Discovering the future
Profound changes will come from scientiﬁc discovery.
Table of Contents
Dean’s Greeting 1
Philips Institute Expansion Builds on Its Strengths 2
Student National Dental Association Chapter Promotes
Oral Cancer Research 5
Jack of All Trades 6
Dr. Janina Lewis Draws Connections Between
Basic Science and Oral Health 8
Student Research Group Catalyzes 10
A Journey of Excellence:
Cheyanne Warren Blazes a Trail for Dual Degree 12
Seeking New Horizons, Dean Hunt Leaves VCU 14
Advocacy in Action 16
Donor Naming Recognition Day 18
Dentistry Does Digital 19
The Heart of Dentistry 20
Hats Off at Annual Friends Dinner 22
Faculty Kudos 26
New Faculty 27
Reunion 2010 – All Roads Lead to Richmond 28
Calendar (back cover)
“The most profound changes will come from scientific discovery.
Discoveries will come through the science of genomics and proteomics, mole-
cular probing, salivary diagnostics, gene therapy, and tissue bioengineering.
There will be many undiscovered, unimaginable advances.” I made these
observations last March in my president-elect’s address just prior to assuming
the office of president of the American Dental Education Association. I was talk-
ing about how we, as educators, must do a better job of preparing graduates
for this undiscovered future of dental practice.
As I spoke, I thought of the significant contributions of dental schools and
their scientists who make those discoveries through research. At the VCU School of Dentistry, research has long
been an important part of our mission. As part of a Carnegie Research Extensive University and a major acad-
emic health center, this school is well-positioned to advance oral health research.
Scientific discovery requires a special blend of willing collaborators and grant support. It requires our senior
and mid-career faculty members to mentor and encourage less-experienced colleagues and use their grant
funds to pay research staff and graduate students. It requires our professors to teach clinical correlations and
evidence-based dentistry and guide our students toward understanding better the connection between the
operatory and the laboratory. It requires our scholars to contribute new knowledge by publishing dozens of peer-
reviewed manuscripts, annually.
With the adoption of a Master of Science in Dentistry degree for our graduate students, the thesis require-
ment expanded the school’s research. Dental student research also continues to expand as more students par-
ticipate in Clinic and Research Day, win research fellowships, and support each other in the school’s chapter of
the National Student Research Group.
For several decades, the school’s research capacity, as measured by external grant acquisitions, rested
mostly in research in periodontal diseases. In an article in this magazine, I describe the founding of the VCU
Philips Institute of Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology. Since its inception, the institute has added oral biol-
ogy as a second major area of research in the school and doubled our research grant awards. The construction
of a four-chair Clinical Research Unit also has increased the school’s research.
A planned expansion of the Philips Institute, aided by another major gift from Dr. John Philips, will bring the
school a third major area of research, focusing on tissue bioengineering. We are actively recruiting additional
scientist faculty members to work in the new laboratories in the recently completed Perkinson Building.
Many of these efforts are highlighted in this magazine. With all these efforts, as outlined in our 2008–2013
Strategic Plan, the school’s research enterprise continues to diversify and grow, assuring us it will significantly
contribute to future scientific discovery and the future of dental practice.
Ronald J. Hunt, DDS
Harry Lyons Professor and Dean
VCU School of Dentistry
Winter 2010 1
Builds on Its
By Dr. Ron Hunt
“We must name it the ‘VCU Institute of Oral and
Craniofacial Molecular Biology.’ ” The tongue-twister name
“The work of preventing of what is now known as the Philips Institute for short, or
and treating oral cancer OCMB for even shorter, came from Dr. Frank Macrina,
VCU’s Vice-President for Research.
was my primary motiva- It was 1995, and then Dean Lindsay Hunt had just
tion for establishing the recruited Dr. Macrina from the Department of Microbiology
in the VCU School of Medicine to establish, build, and direct
institute. My decision to
a research program in the School of Dentistry that would
increase my support is explore biological underpinnings of diseases and conditions
prompted by my desire related to dentistry and oral health. Dean Hunt sought to
expand the research enterprise of the school by creating a new
to expand the focus on school-based program in oral biology.
oral cancer research.” Dr. Macrina supported Dean Hunt’s vision, stating,
“Dentistry is about much more then fixing teeth.” But Dr.
– Dr. John Philips Macrina sought to develop a larger, university-recognized
research institute. In this expanded vision, the institute would
foster new collaborative teams on the MCV Campus and capi-
talize on the nationally changing and expanding emphases of
dental research. At the time, the dental institute at the National
Institutes of Health had just changed its name from the National
2 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
VCU Vice-President for Research and Philips
Institute founding director Dr. Frank Macrina stands
in the western wing of the institute. This wing hous-
es the labs dedicated to oral cancer research.
In 1998, I succeeded Dean Lindsay Hunt as
dean. The institute plans, however, remained on
course, the construction started, and the fund-rais-
ing campaign continued. By 2002, we finished the
laboratories, recruited two additional scientists,
received awards for several research grants, and
successfully concluded the fund-raising campaign.
Institute for Dental Research to the National Through the efforts and generosity of many peo-
Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research. NIH ple, we raised over $5 million for laboratory and office
was shifting more extramural funding to research of construction, equipment, and furniture. Dr. John
craniofacial conditions, and moving funding from Philips (DDS ’69) made the largest gift, totaling $1.25
systems biology and cell biology to molecular biol- million. In recognition of the significance of his gift, the
school and the university named the new institute the
ogy, using genomics and proteomics. Soon the
John Philips Institute of Oral and Craniofacial
human genome would be mapped. Genomes of
Molecular Biology in memory of Dr. Philips’ father,
oral bacterial also would be mapped. With these
who died of oral cancer.
new directions, future research would focus on the
complex molecules that interact to drive or affect
disease processes. “The
Dr. Macrina’s expanded vision prevailed. The
school-based program grew to become a universi-
ty-recognized institute. The scope of the research
expanded from oral diseases and conditions to
include craniofacial ones. The type of research Dr. Philips’ interest in supporting research in oral
expanded from cell biology to molecular biology. cancer led the school to hire two faculty members
Director Macrina started planning the construction who investigate its molecular pathogenesis. They
of laboratories that would occupy three-quarters of work in collaboration with scientists in the Massey
the fourth floor of the Wood Memorial Building. Dean Cancer Center at VCU.
