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University of Michigan appoints Dr. McCauley dean

March 26, 2013

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

Dr. Laurie McCauley
Ann Arbor, Mich.—Dr. Laurie K. McCauley is the new dean of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and the first woman to lead the dental school since its founding in 1875.

Dr. McCauley's five-year appointment begins Sept. 1. She succeeds Dr. Peter Polverini who completes his second term as dean Aug. 31.

“Leading the U-M School of Dentistry is a great honor,” said Dr. McCauley. “I am looking forward to working with faculty, staff, students and alumni to further efforts that engage and inspire future clinicians and academicians who will lead in developing and implementing innovative therapies that become the gold standard of future clinical care.”

Dr. McCauley is the U-M School of Dentistry's William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor of Periodontics and professor of dentistry, and professor of pathology in the Medical School. She served as chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine in the School of Dentistry from 2002-12. U-M said that during this time, she oversaw the successful merger of her department and another, and successfully increased departmental endowment and research funding.

She holds dental, doctorate, master's and undergraduate degrees from the Ohio State University, and maintained a private practice limited to periodontics from 1988-91. In 1992, Dr. McCauley joined the University of Michigan dental school faculty as an assistant professor and rose through the ranks to professor in 2001. In 2002 she was appointed as an associate professor of pathology in the Medical School and became a professor in 2009. Over the course of her career, she has held a number of visiting scientist and visiting professor appointments, including her current visiting appointment at the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She also continues a private practice limited to periodontics with the UM Dental Faculty Associates.

In her portfolio of research and professional leadership, Dr. McCauley has more than 120 peer-reviewed publications in the biomedical literature in the areas of hormonal controls of bone remodeling, cancer metastasis to bone and craniofacial regenerative medicine. She has sustained independent funding as principal investigator from the National Institutes of Health for 19 years. She is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology, and a fellow in both the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. She is the second dentist in the history of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research to be elected to its council and also served on the National Institutes of Health, National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council.

Among the many recognitions of her research are the inaugural Paula Stern Achievement award, an esteemed award of the ASBMR, in 2010, and a distinguished scientist award from the International Association for Dental Research in 2011. She has consistently contributed to the profession as a peer reviewer and member of many editorial boards including those of the Journal of Dental Research, Osteoporosis International, and the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. She is currently finishing a five-year term as associate editor of the latter.

Dr. McCauley edited a textbook published in 2012 on craniofacial mineralized tissues and under her leadership as department chair, a new graduate program in oral pathology and a new e-learning dental hygiene degree program were established; in addition, a graduate program in periodontics was extremely successful, garnering numerous awards from the American Academy of Periodontology. She has mentored numerous graduate students who have gone on to tenure-track faculty positions and numerous junior faculty who have received independent research funding and promotion. She has led efforts that ensure processes are in place to secure consistency in teaching in her department. In 2010 she was awarded the William J. Gies Award sponsored by the American Dental Education Association and the American Academy of Periodontology for outstanding contributions to literature and education in periodontology.

“President [Mary Sue] Coleman and I are very pleased that Professor McCauley will assume the leadership of the School of Dentistry,” Phil Hanlon, University of Michigan provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said in a March 21 announcement. “She is a seasoned academic administrator whose service to the School of Dentistry, the University of Michigan, national and international professional committees, and to her civic community is extensive. She brings a unique blend of clinical experience, research achievement, pedagogical leadership, and administrative success to the position of dean. We look forward to working with Professor McCauley as dean of the School of Dentistry.”