Spring 2018

From Boston to the World

Greetings! It seems like just yesterday I was announcing our school’s 150th anniversary celebration, and now here we are almost halfway through 2018.

One of the greatest thrills of celebrating this milestone has been reconnecting with our alumni around the globe; meeting them, learning about their work, reflecting on our past, and planning for our future. So it’s fitting that our main feature in this issue is “How One Dental School is Changing the World,” an in-depth look at some of the Tufts School of Dental Medicine faculty, alumni, and students doing important work in oral health, public health, social change, and public policy around
the globe.

We did not have to look hard to find incredible researchers, academicians, and clinicians. In Rwanda, a research team led by public health and community service professor John Morgan is conducting a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s oral-health care, for use in the Rwandan government’s efforts to rebuild its health-care infrastructure. In Saudi Arabia, we meet Maisa Al-Sebaei, MSD03, DG04, who has become the first female director of an oral and maxillofacial surgery program in the kingdom. And in Vietnam, current student Shawn Kim, D20, is working with a company to market a portable HIV test kit he developed (and that earned him recognition by the Clinton Global Initiative). These inspiring individuals, as well as the others we cover in this issue, are just a few examples of how our global reach leads to lasting impact.

Closer to home, our work continues to provide exemplary education, clinical care, and research. In this issue, you can learn about research into the genetics of periodontal disease, how zebrafish can help scientists seeking a cure to for rare genetic disorder, and how we’re working to build a project to improve the oral health of patients with disabilities. We also cover how our extraordinary Simulation Clinic became the star of Boston’s Hubweek, an annual science and technology festival, where a 360-degree view of the clinic was displayed for thousands of Bostonians in City Hall Plaza.

Though we are constantly looking toward what’s next, we never forget what came before. This issue, we’re especially pleased to welcome our guest columnist Sol Gittleman, historian and former Tufts provost, who tells the story of Jean Mayer and the dentists. Tufts longest-serving president, Mayer held a close relationship with the faculty at the dental school throughout his tenure, collaborating with the school to help transform it, along with the rest of the university, into the vibrant and respected research institution it is today.

As always, the magazine reflects the myriad accomplishments of the Tufts School of Dental Medicine community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. I hope you enjoy reading, and I wish you, your families and loved ones, an enjoyable spring and summer. As always, I welcome your comments by phone, 617-636-6636, or by email, huw.thomas@tufts.edu.

Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Pediatric Dentistry

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