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As one of the nation's leading dental schools, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry is celebrating 75 years of providing world-class dental education, research, and oral healthcare with a focus on shaping the future of oral health.

Our Deans

Joseph F. Volker, 1948-1962

Joseph F. Volker, 1948-1962

Arthur H. Wuehrmann, (Acting) 1960-1961

Arthur H. Wuehrmann,
(Acting) 1960-1961

Charles A. McCallum, Jr., 1962-1977

Charles A. McCallum, Jr., 1962-1977

Leonard H. Robinson, 1978-1986

Leonard H. Robinson, 1978-1986

Richard R. Ranney, 1986-1989

Richard R. Ranney, 1986-1989

Victor Matukas, (Acting) 1989-1990, 1990-1997

Victor Matukas,
(Acting) 1989-1990, 1990-1997

Mary Lynne Capilouto, (Interim) 1997-1998, 1998-2003

Mary Lynne Capilouto,
(Interim) 1997-1998, 1998-2003

Huw F. Thomas, 2004-2011

Huw F. Thomas, 2004-2011

Michael S. Reddy, (Interim) 2011-2012, 2012-2018

Michael S. Reddy,
(Interim) 2011-2012, 2012-2018

Michelle A. Robinson, (Interim) 2018-2019

Michelle A. Robinson, (Interim) 2018-2019

Russell S. Taichman, 2019- 2023

Russell S. Taichman, 2019- 2023

Nicolaas Geurs, (Interim) 2023

Nicolaas Geurs, (Interim) 2023

  • A Message from Interim Dean Geurs on October 18, 2023

    Dear SOD Family,

    The UAB School of Dentistry has a rich history that spans more than seven decades and is marked by remarkable achievements and contributions to dental education, research, and clinical practice.

    It all began with Dr. Joseph Volker, who was focused on the future from the day he became our founding dean. Over the years, he worked to secure funding for research and maintained relationships with universities across the world. He also pioneered relationships with many local institutions, including the first joint venture in the nation between a veterans hospital and a dental school. By the early 1960s, Volker had established a young UAB School of Dentistry as one of the leading dental programs in the nation.

    Since our establishment on October 18, 1948, we have made incredible strides – embracing cutting-edge techniques and technologies, building collaborations, and shaping the future of dentistry. We have produced a cadre of skilled and compassionate dental professionals, contributing significantly to oral health in Alabama and beyond. Our commitment to excellence has been unwavering, and we are immensely proud of the impact we have had on the lives of countless patients.

    To commemorate this historic occasion, we have enjoyed a series of special events and initiatives this year that kicked off with Alumni Weekend in February and will be culminating in student, employee, and alumni celebrations this week. And today, we are pleased to announce that a new 75th Anniversary website is now live. We hope you will enjoy learning more about our extraordinary history.

    Although the stage was set by visionary leaders like Dr. Volker and his successor Dr. Charles McCallum, the milestone of our 75th anniversary is as much a testament to the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni throughout the years. You are an integral part of our legacy, and your support has been invaluable in making the UAB School of Dentistry what it is today. Thank you for being a part of our journey.

    This year’s celebration is not only a reflection on our school's remarkable history but also an opportunity to look forward to the continued contributions the school will make in the years to come. Here's to 75 years of excellence, and to many more years of shaping smiles and changing lives!

    With gratitude,

    Nicolaas Geurs, DDS, MS
    Weatherford/Palcanis Endowed Professor
    Interim Dean

At 75 years young, UAB School of Dentistry continues to provide world-class dental education

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About the 1940's-1950's

  • 1945: Dentists Advisory Board

    According to an alumni newsletter: The Dentists Advisory Board to the University of Alabama School of Dentistry was created by the legislation that established the School of Dentistry in 1945.  Governor Chauncy Sparks did not appoint the first Board until November, 1946 and funds to operate the school were not appropriated until 1947.  The first Dentists Advisory Board was composed of Dr. Moren H. Fuller (Centerville), Dr Olin Kirkland (Montgomery), Dr. C. B. Bray (Birmingham), Dr. John H. Sullivan (Mobile) and Dr. Richard R. Moorer (Eufaula).  Dr. Fuller was appointed chairman by Governor Sparks. Dr. Moren Fuller was not well known by his Alabama colleagues and he was completely unknown in dental academia.  He never held an ALDA office, but he was highly respected by his community.  Governor Sparks figured competent academicians could be hired, but respected Alabama dentists knew what was best for our citizens. Dr. Olin Kirkland was the best known Alabama dentist before the dental school was established.  His peers had voted him “The Alabama Dentist of the First half of the 20th Century” in 1950. Dr. John Sullivan’s brother, Joseph C. Sullivan, Jr., J.D., introduced the bill in the Alabama House of Representatives that created the School of Dentistry.  Another brother, Dr. George J. Sullivan, was a Mobile dentist, as was their father, Dr. Joseph Charles Sullivan, Sr. (Philadelphia Dental College, 1891). Dr. Richard R. Moorer was Governor Spark’s personal dentist, which certainly justified his appointment. Dr. Fuller spent a lot of time at the school during its early years and Dean Volker treated him with proper respect.  The first students were thankful for the school because many of them were World War II veterans with impeccable credentials (or tickets, as Joe Volker called them) to enter dental school, but they had been unable to find a spot in out-of-state universities.  They came to believe that Dr. Fuller was their personal benefactor so the young Dental Alumni Association chose to honor Dr. Fuller and to make the award his namesake.

  • October 9, 1947: Alabama Act 678

    Alabama Act 678 appropriated funds of $750,000 for the operation of the University of Alabama School of Dentistry.

  • Fall 1948: Dr. Volker recruited to serve

    Joseph F. Volker, D.D.S., a dental researcher and educator, was recruited to serve as the school’s founding dean. Already dean at Tufts College Dental School, Dr. Volker retained his position at Tufts throughout the academic year of 1948-1949 and organized the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in 48 days in the fall of 1948.

  • October 18, 1948: First class

    The School of Dentistry was founded, as fifty-two freshmen, all veterans, began classes at the School of Dentistry.