Hunt established three additional faculty scientist Because of Dr. Macrina’s great success as
positions and launched a fund-raising campaign to founding director of the VCU Philips Institute and his
pay for the renovations and to equip the labs. previous leadership efforts at VCU, in 2005 then-
President Eugene Trani recruited him to become
Winter 2010 3
Philips Institute Expansion Builds on Its Strengths
VCU’s Vice-President for Research. Since Dr. ones, and they will work with PhD students in
Macrina’s promotion, Dr. Andrew Yeudall, one of engineering. The university allocated over
the institute’s oral cancer scientists, has directed $250,000 for laboratory equipment.
the institute on an interim basis. To show his support for expanding research
By 2008, the VCU Philips Institute housed in oral cancer and adding a research program
five full-time faculty scientists and their support in tissue bioengineering, Dr. Philips recently
teams. Now these scientists generate about $1 made another large gift to the institute. This
million per year in extramural funding to support cash gift, totaling over $800,000, is critical to
their research. To date, a majority of their the success of recruiting a permanent director
research has been in oral molecular biology and
for the institute and the additional scientists we
focuses on the genomics and pathogenesis of
seek. We will use Dr. Philips’ latest gift to fund
bacteria that cause periodontal disease or
the start-up packages of supplies, reagents,
and instruments that new research hires need.
We have nearly completed a national search
The opening of the W. Baxter Perkinson
for a permanent institute director and currently
are recruiting additional scientists to join the
new director. This team should be fully in place
Building in 2009 provided us a huge opportuni- at VCU by next summer.
ty to further expand the size and scope of the From its early days until now, the Philips
VCU Philips Institute. From the beginning of the Institute has continually built on its strengths.
planning for the building, we dedicated one With additional space, an expanding vision,
entire floor, comprising 11,000 square feet, to and increased funding, future discoveries are
research. My vision for the use of this space limited only by the creativity and determination
remains unchanged since its inception. We will of the new director, scientists, and the existing
expand our research program in oral cancer, in members of the team.
collaboration with the VCU Massey Cancer
Center, and build a new research program in tis-
sue bioengineering, in collaboration with the
VCU School of Engineering.
The Office of the Vice-President of Health
Sciences funded four additional research facul-
ty positions for the institute. These scientists will
bring existing grants with them or generate new
These scientists generate
about $1 million per year in To read more about the
extramural funding Philips Institute visit:
4 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
Oral Cancer Standing l to r: Krystle Dean-Duru, Ruth Molokwu,
Misha Ghazarian, Alonozo Blackmon, Tamasha
Research Triplett, Edward Jordan, Collin Rice, Asha Wilson, Dr.
John Philips, Dr. Andrew Yeudall.
Kneeling l to r: Jasmine Elmore, Nickie Hosseini,
Oral cancer disproportionately affects
African-Americans, with higher incidence rates “The Oral Cancer Walk’s purpose is to raise
and lower survival rates. To elevate awareness money for oral cancer research and increase
of this national oral health concern, the VCU awareness of the disease in the general popu-
Student National Dental Association (SNDA) lation, particularly among African Americans,”
joined other SNDA chapters across the country said Crystal Hayes (D2012), VCU SNDA
by organizing and sponsoring an Oral Cancer spokeswoman. According to the Oral Cancer
Walk in their community. The VCU SNDA-spon- Foundation, oral cancer occurs twice as often
sored walk took place September 19, 2009. in blacks as in whites. The five-year survival
Several weeks before Dr. John Philips (DDS rate is 33 percent for blacks versus 55 percent
’69) presented his latest gift to the VCU Philips for whites.
Institute and emphasized his commitment to Prior to the Richmond Oral Cancer Walk,
research that fights oral cancer, the members of members of VCU’s SNDA obtained donations
the VCU SNDA banded together and raised from many sponsors in the school-wide com-
$1,500 to support this cause by sponsoring the munity. “We wanted to do an outreach project
school’s first-ever Oral Cancer Walk in that would benefit our local community and the
Richmond. larger community,” said Amber Weems
(D2010), the VCU SNDA president. “We also
Volunteers Ruth Molokwu(left) and Andreen wanted to do something visible and be role
Fearon wait for walkers to complete the course models for other under-represented minorities
in front of the Perkinson Building. to help recruit them into the field of dentistry.”
The VCU SNDA officers presented their
$1,500 check to Dean Ron Hunt and Dr. Philips
at the VCU School of Dentistry’s Friends of
Dental Education Dinner in October 2009. At
the dinner, Dr. Steve Lutz (DDS ’82) was so
moved by the gesture that he pledged to match
the amount of money the SNDA students raise
with their 2010 Oral Cancer Walk, up to $5,000.
Winter 2010 5
Trades AL L
When it comes to research, Dr. Jack Gunsolley will tell you,
“I’m not the idea guy. I am the guy who gets things done.” Or put
another way, to paraphrase the series of BASF television com-
mercials, “Jack doesn’t conceive the research, he makes the
research better.” Dr. Gunsolley’s career in academic dentistry
spans over 20 years of teaching, service, and research, and
despite his personal humility, he does much more than “get
“Jack is a faculty member who does everything you’d ever
ask of a faculty member,” said Dean Ron Hunt. “He serves on
university committees, pulls extra time in the clinics, mentors
junior faculty, and does it willingly and cheerfully. He understands
the collaborative nature of both research and scholarship.”
