Dr. Farmer-Dixon Appointed Dean at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry
Cherae Farmer-Dixon, D.D.S., M.P.H., has been appointed Dean at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry (Meharry SOD). Dr. Farmer-Dixon has been serving as Interim Dean at Meharry SOD where she is also Professor in the Department of Dental Public Health. She succeeds Janet Southerland, D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D. Dr. Southerland is stepping down from her position as Dean and returning to the faculty at Meharry.
Dr. Hyun Koo Joins Penn Dental Medicine in Department of Orthodontics
Hyun (Michel) Koo, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S., has joined the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (Penn Dental Medicine) as Professor in the Department of Orthodontics. Dr. Koo comes to Penn Dental Medicine from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he had been a member of the faculty since 2001, most recently serving as Associate Professor in the Department of Dentistry, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Center for Oral Biology.
Dr. Koo holds a Ph.D. in Oral Biology and an M.S. in Food Science from State University of Campinas, Brazil, and earned his D.D.S. at State University Sao Paulo, Brazil. In addition, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in oral biology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and served as a visiting scientist with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
An accomplished researcher, Dr. Koo’s lab focuses on one of the most prevalent biofilm-dependent oral infectious diseases—dental caries. His research is aimed at building understanding of pathogenic biofilms and developing effective therapeutics against them. His lab is particularly interested in finding new anti-biofilm agents from plant-derived foods and organic waste products as well as developing novel drug-delivery approaches.
“With the high prevalence of caries among the most vulnerable populations, Michel’s work stands to improve the lives of many, particularly underserved children,” says Morton Amsterdam Dean Denis F. Kinane, B.D.S., Ph.D. “We are excited to have him here at Penn.”
CDC Awards Grant to ASTDD to Strengthen Oral Health Programs
The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) has been awarded a five-year grant under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Organizations’ Support for State Oral Health Programs. The project, which began in September 2013, builds on ASTDD’s accomplishments of previous cooperative agreements with CDC. Under this program, ASTDD will provide technical support to increase the abilities of state oral health programs to perform core public health functions, including the “10 Essential Services to Promote Oral Health.” ASTDD will assist states with developing and maintaining a state oral and craniofacial surveillance system and continue to expand their use of effective prevention interventions, such as school-based dental sealant programs and community water fluoridation.
“We’re excited about continuing our dynamic relationship with ASTDD,” says Rear Adm. William Bailey, D.D.S., M.P.H., Acting Director, CDC Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “The new award will allow ASTDD to create new tools and guidelines, expand partnerships to promote oral health and disseminate promising and best practices for improving the oral health of communities.”
Among the accomplishments under previous CDC grants have been a major new report detailing infrastructure enhancement for state oral health programs and a basic screening survey tool to assess the need for community-level oral health data on older adults at congregate meal sites or long-term care facilities.
“Through previous CDC grants, ASTDD has played a major role in increasing the use of evidenced-based interventions to prevent tooth decay, such as school dental sealant programs, fluoride varnish programs, and community water fluoridation,” says Christine Wood, RDH, B.S., Executive Director, ASTDD. “In addition to providing tailored technical assistance to states and developing new tools and resources to guide state program development, under the current project we will create online and in-person learning activities with peer coaching and facilitate improved state planning and evaluation.”