    Among the 23 full-time faculty, all were male. There were two female members of the part-time faculty: Drs. Polly Ayers and Eleanor A. Hunt. Several of the school’s initial faculty held primary appointments in the medical school but also taught basic science courses to the first dental students.

  • 1950’s: Dr. Volker in Thailand

    Dean Volker spent three months in Thailand as part of a US. State Department education program. Volker's trip was the first of many for him and for other UAB faculty, a tradition of international partnerships that has continued for seven decades. “Dr. Volker would likely be pleased as he had international students and post-docs in the dental school from the very early years, and he went to Thailand often during his time as dean,” said Tim Pennycuff, university archivist.

  • 1950's: Dr. Volker & Dr. Lazansky

    Dr. Volker brings Dr. Lazansky from Boston.

  • 1951: SOD's first dental clinic

    Very soon after operations began, it was realized that new facilities were definitely needed for the dental school and for the departments of basic sciences. With the allocation of funds from the Hill-Burton Act and from local sources, the Medical and Dental Basic Science Building and Dental Clinic was constructed and completed in 1951. This was the school’s first dental clinic.

  • 1952: The Dentala

    The Dentala, a student yearbook for the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, was first published.

    Dr. Josef Peter Lazansky became director of the Division of Dental Medicine and Surgery in the School of Dentistry. A native of what was then Czechoslovakia, Lazansky was the first international named as a divisional director at the Medical Center in Birmingham.

  • May 31, 1952: Graduation day

    Graduation Day finally arrived for the school’s inaugural D.M.D. class.

  • 1954: Dental Hygiene Program

    The School of Dentistry's dental hygiene program, directed by Dr. Marjorie Houston, became the first nationally accredited training program in the Southeast.

  • May 30, 1954: First female graduates

    Claudia Holcombe Heard and Ruth Ehricke became the first female graduates of the School of Dentistry.

  • Mid 1950s: International reputation

    The excellence of the school earned it an international reputation and by the mid-1950s the school boasted students from around the world. Research also became a vital activity at the School of Dentistry, and the school received monies from a number of public and private agencies. As its reputation increased, the school was able to attract leading dental researchers.

  • 1955: Fuller Award created, awarded to Dr. Fuller

    The H. Moren Fuller Award was created to honor Dr. Moren H. Fuller of Centerville, who was appointed to serve on the first Dentists Advisory Board. The Dentists Advisory Board to the University of Alabama School of Dentistry was created by the legislation that established the School of Dentistry in 1945.
    According to the University of Alabama School of Dentistry Alumni Association: “Dr. Fuller spent a lot of time at the school during its early years and Dean Volker treated him with proper respect. The first students were thankful for the school because many of them were World War II veterans with impeccable credentials (or tickets, as Joe Volker called them) to enter dental school, but they had been unable to find a spot in out-of-state universities. They came to believe that Dr. Fuller was their personal benefactor, so the young Dental Alumni Association chose to honor Dr. Fuller and to make the award his namesake.”

  • 1956: SOD's Women's Club

    The Women's Club of the University of Alabama School of Dentistry was organized with Mrs. E. E. Evans as first president.

About the 1960's

  • 1960-1961: Dr. McCallum's leadership

    Under Dean McCallum's leadership, the School of Dentistry grew during the 1960s and 1970s and additional departments were added. The school also received funding for one of the first Institutes of Dental Research in the nation.

  • 1960s: Four handed dentistry

    In the 1960s researchers and clinicians at UAB’s School of Dentistry introduced a second person into the practice environment—and the concept of “four-handed dentistry” was born. Wuehrmann, who served as acting dean; was known for his research in this area.

  • 1960s: "Century Club"

    A “Century Club” of the school’s alumni purchased letters written by George and Martha Washington to their dentist. The club donated them to the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library at UAB, where they remain housed to this day.

    Images courtesy of the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library at UAB.

  • 1961: Dr. Volker & Dr. Finn

    Dean Volker recruited Dr. Sidney Bernard Finn to UAB in 1961 to serve as Professor and first chair of the Department of Pedodontics. Throughout his career, Dr. Finn received a number of prestigious awards and made an enormous contribution to dental literature, especially in the fields of pediatric dentistry and caries research. Notably, he wrote one of the first textbooks on dentistry for children, entitled Clinical Pedodontics. As one of our own faculty members, leaders, and innovators in the profession, his efforts helped UAB School of Dentistry in its growth to national and international prominence. We now use his interpretation of The Dentist’s Pledge, the dentist honor code, in our White Coat Ceremony.

  • 1962: Dean McCallum succession

    The School of Dentistry continued to grow and expand under the leadership of Dr. Charles A. “Scotty” McCallum, Jr., who succeeded Dr. Joseph F. Volker as dean in 1962.

  • 1962: First international faculty named as chairs

    Dr. Lincoln Roy Manson-Hing became chair of the Department of Oral Roentgenology (later Dental Radiology) and Dr. Gilbert J. Parfitt became chair of the Department of Periodontics, both in the School of Dentistry. Dr. Manson-Hing was a native of British Guiana [Guyana] and Dr. Parfitt was a native of England. They were the first international faculty named as chairs of academic departments at the Medical Center in Birmingham.

  • 1965: Karen Clements Crunk

    Karen Clements Crunk, having moved to Tuscaloosa in 1962 as a pre-dentistry major at the University of Alabama, began dental school. In those days, pre-dental students could attend the University of Alabama for three years, and then receive their undergraduate degree after their first year in dental school. Completing her dental degree in 1969, she was among the school’s first female graduates.

  • 1965: First Black member of SOD's faculty

    Dr. Clifton O. Dummett of the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Hospital received a clinical appointment in the School of Dentistry, becoming the first Black member of the school's faculty.

  • 1969: Dr. Volker becomes UAB's first president

    When Dr. Joseph Volker became UAB’s first president in 1969, he had a bold vision for our future that some people at the time considered extremely unlikely, wild, and even crazy. But those reactions did not deter him. Instead, Dr. Volker was powered by the will to grow our fledgling university into an internationally renowned leader in education, research and scholarship, and patient care.

About the 1970's

  • September 1970: First Black students

    The first Black students matriculated in the School of Dentistry.