Dr. Gunsolley began his career in academic dentistry at VCU
in 1986 as a research assistant and subsequently earned his cer-
tificate in periodontology and a master of science degree in bio-
statistics. Until the mid-1990s, he taught at the VCU School of
Dentistry in the Department of Periodontology while holding an
affiliate appointment in the Department of Biostatistics in the
School of Basic Sciences.
Throughout the span of his academic career, Dr. Gunsolley
has taught, lectured, and directed courses in everything from
statistics and research methods to graduate periodontics. No
matter what course he teaches, however, he emphasizes the
importance of looking at the data. “Our graduates will be prac-
ticing dentistry in a world of rapid scientific advances,” Dr.
Gunsolley said. “They will need to be able to evaluate, ‘Is this
6 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
tool necessary? Does this therapy work?’ I want them to leave
here with the ability to make decisions for the well-being of
patients based on data.”
In 1996, Dr. Gunsolley left VCU to become the department
chair at the University of Maryland, but because he felt research
faculty at VCU were more productive through their collegiality,
Dr. Gunsolley is one of
he returned to Richmond 10 years later. the hardest workers I
Always a leader in clinical research, Dr. Gunsolley currently know. He works tire-
serves as the director of the school’s Clinical Research Unit lessly to improve the
where he runs clinical trials for corporate research. He was the
director of the Center for Clinical Studies at the University of
education of dental stu-
Maryland, and before that, he worked as the director of applied dents and periodontics
research at VCU. residents in patient care
Because he understands junior faculty often don’t have time and research. He also
to attend school and university committee meetings, Dr. directs the Clinical
Gunsolley frequently volunteers to serve on committees involv-
ing research and scholarship. With characteristic humor, he
Research Unit and helps
jokes that it isn’t so bad. “When all the committees meet at the faculty throughout the
same time,” he said, “I can attend one committee meeting, but school in their efforts to
get ‘credit’ for serving on three.” obtain industrial funding
Dr. Gunsolley’s research activities have been awarded fed-
eral and commercial dollars. He has obtained funding for 38
for clinical research
grants, serving as principal investigator on 18 of those grants. projects.”
With more than 96 published articles, he has attained the goal
Dr. Harvey Schenkein,
of a publication in every sub-discipline of dentistry. Each of his
publications is multi-authored. He has published journal arti- Assistant Dean
cles with dozens of different authors, which is a true measure for Research
of his ability as an effective collaborator.
Currently, Dr. Gunsolley does literature reviews and meta-
analyses in which the results from multiple studies are combined
statistically to give the analysis more power. This kind of sophisti-
cated thinking is vitally important to evidence-based dentistry.
Researchers and colleagues at VCU and from other universities
look to Dr. Gunsolley to help them with their studies.
“Jack Gunsolley has been the driving force behind many
collaborative initiatives at the national level,” commented Dr.
John Novak, Associate Director of the Center for Oral Health
Research at the University of Kentucky. “We recently completed
a collaboration that brought together the University of Kentucky,
University of Maryland, and VCU in an NIH-funded project with
the National Institute on Aging. Jack’s insight into clinical and
basic science research and his ability to apply advanced bio-
statistical models have set new standards for oral health
research. There are many universities that would love to have
him as part of their faculty.”
Winter 2010 7
Dr. Janina Lewis
Draws Connections Between
Basic Science and Oral Health
Amidst lab benches arrayed with test Since coming to the School of Dentistry in
tubes, bottles, and equipment, a team of 16 1990, Dr. Lewis and her energetic team have
scientists and technicians led by Dr. Janina garnered competitive funding through six
Lewis works in the VCU Philips Institute of grants from the National Institute of Dental and
Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology. In Craniofacial Research. She currently serves as
their busy lab on the fourth floor of the VCU the principal investigator on three R01 grant-
School of Dentistry’s Wood Memorial funded research projects, all involving the mol-
Building, they search collaboratively for ecular biology of Porphyromonas gingivalis.
answers about the pathogenesis of peri- Two of these grants were awarded through the
odontal disease. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
Experts estimate the economic burden of 2009, which provides federal funding for edu-
periodontal disease exceeds $14 billion annu- cation and health care.
ally in the United States. The cost could be A native of Poland, Dr. Lewis arrived in the
much higher, because recent studies suggest United States in 1990. She had already
chronic periodontitis may be associated with earned a master’s degree in biology from the
systemic diseases such as cardiovascular dis- University of Gdansk but wasn’t sure how she
ease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and spon- could best use her education in this country. “I
taneous preterm birth. didn’t really know which direction my career
Dr. Lewis’ research team is studying host- would go,” Dr. Lewis said. “I started out by vol-
pathogen interactions in the oral cavity. The unteering in a lab, and then discovered I could
main pathogens they are investigating are do the work.”
Gram-negative anaerobic bacteria implicated Dr. Lewis’ early work in the VCU School of
in the development and progression of peri- Medicine eventually led her to the Philips
odontal disease, such as Porphyromonas gin- Institute. She credits the institute’s founding
givalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Tannerella director, Dr. Frank Macrina, for being a won-
forsythensis. derful mentor to her. “Dr. Macrina was always
8 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
there for me,” she noted. “We met regularly,
and he encouraged my growth as a
researcher.” In 1997, Dr. Lewis completed a
PhD degree in microbiology under Dr.
Macrina’s tutelage and moved with him into the
renovated space of the newly created Philips
Institute as a post-doctoral fellow. She joined
the full-time dental faculty as an assistant pro-
fessor in 2002 and earned a promotion to
associate professor with tenure in 2008.
“It was Dr. Macrina’s vision to bridge the
gap between dentistry and research,” Dr.
Lewis explained. “Dentists are recognized so
much more for their technical skills, and that
can result in a situation where not enough effort
goes into introducing new treatment methods.
Microbiology shapes our bodies and, as a
dental school, it makes great sense for us to be
involved in oral biology.”
