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/ Categories: Strides in Science

August 2018 - John M. Powers

John M. PowersJohn M. Powers, graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in chemistry in 1967 and a Ph.D. in dental materials and mechanical engineering in 1972. He was Professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, from 1972-1988. He was Professor at the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston from 1988-2005, where he also served as department Chair and Associate Dean for Research. He founded the Houston Biomaterials Research Center and served as Director from 1994-2005. Since 2005, he has been Clinical Professor of Oral Biomaterials at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, where he is a consultant to the Michigan Pittsburgh Wyss Regenerative Medicine Resource Center.

Powers received an honorary Ph.D. from the Nippon Dental University, Japan, in 2011. He was a founding member and Director of the Society for Color and Appearance in Dentistry (SCAD) and received the E.B. Clark Award from SCAD in 2012. He received the 2013 IADR Distinguished Scientist Wilmer Souder Award. Powers was named AADR Fellow and SCAD Fellow in 2016.

Powers has been a member of IADR/AADR and the Dental Materials Group of IADR since 1967. He served as president of the Dental Materials Group from 1983-1984 and Councilor from 1999-2008. He has authored more than 1,000 scientific articles, abstracts, books and chapters. He is Publisher of Dental Advisor, co-author of Dental Materials – Foundations and Applications and co-editor of Craig's Restorative Dental Materials and Esthetic Color Training in Dentistry. He has served as Dental Materials Section Editor of the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry (JERD) since 2011 and is a reviewer for JERD, Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry and Journal of Prosthodontics. Powers has given numerous scientific and professional presentations.


  1. How did you first learn about AADR and what motivated you to join?

I was a student research assistant at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, and my mentors, Floyd Peyton and Robert Craig, recommended that I join AADR and the Dental Materials Group in 1967 to present my research project for the department. I discovered AADR was a great organization to meet colleagues and discuss dental research.

  1. What do you find to be the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?

The most valuable benefit for me is networking with colleagues. During my career I have mentored a number of undergraduate students, dental students, residents in dental specialties and graduate students. AADR meetings were a major way to promote the research of my mentees. I have also collaborated with many scientists from dental industry, most of whom I met at AADR meetings.

  1. What do you want to see in the future for AADR?

I enjoy the current format of AADR meetings, both oral and poster sessions and I like networking activities. The AADR Fellows program is a great way to engage active AADR members. I think it is important to keep AADR meetings affordable so that students and young investigators can attend — networking opportunities for these members are important.

  1. What is the best way for other members to become more involved in AADR?

Members can become involved by entering award competitions, volunteering to serve on AADR committees and joining one or more scientific groups. Many leadership opportunities are available within AADR committees and the scientific groups.

  1. How important do you think cross-collaboration with other scientific disciplines is to the future of dental, oral and craniofacial research?

AADR members in both academia and dental industry are aware of the importance of collaborating with other disciplines. The publications of AADR are important in making members aware of current cross-collaborations. Symposia at the annual meeting sponsored by two or more scientific groups are always interesting.

  1. Why did you choose to support the AADR William F. Butler Fellowship?

Bill Butler and I were faculty and held administrative positions at the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. We were also neighbors living on the same street about five houses apart. Bill was an outstanding scientist, teacher and mentor. I was excited to contribute to his endowed fund.

  1. Why are you serving on the newly appointed AADR Development Committee?

AADR meetings and leadership opportunities have been vital to my career development as well as the development of many of my mentees. I believe in giving back. Generosity is expected from successful people, so I am glad to assist AADR in promoting various giving opportunities including legacy giving.


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