NIDCR director to deliver lecture on state of oral health at UB

Release Date: June 8, 2022

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Portrait of a woman in red with long dark hair and wearing a necklace.

Rena D’Souza, director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine will welcome Rena D’Souza, DDS, PhD, director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), to deliver a report on the status of oral health in the United States and to discuss the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion within the biomedical sciences.

The lecture, “Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges,” is the final talk of the school’s Faculty Advancement Series and is organized by the school’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

The event is open to all and scheduled for Wednesday, June 22, from 1-3 p.m. at 150 Farber Hall on the South Campus. Guests who cannot attend in person may view the program via Zoom. Registration is encouraged in advance on the event website.

D’Souza’s discussion will explore the past 20 years of oral health in the U.S., and its impact on communities and the economy. The NIDCR report also addresses scientific and technological advancements, oral health disparities, and the effects of substance misuse and mental health conditions on oral health.

D’Souza will also emphasize the benefits of equity, diversity and inclusion within research settings, and share how dental researchers can incorporate and strengthen equity, diversity and inclusion within their teams and grant applications. 

As the director of the NIDCR, D’Souza oversees the institute’s annual budget of nearly $485 million, supporting basic, translational and clinical research in areas of oral cancer, orofacial pain, tooth decay, periodontal disease and more.

Prior to becoming the NIDCR’s director, D’Souza was assistant vice president for academic affairs and education for the health sciences at the University of Utah. D’Souza is a past president of the American Association for Dental Research and the International Association for Dental Research. She has authored more than 150 publications and book chapters on craniofacial development, matrix biology and tissue regeneration.

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