Dr. Lewis’ excitement about research
extends beyond the laboratory to student
experiences in her classroom. For the last
three years, she served as course director for
the first-year dental classes in “Evidence-
based Dentistry.” In the future, Dr. Lewis
She finds the first-year students eager to envisions a school with even
learn and experience new ways of thinking. “I more collaboration. She
like to think this course helps students realize believes the best hope for
not all sources of information are the same. I translating basic science
also try to get them to see they can look at their research into clinical practice
own cases, observe their patients, and find the depends on the active
best treatments. As a dental school, we have collaboration between the
many opportunities for students, clinicians, entire community of
and researchers to work together.” scholars—clinicians, students,
Winter 2010 9
Student Research Group
If a chemical reaction created the VCU ed our school should form a chapter and par-
Chapter of the National Student Research ticipate in this national organization.”
Group, Poonum Bharal (D4) was its catalyst. In As evidence-based dentistry expands in the
the last year, Poonum’s energy and enthusiasm school’s curriculum, learning more about scien-
sparked the emergence of the school’s chapter tific inquiry takes on added significance.
of the American Association for Dental “As we learn about dentistry in lecture and
Research (AADR) National Student Research in clinic,” said Poonum, “many of us have
Group (NSRG), with unprecedented growth unanswered questions. Some students may
and development of an organized cadre of stu- take the initiative to pursue a research project
dent scientists. with a professor and focus on a question.
Other students explore research in dental
school because residencies are competitive
The NSRG is a national organization and a research background strengthens their
under the AADR. The VCU chapter of applications.”
the NSRG seeks to promote research In its first year, this ambitious student group
amongst VCU’s dental students, tackled the challenge of promoting and encour-
residents, and faculty. aging research and scientific inquiry among
DDS students at the VCU School of Dentistry.
Poonum’s inquisitive mind triggered a chain Since its humble beginnings with fewer than 10
reaction when she attended the March 2008 members, the group has grown. Now dozens of
National Dental Student’s Research students participate in the group’s chapter and
Conference at the National Institute for Dental even more attend its seminars and luncheons.
and Craniofacial Research in Bethesda, Md., Last semester, the chapter’s programs
and met students from other U.S. dental addressed topics such as how to get involved
schools. At the time, she had never heard of with research, how to write an abstract, and how
the NSRG, but the networking opportunities at to make a research poster more competitive for
the conference led her to search for more infor- awards. At their meetings, they hosted VCU fac-
mation about the student group. ulty members who talked about the specific
“I met with many of these same students research within each of their departments. Dr.
again a month later at the 2008 AADR confer- Dan Laskin spoke about the importance of
ence in Dallas, Texas,” said Poonum. “Then I research and its influence on dental practice.
talked with the president of NSRG and decid-
10 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
Future projects include a session on how to make a
Officers of VCU NSRG Chapter
research poster, especially for students interested in
President: Poonum Bharal, D4
Vice President: Cheyanne Warren, D1
going to the March 2010 AADR conference in
Washington, D.C. They will also organize the research Secretary: Spencer Dixon, D3
portion of the school’s Clinic and Research Day in April, Treasurer: Robert (Bob) Harris, D3
and they plan to publish a newsletter highlighting ongo- (in back)
ing student and faculty research.
Dr. Sam Black, a new faculty member in the
Department of Endodontics, who served as Vice
President of the AADR NSRG in 2001–2002 when he was
a dental student at the University of Kentucky, said, “With
the expansion of the Philips Institute, the VCU School of
Dentistry is making exciting changes. I hope the admin-
istration’s enthusiasm about research growth will continue
to extend to our DDS students.”
Winter 2010 11
of Excellence: In her journey to pursue her dream of
becoming a dentist, Cheyanne Warren
(D2013) found a road less traveled.
Cheyanne Warren Sometimes, that road seems more like a diffi-
cult, mountainous switchback than the conve-
Blazes aTrail for nient, HOV lane of a super highway. A less
determined student might not have continued
Dual Degree the climb with its painfully slow ascent, but
because of her persistence, Cheyanne dis-
covered a new way. When she reaches the
summit of this academic mountain, she will
have earned not only her DDS, but also a PhD.
Cheyanne applied to Virginia
Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
because it was one of the few schools near
the Marine Corps Base Quantico where her
husband, a Marine helicopter pilot, could be
stationed. When she didn’t gain admission on
the first try, she enrolled in a difficult and
demanding post-baccalaureate certificate
program in biochemistry in the VCU School of
“I enrolled in the certificate program to
make my application more competitive,”
Cheyanne explained. “When I learned I
needed to wait another year, I decided to turn
my certificate into a master’s degree and
went searching for a research project related
to dentistry. I never thought I would like
research, but I figured if it was related to a
subject I was interested in, that it would be
She asked a few professors from the cer-
tificate program, and they recommended that
she visit the Philips Institute, where she even-
tually found work in Dr. Janina Lewis’ lab.
“I don’t know why I assumed research
would be so boring,” said Cheyanne. “In
actuality, it is a perfect complement to my
overly inquisitive nature. I feel like research
provides a constant supply of unanswered
questions and endless ways to go about
12 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY www.dentistry.vcu.edu
Cheyanne finds the challenges and atten- of looking for answers. The purpose of her
tion to detail enjoyable. The fact that her research project is to further explain the
research project involves dentistry is a huge pathogenesis of Porphyromonas gingivalis,
bonus to this future clinician, who is excited one of the most virulent periodontopathogens
and energized because her work in Dr. Lewis’ and an etiological agent in the progression of
lab explores another way to possibly con- periodontal disease. Because periodontal dis-
tribute to overall oral health. ease afflicts 15 percent of the U.S. population,
While working in the lab, Cheyanne learned it is considered one of the most common
about fellowships from the National Institutes of human diseases. Recent data implicates peri-
Health. The United States has only 11 dental odontitis with linkages to many other systemic
schools that have a formal DDS/PhD dual- complications.
