. Smith, MS, DDS and Venice K. Paterakis, DDS Professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will advance oral health care, attract increased grant support of research at the school, as well as create important commercial opportunities. It also will set the stage for collaborations resulting in pioneering research in tissue engineering, which is critical for reconstructive clinical care of patients with cancer, traumatic injury, and developmental disorders.
“The endowed professorship and grant will allow the School of Dentistry to recruit an eminent tissue engineer/stem cell researcher. This individual will be embedded in the clinical surgical department and, through pioneering translational research and collaboration, will contribute new knowledge and insights into advanced diseases of the head and neck,” said Robert A. Ord, BDS, MB BCh, FRCS, FACS, MS, chair and professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. “Our goal will be to apply innovative solutions—from basic laboratory research to clinical care—to benefit all patients.”
“Further strengthening the ties between the University of Maryland’s Baltimore and College Park campuses, this endowed professorship will help drive the advancement of oral and maxillofacial surgery research and education,” said John Fisher, PhD, chair and Fischell Family Distinguished Professor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, who also directs the National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Engineering Complex Tissues.
“As a result, both bioengineering and dentistry students will have new opportunities to gain invaluable exposure to clinical medicine and delve deeper into the principles of engineering hard and soft tissues for complex parts of the body.”
About the University of Maryland School of Dentistry
The University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), the world’s first dental college, offers exceptional educational programs in oral health. As one of six professional schools and an interdisciplinary Graduate School on the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s 71-acre campus, it’s part of a thriving academic health center that combines groundbreaking biomedical research and exceptional patient care. The school is Maryland’s predominant provider of comprehensive and emergency oral health services, serving nearly 26,000 people through more than 111,800 patient visits annually. Its Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical Center’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, is renowned nationally and internationally as a leader in trauma, craniofacial deformity, oral cancer and facial reconstruction.
About the Fischell Department of Bioengineering
Housed in the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Clark Hall, the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park is the home of an emerging academic discipline and exciting interdisciplinary degree programs. The department includes laboratory and research space for the development and translation of next-generation medical devices and serves as the home for the new NIH-funded Center for Engineering Complex Tissues, which works to develop techniques to create complex tissues and parts for the body.
The department’s faculty members are also dedicated to engineering entrepreneurship, getting science out of the lab and into the hands of doctors, care providers and consumers. Combining engineering principles with a strong foundation in biology, researchers at the Fischell Department of Bioengineering are developing new technologies and devices aimed at improving human health throughout the world.