  • October 18, 1973: SOD celebrates 25 years

    School celebrates 25 year anniversary.

  • June 9, 1974: First Black graduates

    Jimmie Walker, Jr., and Wilson Wright, Jr., became the first Black graduates of the School of Dentistry.

  • October 8, 1974: Building renovations

    The cornerstone of the five-story addition to the School of Dentistry was set on October 8, 1974, signaling the approach of the completion of the $9 million expansion and renovation program. The first three floors of the addition already were in use and the remaining floors were expected to be completed by December.

  • May 12, 1975: Student-Faculty lounge

    A rooftop Student-Faculty Lounge opened atop the new sixth floor addition to the school of dentistry building. Carpets, draperies and furniture were purchased with a gift of $11,000 from the Alabama Dental Alumni Association. An additional $500 gift from Dr. Belton Stephens (Class of 1953) was received for the purchase of additional furnishings. At the time, it was one of the largest individual gifts the school had received from an alumnus.

  • 1975: Dr. Eli Capilouto joins SOD faculty

    Eli Capilouto joined the School of Dentistry faculty as an instructor in the department of operative dentistry. Revered by his students, he was named assistant professor in 1979. Dr. Capilouto, who would go on to serve as dean of the UAB School of Public Health as UAB Provost played a historic role within UAB and the UAB School of Dentistry through than 35 years of loyal service. His vision, commitment to excellence, and compassion all brought honor to UAB and the School of Dentistry.

  • 1975: Student activities

    Student activities included a Christmas dance, a spring dance, Clinic Day, Field Day, and Senior Night.

  • 1975: Largest class ever (until that point)

    The largest class ever (until that point) to graduate from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, received their Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees this year. Fifty-eight graduated in June, while eight, enrolled in the "Combined Basic Medical Sciences" program, obtained their doctorates in August. The all-male class represented the first group to graduate from the modern, renovated dental school. The ceremonies took place at the Municipal Auditorium, in downtown Birmingham, where students from all schools of the University received their diplomas. Dr. Joseph Volker presided over the ceremonies and Dr. Charles A. McCallum, Dean of the School of Dentistry, presented diplomas to the dental students.

  • 1975: Dr. Greer named Director of Student Affairs

    Dr. David Greer, associate professor of dentistry, was named director of student affairs at the School of Dentistry. Beloved by the students, Greer was chosen by the student body as faculty advisor for the Student Government Association every year since 1971 through 1975 and the DENTALA has been dedicated to him four out of the past five years.

  • 1975: Alabama's first televised CE course

    Alabama’s first televised dental continuing education course was shown on the Alabama Public Television Network in an eight-part series on Wednesdays. The course, produced by the School of Dentistry, was part of a study designed to investigate the feasibility of using television to make continuing education more readily available to dentists practicing in remote areas. Dr. Barry Isenberg was the project director for the program, which was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Public Health Service. Two years into production, the series was written and produced at the UAB SOD using the school’s own television studio under the direction of Edward McDevitt. The series, entitled “Effective Utilization of the Chairside Dental Assistant, Work Simplification Procedures and the Use of Modern Dental Equipment,” covered a wide range of subjects of interest to dentists in private practice.

  • January 17, 1976: Building rededication

    The Medical and Dental Basic Science Building and Dental Clinic was rededicated as the School of Dentistry Building, with $9.45M renovations of original clinic building and adjoining building, and a five-story addition. The project, which quadrupled the clinical facilities of Alabama's only dental school, was begun in late 1973.

  • 1976: Dr. McCallum in the Dentala

    Dean Charles A. McCallum penned a bicentennial-themed letter to the graduating class in the Dentala yearbook (include photo & letter).

  • 1976: Dr. Volker becoming first chancellor of the three-campus UA Health System

    In 1976 Dr. Joseph Volker became the first chancellor of the three-campus University of Alabama Health System, a post he held until 1982. From then until his death in 1989 he served as a distinguished professor of UAB.

  • 1977: Dr. McCallum resignation

    Dr. Scotty McCallum resigned the deanship in 1977 to accept the vice presidency for Health Affairs at UAB.

  • 1977: Future women faculty

    Students included future women faculty Madelyn Coar, Mary Lynne Hartselle (Capilouto), Janice Jackson, and Sandra Jean O'Neal.

  • 1977: Student organizations

    Organizations included SGA, ASDA, Delta Sigma Delta, and Psi Omicron.

  • 1977: David Sarver in the Dentala

    David Sarver, SGA president, penned an open letter published in Dentala

  • January 1, 1978: Dr. Robinson deanship

    Dr. Leonard H. Robinson became third dean of the University of Alabama School of Dentistry on January 1, 1978 following Dean McCallum’s resignation.

  • 1978: Dr. Joel Hearn writes UAB fight song

    In 1978, Dr. Joel Hearn, already a 1972 graduate of the UAB School of Dentistry, was in his endodontic residency at UAB when he caught wind of a contest being held that fall to write the UAB fight song. The prize? $150. Hearn took piano lessons in grade school and junior high and played keyboard and bass in a few rock ‘n roll cover bands, so he knew a little about music composition. And, lo and behold, his entry won and made its official debut during the 1978-1979 UAB men’s basketball season.

About the 1980's

  • 1980: Alabama Board of Dental Examiners

    The Alabama Board of Dental Examiners posed for this picture on June 12, 1912 with that year’s crop of applicants for licensure. It is believed that the gentleman in the wheelchair is Dr. J.A. Hall of Collinsville, grandfather of Mr. James O. Harbour of Silverhill, who presented the photo to the School of Dentistry in the 1980s through his dentist, Dr. William L. Wingo, Jr. of Robertsdale

  • 1980: Sidney Bernard Finn

    Pediatric dental clinic is dedicated, named after Sidney Bernard Finn who wrote the school’s adaptation of The Dentist’s Pledge.

  • 1980: Biomaterials Program

    Jack Lemons, PhD, chair of the Department of Biomaterials, presented Ted Fischer, DDS, (upon his retirement in 1980) with his biomaterials scraps transformed into a chess set. Fischer’s primary research interest was in amalgam and cement restorative materials and in polymeric materials for use in maxillofacial prostheses. He holds the distinction of having been instrumental in obtaining worldwide standardization of specifications for a type of cement widely used in dental restorations. Among his many awards and recognitions, Fischer’s expertise resulted in his being named a member of the Dental Health, Research and Education Advisory Committee of HEW’s Bureau of Health Manpower and as president of the Materials Group of the International Association for Dental Research.

  • 1980: Greer is National OKU officer

    In 1980, Dr. David F. Greer, associate professor of dentistry and director of the Office of Student Affairs, was installed as vice president of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national dental honor society. He would assume the national presidency of the society in 1982. After serving in the U.S. Navy for six years, Greer joined the faculty in 1968.

  • 1980: Family Day

    More than 100 parents from throughout Alabama visited the School of Dentistry during the first annual Parents’ Visitation Day in April. The event, sponsored by the Student Government Association, began with a luncheon at Highland Park Community Center hosted by the Student Dental Auxiliary. During the afternoon, visitors took individual tours of the school conducted by their sons and daughters.

  • 1980: Record crowd attends 1980 alumni meeting

    More than 600 alumni and visitors participated in the annual meeting of the School of Dentistry Alumni Association’s annual meeting and related events. A highlight of the weekend was the dedication of the Sidney B. Finn Pediatric Dentistry Clinic. Pictured, Mrs. Sidney Finn greets long-time friend Dr. Harold Hodge at the unveiling of a memorial wall honoring the late Dr. Finn during Alumni Weekend.

  • 1980: Parents of second and fourth year students visit SOD

    Dr. David Greer (Class of 1959), Director of Student Affairs, stops by to chat with Don-John Summerlin and his parents during Parents Visitation Day. The annual event sponsored by the Student Government Association includes a luncheon and student-directed tours of the school. Visitation Day brought approximately 200 parents to campus.

  • 1980: School hosts international conference

    Some 200 “eminent scientists” from throughout the world gathered for the International Conference on Cellular, Molecular and Clinical Aspects of Streptococcus mutans hosted by the School of Dentistry September 18-20.

  • April 17, 1980: First Annual Parents Visitation Day

    First Annual Parents Visitation Day was sponsored by the SGA.

  • 1984: International partnership

    In UAB SOD’s tradition of international partnerships, Alpha Omega sponsors a student exchange program with Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

  • 1984: Grant awards

    Since its inception, UAB School of Dentistry has been committed to excellence in education, service and research. By 1984, research had become a major strength of the school and involved both faculty and students. For fiscal year 1984, the school ranked second among 60 dental schools in the nation in the total dollar amount of grant awards received from the National Institutes of Health. In sharing the information with the faculty, Dean Leonard Robinson said, “This achievement is all the more remarkable when one considers that our School of Dentistry has been in existence for the relatively short period of 37 years.” “While research is only one of several functions of the School, the fact that we have been successful in, and have been recognized nationally for, this endeavor is something in which we can all take pride.” The dollar amount of NIH grant awards for 1984 was $4,085,556.

  • Spring, 1985: Alumni Association makes movie about SOD

    The film, “A Commitment to Excellence,” was scheduled for completion in early 1985. According to the Spring 1985 DentAlumni Magazine, “It reviews the history of the School of Dentistry, shows “where we are now” and provides insights into needs and goals for the future. It features Roy Cowan of Butler (Class of 1958) on a visit to his son, Glen, who is a third-year student. During the course of the film, the Cowans tour the Medical center and the School of Dentistry and pay visits to former deans Drs. Joseph Volker and Charles McCallum and current dean Dr. Leonard Robinson.” The production was underwritten by a grant from the Alumni Association’s Annual Fund for Excellence in Clinical Dentistry in cooperation with the School of Dentistry. All audiovisual facilities and school staff were made available for the production, which was produced in video tape and 16-millimeter movie film. This was the first project on which contributions to the association’s Annual Fund were expended. Add the piece we already have about premiere in Orlando. The film was presented at district meetings throughout Alabama, at the Florida Dental Congress, and at other dental meetings where alumni were gathered.

  • September 19-20, 1985: International Scientific Conference

    The school hosts an international scientific conference, Conference on Cellular, Mollecular and Craniofacial Aspects of Streptococcus mutants

  • 1986: Alumni Weekend

    Paul Finebaum speaks at Alumni Weekend luncheon. Finebaum was then an award-winning columnist for the Birmingham Post-Herald. Dr. Aden Thomas was named the First Chair of Endodontics.

  • 1986: Ranney becomes 4th dean

    Dean Robinson was succeeded Dr. Richard Ranney.

  • 1988: Student activities

    Student activities included SGA Bingo Night, Clinic Day, and Senior Night. Omicron Kappa Upsilon inducted members in 1988.

  • 1989: Dr. Mario Martinez retires

    Having graduated from UAB SOD in 1964, Dr. Mario Martinez obtained a Master of Science Degree in Oral Pathology in 1968. He remained a member of the faculty of the School of Dentistry until his retirement in 1989, when he was appointed Professor Emeritus of Dentistry. He served as Director of the Division of Oral Pathology, was Director of the Clinical Cancer Training Program in Dentistry, was Senior Scientist of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB and served on various administrative committees of the School of Dentistry and of the Medical Center. Dr. Martinez was selected "best instructor" and his Oral Pathology course was chosen "best basic science course" repeatedly throughout his career. Martinez made significant contributions to the scientific literature and served as Assistant Editor of the Journal of Oral Pathology, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cancer Education. Impacting Diagnostic Oral Pathology for dentists in the U.S., he also pioneered the development of Forensic Dentistry in this state and served as Deputy Medical Examiner of Jefferson County for more than 20 years.

  • Late 1980s: SOD departments reorganized

    Dean Ranney proceeded to reorganize the school and reduce the number of independent departments. His changes were prompted by a $100,000 grant from the Pew National Dental Education Program. Of the School’s existing 14 academic departments, Dean Ranney eliminated all but three. He then founded three new departments to better reflect the changes in dental education.

About the 1990's

  • January 15, 1990: Matukas named 5th dean

    Dr. Victor Matukas is named 5th dean in after serving as interim dean for approximately two months.

  • 1991: Dentala dedicated to Dr. Charles E. Barrett

    It is with great respect and admiration that the graduating class of 1991 dedicated the Dentala to one of our most distinguished faculty members, Dr. Charles E. Barrett. Dr. Barrett, Over the past 4 years there has been nothing that you were not willing to help with, and ‘thank you’ seems inappropriate for all you have done. Thought your constant support, you seems inappropriate for all you have one. Through your constant support you have helped make it possible for us to fulfill our dreams. May you always know that your are loved and appreciated, and may the happiness you have given return to fill each day of your life.
    -The Class of 1991

  • 1991: Student activities, organizations and rotations

    In the early 1990s, student activities included the Christmas Dance, Bowling Night, Day to Day, Parents’ Day, Field Day, and Casino Night. Parents’ Visitation Day was held at the Highland Raquel Club on April 5, 1991. Student organizations included Student Government Association, Psi Omega, and Dentala. Rotations were Bryce Hospital and Community Dentistry. Honors Convocation was held June 1, 1991 at the Alabama Theatre.

  • 1993: D3 class hits the clinic

    According to the Dentala, the D3 class said:
    In August, we hit the clinic floor, wide-eyed and trembling at the thought of a pulp exposure. Patients with real teeth… the ones that Millie couldn’t replace. The race was on to get those extra chairs in Perio. Our patients never thought that their gums had to be that healthy to get a “cap.” We also ventured into the world of dentures but hey, the patients were all ready to go. Well okay, at least some of them. By October and November, we had accepted the fact that long waiting lines for instruments and instructors would never get faster or shorter. Then came a well-deserved Christmas break… as we left we were concerned that some classmates had already cemented half of their crown and bridge, while others had not even cut a crown prep yet. We came back to the Dean’s New Year’s resolutions: the superbill and higher fees. Come April, we were in a panic… the race was on to find the elusive RPD that didn’t require Perio, extractions, or too many surveyed crowns. Evaluations in Perio, operative and ortho were handled as we made the last term. The end is finally approaching, and we see the white tape off in the distance — will we be finished by June 15??

  • 1993 & 1994: Student activities and organizations

    In 1993, the Student Government Association held ‘Casual Christmas.’ Other student activities included Casino Night and Field Day. Student organizations also included ASDA, Honor Council and Psi Omega.

  • 1994: Administration

    The school’s administration included Dean Matukas, Dr. David F. Greer as director of student affairs, Dr. Kent G. Palcanis as assistant dean of academic affairs, and Dr. Milton Essig as assistant dean of clinical affairs.

  • 1997: Comprehensive concept to patient care adopted

    Customer satisfaction is one of the basic tenets of business. By providing good service, you build brand loyalty. When that same principle is applied to dental education – substituting patients for customers – the results are equally positive, according to Michael Reddy, D.M.D, a professor and assistant dean. As a concept, ‘comprehensive care’ has taken root in dental schools across the country in recent years. In practice, it involves creating a seamless experience for patients from the moment they enter the dental clinic, until treatment has been completed – everything from the initial evaluation to the final billing.

  • 1997-1998: Dentala dedicated to Greer

    The Dentala was dedicated to Dr. David Greer: For his time listening to problems or triumphs whether personal or professional. For his interest in the student which extends from pre-dental training to private practice. For his for being a faculty member you can trust and count on. For making sure we are not just good clinicians, but also well-rounded individuals. For his friendship.

  • May 13, 1998: Capilouto named 6th dean

    Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto became the school’s 6th dean in 1998 after serving as interim dean beginning March 7, 1997 upon the retirement of Dean Matukas.

  • Mid 1998: Leadership, chairs and directors

    In addition to Dean Mary Lynn Capilouto and associate deans Essie, Greer, and Palcanis, the school’s administration included the following chairs and directors: Dr. Donna Dixon (clinics), Dr. Steve Filler (admissions), Dr. David Koth (restorative), Dr. Milner Snuggs (operative), Dr. Jean O’Neal (prosthodontics), Dr. John Mills (endodontics), Dr. Peter Waite (oral surgery), Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat (periodontics), Dr. Lionel Sadowski (orthodontics), Dr. Richard Weems (diagnostic sciences), Dr. Britta-Rahemtulla (community dentistry), Dr. Brad Roku (oral pathology), Dr. Ken Suggs (emergency clinic), Dr. Jack Lemons (biomaterials), Dr. John Thornton (pedodontics), Dr. Len Mueninghoff (graduate prosthodontics), Dr. J.R. Patel (radiology), and Dr. Ken Tilashalski (oral diagnosis).

  • October 18, 1998: SOD celebrates 50th anniversary

    School hosts alumni and faculty event to celebrate 50 years.

  • Late 1990s: Renovation transforms front of School of Dentistry Building and beyond

    Following minor renovations throughout the 1980s the SOD embarked upon a $35M+ major renovation in late 90’s. The renovation provides a state-of-the-art lecture and patient treatment rooms and preclinical laboratories. A new front entrance and atrium was also constructed in order to give the building – and the school – and more distinct art deco appearance. In addition, Hospital Dentistry was renovated in the 1990s and the preclinical dentistry (PCD) lab was renovated in 1999.

About the 2000's

  • Late 1990s – Early 2000s: Reorganization of academic departments

    During Dean Capilouto’s tenure, the school was reorganized into nine academic departments: Comprehensive Dentistry, Diagnostic Sciences, Endodontics & Pulp Biology, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Biology, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, and Prosthodontics & Biomaterials.

  • 1999-2000: Student activities

    Student activities in the 1999-2000 academic year included the annual Carious Classic golf tournament, Student National Dental Association (SNDA), the Alabama Women’s Dental Association, and community service locally and around the world.

  • 2000: Phase I: SOD exterior/atrium renovation complete

    Anyone who has passed by the dental school recently has noticed striking changes – the orderly landscaping for instance, the airy new entrance, the spacious drop-off and pick-up point for patients. What the casual observer cannot know is that these physical improvements are meant to mirror the core philosophy of the school. “A compassionate approach to dentistry has always been an important part of the training we provide,” says Dean Mary Lynne Capilouto, D.M.D. “And so it made perfect sense for the first phase of our renovations to focus specifically on improving patients’ experience when they visit us. WE feel that by placing an emphasis on patient care, we encourage students to develop that attitude from the first day of their training.”

