John Timothy Wright, James Bawden Distinguished Professor at UNC-CH Adams School of Dentistry Appointed Next Editor in Chief of The Journal of the American Dental Association

CHICAGO, October 15, 2020 — John Timothy Wright, D.D.S., M.S., a pediatric dentist and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry was appointed to become the next editor in chief of The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). The appointment, made by the American Dental Association (ADA) Board of Trustees, follows a national search. The search committee sought an outstanding clinician scientist to fill the role, a strategist and visionary with a national reputation.

The search yielded an extraordinary field of highly gifted candidates, each of whom exemplified the highest achievements in academia, research, clinical practice and service to the dental community. From this remarkable group of candidates, the search committee felt Dr. Wright was best poised to build on JADA’s historic legacy and adapt the journal to the evolving needs of the profession.

“Through ADA’s extensive search for the next JADA editor in chief, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Wright will lead the journal beginning in 2021,” said Kathleen O’Loughlin, D.M.D., M.P.H., executive director of the ADA. “Dr. Wright’s vision for JADA to serve as an essential resource for dentists to develop and maintain their ability to provide excellent patient care aligned perfectly with the ADA’s vision and the future of JADA.” 

Dr. Wright, who assumes the post on January 1, 2021, was chosen from a field of extraordinary candidates for his bold vision to take the journal forward and prepare clinicians to meet present and future challenges. The journal will build on its current foundation in evidence-based care with attention to new and developing technologies that improve diagnostics and advance therapeutics. 

“Readers can expect to find transformative themes that are directed at improving both oral health and overall health,” Dr. Wright said. “I am passionate about my role as an educator, and JADA is the ultimate forum to pursue that calling.”

Dr. Wright is the James Bawden Distinguished Professor at the School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams, where he previously served as chair of the department of pediatric dentistry, interim chair of the department of endodontics, and director of strategic initiatives. Dr. Wright has held offices of national distinction, having served as vice president and then president of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). A three-time recipient of AADR’s prestigious Gies Award, Dr. Wright has also received the Distinguished Science Award presented by the International Association of Dental Research. 

Dr. Wright currently serves the ADA as a member of the ADA’s Dental Quality Alliance; he previously served as chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. 
Dr. Wright studied chemistry at West Virginia University (WVU), received a D.D.S. from the WVU School of Dentistry, and a M.S. certification from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He obtained board certification by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 1990.  

Dr. Wright succeeds Jeffrey Platt, D.D.S., M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Comprehensive Care and Ralph W. Phillips Professor in Dental Materials at the Indiana University School of Dentistry, who has served as JADA’s interim editor since April 2020.