Dr. Panagakos assumes the role following the retirement of Dr. Anthony Tom Borgia, who served as dean for 10 years. Dr. Panagakos will also continue to serve in his current position as vice dean of administration and research.
“Foti’s extensive knowledge in oral health research, experience in clinical care and his capable leadership abilities will allow the school to transition seamlessly over the next several months,” said Clay Marsh, M.D., WVU Health Sciences vice president and executive dean.
Dr. Panagakos joined the West Virginia University School of Dentistry in August 2018. He is the co-editor of three books focusing on gingival disease, oral lesions and evidence-based interventions for common oral conditions. His research had focused on the effects of improved oral health on chronic diseases.
Dr. Panagakos has also been in instrumental in the dental school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that put academics and patient care on hold for several weeks, according to a news release.
“I am very fortunate to be following Dr. Borgia as he has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to raise the school up to where it is today,” Dr. Panagakos said. “I realize the foundation that Dr. Borgia has provided makes the path forward easier, in light of our current situation. Before COVID-19, I had described the task ahead as akin to climbing a hill. COVID-19 has made that hill steeper.”