degree program, and she wondered what stu- Working at the microbial level, Cheyanne’s
dents at other institutions could do if they were study focuses on one bacterial component: its
interested in research. With Dr. Lewis’ help, DNA. Specifically, the study aims to (1) char-
Cheyanne decided the fellowship might pro- acterize the response of two oral epithelial cell
vide an opportunity to pursue a dual degree lines and primary cells harvested from two
here at VCU. patients to challenge with P. gingivalis W83
Because VCU does not have an estab- DNA, (2) determine the role of TLR9 in medi-
lished program for the DDS/PhD dual-degree, ating this response, and (3) discover other
a dental student who is interested in pursuing DNA receptors that may play a role in this
both degrees faces substantial challenges. interaction. Cheyanne and the research team
VCU’s dental students start acquiring their hope their study will lead to a greater under-
hand skills almost immediately and cannot standing of the mechanisms of the host
afford to take any time away for fear of a set- response that contribute to the pathogenesis
back in their competency. of P. gingivalis W83 and, then, possibly reveal
“I was fortunate to be a member of the D.5 potential targets for preventing the initiation of
class,” said Cheyanne, “and that allowed me periodontal disease.
sufficient time to finish my PhD coursework With the expansion of the Philips Institute,
before dental school became full-time.” the School of Dentistry plans to begin its own
Just as any other PhD student, Cheyanne PhD program, so that new students in a
must follow the rules and requirements from DDS/PhD dual-degree program will have to fol-
VCU’s medical school. She must also complete low only the requirements from one school. The
requirements from VCU’s dental school. She program can be more easily tailored to support
feels fortunate that the medical school and the the goals and needs of dental students. For
Department of Microbiology agreed to work now, Cheyanne Warren is a trailblazer, navigat-
with her time line and scheduling conflicts and ing the dual-degree switchbacks with the help
that the dental school allowed her to enroll in of many faculty members in the School of
both programs. The fact that each school Dentistry.
receives different funding sources makes her “Things were a bit simpler when I thought
situation even more complicated. that I wanted to be a only dentist!” Cheyanne
Cheyanne’s ability to think critically and find said. Despite the extra challenges in her pur-
creative approaches to problem-solving—skills suit for a dual degree, she feels confident that
she used to be a dual-degree student—make she will find a rewarding way to incorporate
her well-suited to the research lab environment research and teaching into her professional life
with its complex questions and myriad of ways as a dentist.
Winter 2010 13
Seeking New Horizons Dean
Dean Ron Hunt spent his 12 years at VCU vigorously pursuing change, making programs better and peo-
ple stronger. Now it is time for another change. Dr. Hunt is leaving this school to help build a new one, as
he accepts the position of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Midwestern University College of
Dental Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. “I found the idea of helping build a new school irresistible,” said
Dr. Hunt. “This is the right change at the right time.”
Accomplishments of Dr. Ron Hunt’s Deanship (1998-2010)
Clinical Programs Academic Programs
Added valet parking and patient drop-off Established a Master of Science in Dentistry
area for increased patient convenience degree program for graduate students in
Endodontics, Orthodontics, Pediatric
Implemented patient screening directly in Dentistry, and Periodontics
the clinical practice groups
Established a competency-based DDS
Implemented a new electronic clinic curriculum, by compressing the preclinical
management system curriculum with simulation, starting patient
care in the D2 year, and establishing a
Expanded radiography into the Lyons, clinical curriculum focused on preparation
Wood, and Douglas Clinics for general dentistry practice
Implemented digital radiography and an Created a more friendly and respectful envi-
electronic dental record ronment for students
Implemented a cone-beam extra-oral Increased enrollment of DDS students from
imaging system rural Virginia communities, including at least
15 per year from Southside and Southwest
“Dean Hunt’s visionary
Established an off-campus service-learning
leadership charted a course program in which D4 and DH4 students
for the school that challenged spend at least 20 days treating under-served
populations in public clinics throughout the
us to leave our safe harbors, Commonwealth
look to the horizon, and Established an optional private practice
change. He leaves us
better than he found us.” Established an International Dentist Program
for Virginians who are graduates of dental
Dr. B. Ellen Byrne, schools in other countries
Senior Associate Dean Successfully completed two accreditation
reviews of all academic programs
14 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
Hunt Leaves VCU
Built the VCU Philips Institute of Oral and
Craniofacial Molecular Biology and increased Renovated three lecture halls in the Lyons
full-time institute faculty members from one to Building. Added two new lecture halls in
five, building a research program in oral biology the Perkinson Building
Launched a research program in tissue bio- Renovated the Crockett Student Lounge and
engineering and currently recruiting four sci- the Lyons Building lobby
entist faculty for the program Added conference/seminar rooms in all three
buildings: Lyons (1), Wood (1), Perkinson (5)
Increased external funding for research from
approximately $1 million per year to nearly Added sets of restrooms in all three build-
$2 million per year ings: Lyons (1), Wood (1), Perkinson (3)
Physical Facilities Other Accomplishments
Increased annual charitable gifts from about
Renovated preclinical laboratories, built a $0.5 million to over $1.5 million
20-unit DentSim virtual reality lab and a
108-unit mannequin clinical simulation lab Increased the diversity of the faculty
Created a faculty development program that
Built locker rooms and a clinical support lab includes orientations, semi-annual school
for students retreats, annual departmental lectures and
retreats, and ad hoc in-service programs
Remodeled the Lyons and Pediatric Dentistry
Clinics. Expanded the Oral Surgery, Increased the integration of the school into
Endodontics, and Faculty Practice Clinics the larger university community through
increased research collaboration, graduate
Acquired and renovated 10,000 square feet programs, and committee service
of space in Lyons Building previously used
Raised the profile of the school though lead-
by other VCU units ership and service to national dental profes-
Built a four-chair Clinical Research Unit
Built new office suites for Orthodontics,
Dental Hygiene, Advancement, and the
Philips Institute. Remodeled office suites
for Dean’s Office, Endodontics, and
Renovated 10,000 square feet in the Wood
Memorial Building for the VCU Philips
Institute. Dedicated 11,000 square feet in
the Perkinson Building to the Institute
Winter 2010 15
It was standing room only as students
from VCU and scores of dentists from
throughout Virginia crowded onto two buses
taking them to the Virginia General
Assembly Building in downtown Richmond.
