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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

Dr. Wright to assume role as editor in chief in 2021

October 15, 2020

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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.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website

About JADA
Introduced in 1913, The Journal of the American Dental Association is a peer-reviewed journal presenting original research reports, systematic reviews, and evidence-based guidelines in clinical dentistry. Published monthly by the American Dental Association, JADA serves as an indispensable resource and guide to dentists in the US and around the world. JADA is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry.