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Case Western alumnus donates $3M for periodontal research, teaching

July 15, 2015
Headshot of Dr. Zanni
Dr. Zanni
Cleveland — Case Western Reserve University's School of Dental Medicine announced July 6 that it received $3 million from the estate of the late Dr. Oreste "Russ" Zanni — a 1973 graduate of the school.
The gift will be used to help advance periodontal research and teaching. In recognition of his generosity, the periodontal clinic at the Health Education Campus will now bear his name.
"We shared a shared a common love of our specialty," Dr. Nabil Bissada, a friend and fellow alumnus who now leads the school's periodontics department. "Russ was very excited about periodontal research focused on the link between gum disease and other medical conditions."
Dr. Zanni was born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. in biology from Merrimack College in 1968, and his D.D.S. from Case Western in 1973, building the foundation for his impressive career in treatment, research and teaching. In 1976, he earned a certificate of advanced graduate study in periodontics from Boston University. Dr. Zanni was a clinical associate professor and clinic director in the Department of Periodontology at BU's school of dental medicine.
In 2009 and 2010, Dr. Zanni received the Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the residents enrolled in the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics at BU's school of dental medicine. In 2008 and 2009, he received the Educator Award from the American Academy of Periodontology. Dr. Zanni died July 15, 2013, after suffering a heart attack. He was 66 years old.
In May, Boston University announced that Dr. Zanni also gave its Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine $3 million, which will be used to establish an endowed full scholarship to be awarded to a resident enrolled in the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics. To read the story about his donation to BU, click here.