Over 60 dental students joined Virginia
Dental Association (VDA) members for the
VDA’s Legislative Day on January 15.
The satellite clinic building’s design con- Together, they spent the morning informing
cept draws inspiration from the region’s their elected representatives about legisla-
rural setting. tion concerning oral health and the dental
The tradition of student participation in
the VDA’s Legislative Day began years ago,
but has grown steadily the past three years.
Since then, two of the school’s development
directors, Dr. Jim Revere and Mr. Jim Doyle,
persistently encouraged student participa-
16 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
Advocacy In Action
tion, while carefully pairing students with VDA
members for the best fit.
“Often we try to put students with dentists
from their geographic region of the state,” said
Dr. Revere, “but sometimes other reasons
enter the equation.”
Important legislative issues for the VDA this
year involved regulation of mobile dental clin-
ics and insurance fees for non-covered ser-
vices, but for the School of Dentistry, funding First-year student Alex Barton, with Delegate
for the Wise Satellite Dental Clinic topped the Phillips. Barton, hails from Naples, Florida, but
agenda. she thinks it would be awesome to spend her
“We are requesting $700,000 in annual senior year in Wise. Delegate Phillips is a lead-
operating funds from the General Assembly,” ing supporter of funding for the clinic, along
said Dr. Revere. “Once funded, this clinic will with Senator Phillip Puckett, Senator William
Wampler, and Delegate Terry Kilgore.
be a phenomenal learning experience for stu-
dents, and provide much needed dental care
for the people of Wise.”
Winter 2010 17
Donor Naming Recognition Day
The VCU School of
people who gave major
unrestricted gifts to the
school at the Donor
Day on Friday, October
With these new and named spaces, we continue to add to the legacy created
by many people from the past. The honored family members who learned
valuable lessons, the beloved teachers who shared their knowledge, and the
caring doctors who are remembered would be thrilled to see everyone
celebrating the past, present, and future of this great school.
18 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
Digital Students at the VCU School of Dentistry
can finally say goodbye to x-ray film, costly
chemicals, and processing tanks. With the
launch of the AxiUm-based electronic dental
record after the Thanksgiving Break 2009, all
radiography in the School of Dentistry
became digital. Now students and faculty
view all images—intra-oral, extra-oral,
panoramic, and cone-beam—chairside on
A vision to make radiology services more
patient–centered, while providing students
the educational experiences they need for the
Digital radiographs, practice of general dentistry and dental
hygiene, drove the multiyear implementation
integrated into a of digital radiography. A pledge from the DDS
paperless patient Class of 2008 is helping to fund it.
record, improve our In the spring, we installed additional x-ray
tubeheads in the Lyons Clinic (6), Wood Clinic
service to patients, (9), and Douglas Clinic (7). We use phosphor
while allowing our plate film systems and Optime scanner units,
students to use which expanded distribution of radiology ser-
vices, making it more convenient for patients
current technology. and students. In the fall, we implemented the
With these advances, Dexis direct digital sensor system in the cen-
students will be tral Oral Radiology Clinic. The use of phos-
phor plate systems in the clinics and direct
better prepared sensors in Central Radiology gives students
for their future experience with both types of digital radiogra-
practice. phy systems.
Winter 2010 19
Dr. Steve Lutz—parent, alumnus, and adjunct faculty member—gave an inspirational speech
about the importance of heart in the profession of dentistry at the 10th Annual School of Dentistry
White Coat Ceremony on October 16, 2009.
Traditionally, White Coat speeches focus on ethics and professionalism. The timing of the
presentation of the clinic coats coincides with the students’ entry to clinic. The speakers often
talk about patient care, but Dr. Lutz talked about more. In a highly personal speech, he asked
the students to reflect seriously on what is in their hearts and on their motivations for choosing
dentistry as their profession.
The Heart of Dentistry
20 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
“Get your head right so you know what you are doing; get
your heart right so you can focus on your patients and have
them as your first consideration.”
Dr. Steve Lutz (DDS‘82)
Winter 2010 21
Off With a tip of the hat, Dean Ron Hunt
thanked Dr. John F. Philips (DDS ’69) for
his latest gift to the School of Dentistry
at its annual Friends of Dental Education
Annual Dinner. More than 200 guests gathered
at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’
Marble Hall for an evening of music,
awards, and recognition as Dr. Philips
presented a check for $823,000. The gift
will advance research in the VCU Philips
Institute of Oral and Craniofacial
Dinner Molecular Biology.
22 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
TOP: Molly Adler (D2), tries on her hat
while Jeppy Moss (D2) looks on.
MIDDLE Left: Musicians Scott Shirk (D1),
saxophone; Amy Shirk, piano; David Herce
(D3), drums; Geoffe Schreiber (D3), guitar;
and Nicholas Sams, bass entertain guests
MIDDLE Right: Lydia Sumner (in front) and
Chelsea Balderson (D1) snap photos
BOTTOM: Dean Hunt (on right) thanks Dr.
John Philips for his gift to the school.
Winter 2010 23
VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY
January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009
1. Barbour SE, Tew JG, Schenkein HA. B-cell responses in periodontitis. In: Henderson B, ed.
Periodontal Medicine and Systems Biology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2009.
2. Boyle J. The mandibular rotational path removable partial denture. J Virginia Dent Assoc
3. Brickhouse TH, Farrington FH, Best AM, Ellsworth CW. Barriers to dental care for children in
Virginia with autism spectrum disorders. J Dent Child 2009;76:188-193.
