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October 2019 – Peter J. Polverini

Peter J. Polverini is the Jonathan Taft Distinguished University Professor of Dentistry and Dean Emeritus of the University of Michigan Dental School and a Professor of Pathology in the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor. 

Polverini  is a leader and influential figure in the field of vascular and cancer biology. His current research focuses on the role of cancer stem cells in the progression of premalignant oral lesions and exploring strategies to integrate precision medicine into dental practice. 

Polverini is an AADR Past President (2013-14) and the recipient of the 2006 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Medicine and Pathology. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

1.    How did you first learn about AADR and what motivated you to join? What do you find to be the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
Although I had heard about the AADR when I was a dental student at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, upon arriving at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass., I developed a greater appreciation for the breath and dept of research conducted by AADR members. I believed that by joining the AADR I would have a forum to present my research to other dentist-scientists. The greatest benefit(s) of AADR membership for me has been meeting colleagues with similar research interests and the collaborations I have developed through attendance at the annual meeting.

2.    What is the best way for other members to become more involved in AADR?
Getting more involved in AADR starts with attending the Annual Meeting and learning about opportunities to serve on AADR committees. The more involved I got by serving on AADR committees, the more I learned about the depth and breadth of research conducted by AADR members.

3.    You were an author of and a participant in the podcast that highlighted the Journal of Dental Research Centennial paper “A History of Innovations in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Oral and Head and Neck Cancer.” How has the JDR impacted your research and career?
The biggest impact of the JDR has been how it has broadened my appreciation and understanding of different areas of dental research and the influence it has had on my own research. 

4.    You served as the forty-second President of the AADR, from 2013-14. What motivated you to run for office? How has this leadership experience within AADR shaped your career?   
I believed that by serving as AADR President I could represent the interest of the dental research community research in dental education by fostering a culture of research in dental schools.

5.    What do you want to see in the future for AADR?
I hope to see AADR have a greater impact on dentistry by having more its members actively work to further strengthening the environment for research in dental education and practice.

Previous Article September 2019 – Jessica Scoffield
Next Article November 2019 – Susan W. Herring

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