  • 2000: Phase II: PCD Lab renovation

    The school’s newly-renovated preclinical dentistry lab is a state-of-the-art facility with an amazing array of high-tech features. This will be followed by Phase II: classroom renovations.

  • June 4, 2000: Honors Convocation

    Honors Convocation is held June 4, 2000. As her four years in dental school came to a close, Dentala editor Keri Miller wrote:
    As our time here at Alabama comes to a close, I find myself not knowing whether I should cry out of utter joy or sadness… Each of our lives are a little bit better for having spent these years here. Someone once said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” And while I was certain at times that this place would be the end of me, I realize that in the end there is nowhere else that I would rather been. Friendships have been made that will last a lifetime. Some have even found their husband or wife here. But no matter where life takes us, we will always be tied by the common bond of our noble profession. It has truly been a privilege to be part of such an impressive group.

  • 2000: SEARCH Program established

    12 student volunteers were chosen for the initial phase of a new statewide dental health program called SEARCH (Students/residents Experiences and Rotations in Community Health). Search team members help provide dental care to young, elderly, and disabled patients at seven community health centers around Alabama. UAB students, faculty, and alumni participate in the program, which is coordinated by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

  • 2000: International exchange programs

    An early 2000s edition of Contact magazine highlighted the school’s rich history of international partnerships, including the Japan Exchange Program:
    Contact with other cultures can change the way a person sees the world. Not only can it lead to an expanded sense of perspective, but also to greater tolerance for people’s differences. That’s what dental faculty and students at UAB gain by participating in the school’s long-standing foreign exchange program.
    Beginning with an alliance with the University of Iceland’s Department of Odontology that was established by founding Dean Joseph Volker, D.D.S., the School of Dentistry has established a tradition of creating relationships with other dental teaching institutions around the globe.
    Dr. Steven Filler, D.D.S., who serves as assistant dean for student, alumni, and external affairs, organized the most recent student/faculty exchange between UAB and Japan. Ten students and two faculty members from Japan’s Asahi and Meikai universities visited the dental school in August. Their student and faculty hosts will visit Japan in the spring.

  • 2001: Resinous restorations

    UAB was instrumental in testing the belleClass HP head- and pressure-cured composite resin for restorations.

  • 2002: Advances in implantology

    UAB has a long history of implant advocacy, according to Jack Lemons, a professor in the Department of Prosthodontics and Biomaterials who worked with implants since the technology was introduced in the United States during eth 1970s. Lemons, along with such biomedical engineers as Linda Lucas, Ph.D., now dean of UAB School of Engineering, and Martha Warren Bidez, Ph.D. – then a UAB professor – stepped to the forefront of dental implant research. They helped establish a strong reputation for UAB’s Biomedical Implant Center, and since that time investigators have landed more than $20 million in grants and contracts. Bidez – who held joint appointments in the Schools of Engineering and Dentistry – eventually established a firm called BioHorizons through the Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI), UAB’s high-tech business incubator.

  • May 2002: Gilbert establishes first statewide PBRN

    The School of dentistry is about to add some new lab space – 51,705 square miles, to be exact. The UAB SOD is turning the entire state of Alabama into a lab by asking the state’s 1,800 dentists for help in conducting research projects.
    After joining the faculty of the UAB School of Dentistry in 2000, Gregg Gilbert’s (DDS, MBA, FAAHD, FACD, FICD) interest in the field of oral health clinical research, including practice-based, oral epidemiology and dental behavioral sciences research led him to apply for UAB Health Services Foundation grant. With the resulting grant award, Gilbert established an Alabama practice-based research network (PBRN) that would become the nation’s first statewide dental PBRN. This would eventually develop into the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

  • 2002: Academic Career Club formed

    The Academic Career Club was initiated in 2002 to support and provide guidance for students and faculty seeking a productive career in dental academics. It is intended to provide guidance to faculty, while affording a flavor of the academic life to student members interested in academic careers in dentistry. Programs are offered regularly and feature speakers on various aspects of academics, including practical information on such matters as constructing a curriculum vitae, career paths, ongoing the SOD clinical studies and grant opportunities.

  • January 15, 2003: Capilouto steps down as dean

    Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, dean of the UAB School of Dentistry, is stepping down from her position. She will remain as dean while the university conducts a search for her successor and then will return to the faculty. Capilouto has served as dean since May 1998, after 15 months as interim dean.

    Highlights during Capilouto's tenure include:

    • The graduating class of 2002 ranked third in the nation on the National Dental Board Exam.
    • UAB is the only site in the nation studying oral bone loss as part of the National Institutes of Health's comprehensive study of women's health issues.
    • The faculty and students participate in outreach programs not only in Alabama, but also in developing countries such as Cameroon and Guatemala.
    • The School of Dentistry has received a $10 million renovation and updating of clinical, research and teaching facilities.

  • June 7, 2003: Class of 2003 Commencement

    The UAB School of Dentistry held its annual Honors Convocation and Hooding Ceremony for 54 graduating dentistry students of the class of 2003 on Saturday, June 7 at the Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. Malcolm Portera, Ph.D., chancellor of the University of Alabama System, was the honored speaker. Portera has been chancellor of the UA System since 2002.

    UAB School of Dentistry, Class of 2003:

    • More than 10 percent of the graduating class will enter public health dentistry after graduation.
    • The rigorous four-year professional dentistry degree program consists of two years of basic sciences and pre-clinical dentistry classes and another two years of patient-based rotations in at least five dentistry specialties and a comprehensive-patient-care-based program where the students follow certain patients through a system of comprehensive care.
    • Students and faculty from the School of Dentistry are the leading provider of care to Medicaid patients in Alabama.