4. Carter LC. American academy of oral and maxillofacial radiology. J Am Coll Dent.
5. Carter LC. Soft tissue calcification and ossification. In: White S, Pharoah MJ, eds. Oral
Radiology. Principles and Interpretation. St. Louis: Mosby-Elsevier; 2009.
6. Certosimo FJ. The servant-leader - a higher calling. J Dent Educ 2009:1065-1068.
7. Das S, Kanamoto T, Ge X, Xu P, Unoki T, Munro CL, Kitten T. Contribution of lipoproteins and
lipoprotein processing to endocarditis virulence in Streptococcus sanguinis. J Bacteriol
8. Fine DH, Markowitz K, Furgang D, Fairlie K, Ferrandiz J, Nasri C, McKiernan M, Donnelly R,
Gunsolley J. Macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha: a salivary biomarker of bone loss in a
longitudinal cohort study of children at risk for aggressive periodontal disease? J Periodontol
9. Giglio JA, Lanning SM, Laskin DM, Giglio NW. Oral health care for the pregnant patient. J
Canadian Dent Assoc 2009;75:43-48.
10. Harmon MA, Tew JG, Best AM, Hahn CL. Mature dendritic cells in inflamed human pulps
beneath deep caries. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2009;107:727-732.
11. Hunt RJ. ADEA president-elect’s address. J Dent Educ. 2009;73:781-783.
12 Hunt RJ. Improving the teaching of ethics and professionalism in dental schools. J Virginia Dent
13. Imbery TA, Swigert R, Janus C, Moon PC. An evaluation of dentin conditioners for resin-
modified glass ionomer cements. Gen Dent 2009;57:356-362.
24 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
14. Jablonski RA, Swecker TK, Munro C, Grap MJ, Liggon MB. Measuring the oral health of
nursing home elders. Clin Nursing Res 2009;18:200-219.
15. Lewis JP, Iyer D, Anaya-Bergman C. Adaptation of Porphyromonas gingivalis to
microaerophilic conditions involves increased consumption of formate and reduced utilization
of lactate. Microbiology. 2009;155:3758-3774.
16. Lindauer SJ, Powell JA, Leypoldt BC, Tufekci E, Shroff B. Influence of patient financial
account status on orthodontic appointment attendance. Angle Orthod 2009;79:755-758.
17 Nance ET, Lanning SK, Gunsolley JC. Dental anatomy carving computer-assisted instruction
program: an assessment of student performance and perceptions. J Dent Educ 2009;73:972-979.
18. Offenbacher S, Beck JD, Moss K, Mendoza L, Paquette DW, Barrow DA, Couper DJ, Stewart
DD, Falkner KL, Graham SP, Grossi S, Gunsolley JC, Madden T, Maupome G, Trevisan M,
Van Dyke TE, Genco RJ. Results from the Periodontitis and Vascular Events (PAVE) Study: a
pilot multicentered, randomized, controlled trial to study effects of periodontal therapy in a
secondary prevention model of cardiovascular disease. J Periodontol 2009;80:190-201.
19. Reynolds MA, Dawson DR, Novak KF, Ebersole JL, Gunsolley JC, Branch-Mays GL, Holt SC,
Mattison JA, Ingram DK, Novak MJ. Effects of caloric restriction on inflammatory periodontal
disease. Nutrition 2009;25:88-97.
20. Takahashi M, Miyazaki H, Furihata M, Sakai H, Konakahara T, Watanabe M, Okada T.
Chemokine CCL2/MCP-1 negatively regulates metastasis in a highly bone marrow-
metastatic mouse breast cancer model. Clin Exp Metastasis 2009;26:817-828.
21. Truitt J, Strauss RA, Best A. Centric relation: a survey study to determine whether a consensus
exists between oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists. J Oral Maxillofac Surg
22. Tufekci E, Svensk D, Kallunki J, Huggare J, Lindauer SJ, Laskin DM. Opinions of American
and Swedish orthodontists about the role of erupting third molars as a cause of dental
crowding. Angle Orthod 2009;79:1139-1142.
23. Turner LS, Das S, Kanamoto T, Munro CL, Kitten T. Development of genetic tools for in vivo
virulence analysis of Streptococcus sanguinis. Microbiology 2009;155:2573-2582.
24. Turner LS, Kanamoto T, Unoki T, Munro CL, Wu H, Kitten T. Comprehensive evaluation of
Streptococcus sanguinis cell wall-anchored proteins in early infective endocarditis. Infect
25. Wang H, Patel V, Miyazaki H, Gutkind JS, Yeudall WA. Role for EPS8 in squamous
carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis 2009;30:165-174.
Winter 2010 25
VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY
Dr. Carolyn Booker was promoted from Assistant Dean for
Student Services to Associate Dean for Student Services.
Dr. Tegwyn Brickhouse, Associate Professor in the Department of
Pediatric Dentistry, was appointed the department’s interim chair.
Dr. C. Booker Dr. Laurie Carter, Professor in the Department of Oral Pathology,
finished her year as President of the American Academy of Oral &
Maxillofacial Radiology. She was awarded a Fellowship in the
Dr. T. Brickhouse
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the
Annual Session in October 2009.
Ms. Martha Clements, Director of Continuing Education and
Dr. L. Carter Faculty Development, graduated from the VCU Grace E. Harris
Ms. M. Clements
Dr. Elizabeth Nance, Assistant Professor in the Department of
General Dentistry, was elected president of the Virginia Academy
of General Dentistry.
Dr. E. Nance Dr. Greg Ness, Professor in the Department of Oral and
Maxillofacial Surgery, graduated from the American Dental
Education Association Leadership Institute.
Dr. G. Ness
Dr. Joan Pellegrini, Associate Professor in the Department of
Dental Hygiene, traveled to South Africa as delegate for the
American Dental Hygiene Association’s international meeting.
