UConn Dental honored with Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement


Dr. Reza Kazemi (seated in foreground), associate professor of operative dentistry and reconstructive sciences, demonstrates a dental technique to second-year dental student Jenna Marcinczyk (standing) in the Joseph E. Grasso Dental Simulation Lab.  (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)

For the upcoming year, the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine will be selected to be the recipient of the Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement. Gies Awards are distributed by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) through its philanthropic arm, the ADEAGies Foundation.

Past recipients for this award have included nationally recognized institutions, including the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Since the inception of these awards in 2007, they have come to be the most prestigious in the field of dental education.

According to the ADEAGies Foundation, the criteria used to determine the award recipient is based on, “The accomplishment of worthy and socially commendable actions that make a substantial contribution to oral health and dental education.”

Part of the UConn Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut, the School of Dental Medicine was established in 1968. It has grown to include 70 faculty members and has an estimated primary impact of $109 million. As of 2013, there have been 1,567 graduates of its medical dental program.

Currently, the UConn School of Dental Medicine is one of the highest recipients of funding for a dental school through the National Institutes of Health. Research grants awarded to UConn exceed $8 million annually.

According to UConn Department of Craniofacial Sciences Chair Mina Mina, the UConn school of Dental Medicine places a great emphasis in training students to conduct research.

Consequently, nearly 95% of D.M.D. (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) graduates pursue further academic opportunities following graduation. More than 940 UConn Dental alumni have advanced training or a specialty, and they have representation in 8 different accredited advanced specialty programs.

The two primary research centers housed within the School of Dentistry are the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development and the Center for Biomaterials.

 The selection of UConn Dental School was made by the ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees based on both the contributions of  the institution to research as well as academic quality.

The Gies Awards will be distributed at the 2016 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition on March 14 in Denver, Colo. 

Fatir Qureshi is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at fatir.qureshi@uconn.edu

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