  • 2003: NIDCR research planning grant

    In 2003, the school received a one-year planning grant from the NIDCR that helped the school evaluate and reorganize its research infrastructure. Changes that emerged from that planning process, including diversifying and collaborating on current research efforts, identification of key research focus areas, the addition of a new associate dean for research, Mary McDougall, PhD, and the eventual creation of the UAB Institute for Oral Health Research.
    As a result, the school of dentistry’s research is concentrated in four main areas. These include dental practice research, which is study of how to provide the best health services to our patients; biomaterials and tissue engineering research, which includes the study of new materials for things like fillings, dental implants and tissue or tooth regeneration; microbiology and immunology, which includes the study of the development of immunity and infections in the oral cavity and how the body responds; and craniofacial development and biology, which includes the study of genetics, normal tissues of the face and head as related to genetic diseases and syndromes.

  • January 1, 2004: Thomas becomes 7th dean

    Dr. Capilouto served as the dean until the end of December 2003 and was succeeded by Dr. Huw Thomas. Thomas, who came to UAB from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, became the School of Dentistry’s seventh dean on January 1, 2004.

  • January 2004: Greer lounge dedicated

    Students at the School of Dentistry once again have a convenient place to spend some time away from the busy, sometimes chaotic world of dental school. After months of waiting for remodeling to be completed, the David Greer Student-Faculty Center was dedicated during Alumni Weekend in January. The completely refurbished lounge was named to honor a revered retired faculty member. “Dr. Greer is a long-standing friend of students, faculty, and alumni,” says Steven Filler, D.D.S., dean of student, alumni, and external affairs. “it was named out of respect for him and his relationship with the students who have gone through the school.” Since Greer says he always enjoyed the lounge himself, naming it for him is especially appropriate. And some of his favorite lounge traditions – such as the Hot Dog Lunches – have already resumed.

  • June 5, 2004: Dr. Eli Capilouoto speaks at Class of 2004 Commencement

    The UAB School of Dentistry will hold its annual Honors Convocation and Hooding Ceremony for 56 graduating dentistry students of the class of 2004. The ceremonies will be held at the Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. The honored speaker is Dr. Eli Capilouto, who is currently the Acting Provost at UAB and the former dean and professor at the UAB School of Public Health. A native Alabamian, he received his bachelors and dental degrees, and master’s degree in epidemiology from schools within the University of Alabama System. In 1991, he received his doctorate in health policy and management from the Harvard University School of Public Health.

    Class of 2004:

    • 36% of the graduating class for 2004 is female.
    • 13% of the graduating class will enter the Armed Forces.
    • 6% of the graduating class will enter Public Health Dentistry after graduation.
    • Approximately 1/3 of the graduating class will pursue advanced dental training.
    • The rigorous four-year professional dentistry degree program consists of two years of basic sciences and pre-clinical dentistry classes and another two years of patient-based rotations in at least five dentistry specialties and a comprehensive-patient-care-based program where the students follow certain patients through a system of comprehensive care.

  • 2004: IOHR established, focus on research

    The School of Dentistry’s “Powers That Be” – and, indeed, its entire research faculty – are known for spending a lot of time looking into the future, looking toward advancements in dental technologies and discoveries that will improve the dental health of Alabama and the world. But that vision now includes a School of Dentistry that stands at the forefront of those discoveries and leads the charge in advancing the cause of dental research. Hopes are high that the SOD will soon recapture – even exceed – its national research reputation of two decades ago. “This school was ranked number three in national funding,’ says Huw Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., dean of the School of Dentistry. “it had some of the leaders in dental research in the U.S. and the world.”
    Established in 2004, the Institute of Oral Health Research (IOHR) fosters expertise and excellence in oral health research. Focused on creating profound understanding of the biology and pathology of craniofacial tissues, its primary focus is on advancing oral health through active participation in basic science, translational, and clinical research.
    IOHR boasts robust research programs in areas such as skeletal development, epigenetics, oral cancer, microbiology and immunology, periodontal regeneration therapeutics, and clinical periodontics. The institute's overarching goal is to support researchers throughout their career trajectories. Members have access to top-notch university-wide facilities and resources that transcend departmental boundaries. Services include comprehensive support to faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows, facilitating collaborative efforts with various schools and colleges within UAB.
    Four themes are coordinated with in the IOHR under the direction of Mary MacDougall, Ph.D. Each clinical department will work with multiple themes, and each thematic area will represent several departments.
    “One of the major things we discovered from our planning grant was that we needed to take more advantage of the interdisciplinary and collaborative environment here at UAB,” said Gregg H. Gilbert, D.D.S., M.B.A., chairman of diagnostic sciences and principal investigator of the 2004 planning grant. “We are doing that now. Using UAB’s core facilities, interacting and collaborating on projects with faculty in other areas such as the schools of medicine, engineering and education, and establishing cross-campus partnerships have all helped the School of Dentistry become part of the milieu, and vastly improve our research.”

  • 2004-2008: Curriculum innovations

    An overhaul and modernization of the school’s curriculum included vertical integration with early clinical experiences. The UAB School of dentistry has consistently ranked in the top 10 dental schools throughout the country. UAB dental students go on to successful careers in private practice, academia, and research. So why fix an educational program that wasn’t broken? The issue wasn’t that the traditional curriculum was bad – just that it could be improved, says associate dean for academic affairs Ken Tilashalski, D.M.D.
    The school determined that providing clinical experiences for students as early as possible and emphasizing the connection between basic-sciences coursework and actual patient care would better serve them.
    Hands-on from day one. The first-year Entry Level Clinical Skills (ELCS) course prepares students to enter the clinic nearly two years earlier than they would have under the traditional curriculum. The updated curriculum reorganizes basic-sciences courses into a systems-based approach. The systems-based classes are accompanied by the course Case-Based Education, where students apply their newly acquired knowledge to the context of clinical care. Ultimately, the graduating class of 2012 became the first class to graduate having experienced the new curriculum through their dental school careers.

  • August 2005: Commitment to dental informatics

    Michelle Robinson, D.D.S., M.S., joined the faculty as assistant dean for dental informatics. Some of her goals included digitizing paper records, creating a new informatics course, offering informatics training for faculty, and to expand the school’s video capabilities to create continuing education programs that can be accessed via the internet.