Ms. R. Pousson
Ms. Rebecca Pousson, Executive Associate Dean, graduated
from the VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute.
Dr. J. Pellegrini
Dr. Karan Replogle, Assistant Professor in the Department of
Endodontics, was appointed the department’s permanent chair,
following several years as interim chair. She also completed her
Dr. K. Replogle
certification by the American Board of Endodontics.
Dr. James Revere was honored by his colleagues in Oral Pathology
Dr. J. Revere
with the establishment of an endowed lectureship in his name.
26 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
New Faculty Dr. Richard (Rick) Archer joined the Department of Endodontics as an
assistant professor. He completed a DDS degree at the University of Maryland
and an MS degree in endodontics at The Ohio State University. He served 11
years in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps. He then maintained a private endodon-
tics practice in Chesapeake, Virginia, and served as an adjunct faculty mem-
Dr. R. Archer
ber at VCU until joining the full-time dental faculty.
Dr. Samuel (Sam) Black joined the Department of Endodontics as an assis-
tant professor. He completed a DMD degree at the University of Kentucky and
recently completed a PhD degree in oral biology and a certificate in endodon-
tics at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. S. Black
Dr. Jamie Brown joined the Department of General Practice as an assistant
professor. She completed a DDS degree at VCU. Prior to joining the full-time
dental faculty, she owned and operated a general dentistry practice in
Dr. Charissa Chin joined the Department of General Practice as an assis-
Dr. J. Brown
tant professor. She completed a DDS degree at the University Science
Malaysia and recently completed an AEGD program at Columbia University in
New York City and a general practice residency at the Berkshire Medical
Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Dr. Gilda Ferguson joined the Department of General Practice as an assis-
Dr. C. Chin tant professor. She earned a PhD degree in anatomy and a DDS degree from
VCU. She owned and operated a private general dentistry practice in
Ashland, Virginia, until 2008.
Dr. Alex Kordis joined the Department of Pediatric Dentistry as an assistant
professor. He completed a DDS degree at Indiana University and a certificate
Dr. G. Ferguson in pediatric dentistry at the University of Nebraska. Until joining the full-time
dental faculty at VCU, he maintained a pediatric dentistry practice for depen-
dent children of U.S. Navy personnel. Prior to his retirement from the U.S.
Navy, he served as a clinical instructor in several U.S. Navy GPR, ACP, and
AEGD programs and on the adjunct faulty at VCU. He is a diplomat of the
American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. A. Kordis
Dr. William (Bill) Octave joined the Department of General Practice as an
assistant professor. He earned his DMD degree from the University of
Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the full-time faculty at VCU, he owned and operated
a private general dentistry practice in North Huntington, Pennsylvania. He also
was a part-time faculty member at both the University of Pittsburgh and
University of Pennsylvania Schools of Dental Medicine.
Dr. W. Octave
Winter 2010 27
Pack your bags, gas up the car, reserve your flight,
and pull out your maps, because this year...
All Roads Lead to Richm
to where your
Join old friends
for a weekend
2010 Reunion & Alumni Weekend
April 23, 24, and 25, 2010
• Tempt your taste buds with blind wine
tastings or gourmet cooking classes
• See the sights by Segway, bus, or
• Tee off at the 5th Annual Alumni/Student
• Visit the school, meet our students, try
your hand at virtual-reality-based training
• See a watercolor demonstration by
Classes ending in 0 and 5 are this year’s
28 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY • www.dentistry.vcu.edu
by the School of Dentistry
Virginia Commonwealth University
Martha Bushong, MS
Director of Communications and
Ronald J. Hunt, DDS, Dean
Layout & Design
Visit the School of Dentistry
on the Web at
Reunion planners get psyched for the MCV Motors Car Show. The show is one of the
many reasons to visit the Perkinson Building this Reunion Weekend. Thanks to Dr. Please send suggestions,
Charlie Gills for showing off his shiny dark blue 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan on evaluations, and alumni news to:
November 7, 2009, as part of the planning session for class leaders. Martha Bushong
P.O. Box 980566
Richmond, VA 23298-0566
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on
School of Dentistry
School of Dentistry events, Board of Advisors
please contact Dr. Gerald Brown
Ms. Melanie Callanta-Swain
Ms. Stephanie Covington
Jim Doyle at Dr. William Covington
email@example.com or Dr. Terry Dickinson
Dr. Barry Griffin
804.828.1138 Mr. Franklin Hall
or go online to Dr. Claire Kaugars
Dr. Benjamin Lambert, III
www.dentistry.vcu.edu Dr. Michael McMunn
Dr. Baxter Perkinson
MCV Motors Car Show Dr. John Philips
Dr. Carole Pratt
featuring antique and Dr. Pamela Regimbal
restored cars belonging Dr. Warren Sachs
Dr. Peter Trager
to dental alumni Dr. Jim Watkins
Dr. Tanya Parris Wilkins
Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU School of Dentistry Non-profit Organization
520 North 12th Street U.S. Postage Paid
P.O. Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566 Permit Number 869
Address service requested Richmond, Virginia
Because we are good stewards of the environment, this
publication is printed on recycled paper.
Please recycle to a friend of dentistry.
An equal opportunity, affirmative action university
April 16 - James H. Revere Endowed Lecture
April 16 - Faculty Recognition Reception - The Jefferson Hotel
April 23 - Board of Advisors Meeting - Dean’s Conference Room
April 23 - School of Dentistry Golf Tournament - The Crossing
April 23 - 25 - MCV Campus Reunion and Alumni Weekend -
The Omni Hotel and various locations in Richmond.
May 20 - School of Dentistry Senior Gala - Science Museum
May 21 - School of Dentistry Hooding
May 22 - University Commencement - Richmond Coliseum
June 17 - 19 - Virginia Dental Association Meeting - Williamsburg, VA
June 18 - Alumni Reception - Williamsburg Lodge
Photo by Allen Jones