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Sally J. Marshall - June 2013

Sally J. Marshall, Ph.D., is currently the vice provost of Academic Affairs at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also a distinguished professor of biomaterials and bioengineering, preventive and restorative dental sciences. She will retire from UCSF effective July 1, 2013 and will return part-time for research.

Marshall earned her B.S. in science engineering and her Ph.D. in materials science & engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Her research interests center on understanding the relationship between structures, properties and mechanisms in materials. Her major expertise is in x-ray scattering by materials and atomic force microscopy for microstructural and mechanical properties characterization. 

In 2010, Marshall was awarded the IADR Wilmer Souder Distinguished Scientist Award, which is an award designed to encourage interest in dental materials research. This year, she was awarded the AADR Irwin Mandel Distinguished Mentoring Award, which recognized her extensive experience and devotion to the mentoring and training of the next generation of scientists.

Marshall has been active in IADR/AADR since 1976 and has served on several Committees, including the IADR Honorary Membership Committee and the IADR Nominating Committee. Additionally, she served as AADR president during the 1992-93 term and later became the IADR president for the 1999-2000 term.

What do you find to be the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
I think the ability to serve in upward leadership positions has been one of the biggest benefits of my membership. I started out serving at the local level; I was officer and councilor of the AADR Chicago Section. Then I moved to IADR and AADR Committees, and served as an officer in both the IADR and AADR. Those positions convinced me that I was interested in a leadership role in academia and gave me the necessary experience to be in my current position since I had never been a department chair or a dean. I think AADR provides excellent opportunities for members to get involved and to become leaders.

How important has AADR been in your career?
AADR has been essential right from the beginning through giving me a place as a junior faculty member to present my research and get helpful comments, helping me get into leadership roles and by helping me broaden my career. Also, the networking opportunities at the AADR Annual Meetings and the ability to publish in the Journal of Dental Research have both been beneficial to my career in research and academia. 

How important do you think cross collaboration with other scientific disciplines is to the future of dental, oral and craniofacial research?
I think cross collaboration is absolutely critical. I don’t think just one person can do science anymore, it’s too complicated. My interests have progressed so much throughout my career and it’s impossible for one person or one group of people to know everything they need 

What’s a message you want to give to future dental researchers?to know to make discoveries that are at the forefront of science. A multidisciplinary approach is needed and you have to have multiple people with greater expertise in different areas interact with each other. 

My advice is to do something that you really enjoy, find good collaborators and – if you can – get funding as soon as possible. If you’re not able to get funding, collaborate with other people who can help you in that arena so that you can continue down a research path that interests you. 

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