  • March 2006: UAB SOD leads nation as one of top 10 in research funding

    The UAB School of Dentistry leapt from No. 19 to No. 10 in recently announced rankings based on fiscal 2005 funding by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). NIDCR is the primary sponsor of dental, oral, and craniofacial research and research training for the NIH. It released its rankings based on grants to U.S. academic and dental institutions in mid-March, ranking UAB as No. 10 in both categories, with a total of $6.95 million in funding.
    “This school was once ranked number four in national funding,” said Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.D., Ph.D., dean of the UAB School of Dentistry. “It had some of the leaders in dental research in the U.S. and the world.” That standing slipped for a variety of reasons including gradual reduction in state funding, loss of key faculty members, national shortages of dental faculty and changes in funding approaches at the NIH. “But these current rankings illustrate we are well on our way to reclaiming our leadership position in research,” Thomas said. He added the school also is hoping for improvements in overall rankings based on total NIH funding, expected in June.
    The changes in ranking reflect the school’s recent reorganization and receipt of three significant grants from the NIDCR, including one of the largest grants in the school’s history. UAB was the only school in the nation to receive all three of these major grants from NIDCR. In 2003, the school received a one-year planning grant from the NIDCR that helped the school evaluate and reorganize its research infrastructure. Changes that emerged from that planning process, including diversifying and collaborating on current research efforts, identification of key research focus areas, the addition of a new associate dean for research and the creation of the UAB Institute for Oral Health Research, all helped paved the road.

  • September 20, 2006: O’Neal presented UAB achievement in teaching award

    Professor Sandra Jean O’Neal, D.M.D., has been named this year’s recipient of the Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB National Alumni Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Teaching. The award is presented annually to a full-time, regular faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to teaching throughout his or her UAB career. Nominees must be past winners of the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which O’Neal received in 1995.
    O’Neal is being recognized for her commitment to dental education. She serves as chair of the UAB Department of Prosthodontics, a position she has held since 1998. She has published numerous scientific abstracts and articles, and has been very active in clinical research, especially dealing with esthetic restorative dentistry and implantology. She holds memberships in the American College of Prosthodontists, the American College of Dentistry and the Academy of Dentistry International.
    O’Neal earned her dental degree in 1977, a certificate in fixed prosthodontics in 1979 and a Master of Science in Dentistry in 1980 from the UAB School of Dentistry. She has been a member of the School of Dentistry faculty since 1980.

  • 2006 - 2008: Renovation of research facilities

    With a renewed commitment to research, the 7th floor research area renovated in 2006 and the 8th floor research area was renovated in 2008.

  • 2007: UAB DART program begins

    Officially known as the Dental Academic Research Training program, DART is an interdisciplinary training program supported by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The UAB DART program was established in 2007 as a T32 grant.

  • February 23, 2008: SOD serves community through Give Kids a Smile

    About half of kids from low-income families suffer from dental disease, yet they are the least likely to visit a dentist regularly, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Hundreds of these kids will be all smiles Feb. 23 during Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) Day at the UAB School of Dentistry. Dentists and volunteers will provide free screenings and cleanings to hundreds of uninsured, underserved children from central Alabama during the annual event.
    “Through GKAS, we are able to provide screenings and cleanings to kids who do not have access to routine dental care,” said Stephen C. Mitchell, D.M.D., UAB pediatric dentist and chair of the UAB GKAS Committee. “We also provide referrals if additional treatment is necessary, so GKAS Day is sort of a launching pad for good oral health.”
    During the event, dentists and volunteers educate parents on the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age so they can pass it on to their children. The underserved children have been identified by Blue Cross Blue Shield and recruited by the United Way of Central Alabama. The UAB School of Dentistry, the Birmingham District Dental Society (BDDS), the United Way of Central Alabama and the American Dental Association (ADA) have helped sponsor this event.

  • June 2, 2008: Recent ADA president speaks to 2008 graduates

    The immediate past president of the American Dental Association (ADA) on Saturday encouraged UAB graduating dentistry students to stay involved and connected in their communities, and to seek leadership roles in volunteer boards and public-health initiatives. Kathleen Roth, D.D.S., was the featured speaker at UAB's School of Dentistry annual diploma and hooding ceremony for the 52 graduating students in the class of 2008. The ceremony was May 31st at the Alys Stephens Center on campus.

  • October 10, 2008: SOD serves community, participates in minority health & wellness day

    The UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, along with Lawson State Community College and the Friends of West End, hosted a Community Health and Wellness Day Wednesday, Oct. 15, at Lawson State Community College, Birmingham Campus. Continuing its commitment to community service, the SOD was among other schools and organizations offering health screenings and wellness information.

  • October 16, 2008: SOD celebrates UAB Homecoming

    The SOD celebrated UAB Homecoming 2008 by hosting its annual Student Pizza Luncheon in the Student Faculty Center, Room 639.

  • January 29, 2009: Dental student wins UAB diversity award

    UAB dental student Cramin P. Wiltz II is the winner of the President's Diversity Professional Student Award. Dean Huw Thomas credited Wiltz for playing an important role in the mentoring and recruitment of underrepresented minorities to the School of Dentistry. Thomas said Wiltz has spoken at local high schools, colleges and health and church fairs about dentistry as a career. Wiltz has been a member of the School of Dentistry's Minority Recruitment Task Force, and he presented a proposal for a UAB Summer Pre-Dental Enrichment Program at the annual American Dental Association meeting in San Francisco in 2007. Also that year, he was a student representative at the National Dental Association's annual "Day on Capitol Hill" in Washington D.C., where he met with congressional staff members to discuss the challenges of recruiting minority students to health careers and about pending legislation affecting dental education.

  • June 4, 2009: BioHorizons Clinical Research Facility opens

    The SOD announces the opening of a state-of-the-art clinic offering the latest in restorative, implant and cosmetic dentistry. The new BioHorizons Clinical Research Facility is located in the school's 6th floor and is managed by John Burgess, D.D.S., UAB's assistant dean for dental clinical research. Project funds and equipment installation came from BioHorizons Inc., a Birmingham-based oral reconstructive device company, and from various donors. The clinic has been designed as a multi-use facility housing research projects to evaluate implants, crowns, new ceramic materials, digital impression devices and the latest dental materials. BioHorizons was founded in 1994 as a spin-off enterprise from UAB. The company has since become one of the nation's largest implant manufacturers.

About the 2010's

  • June 2010: SOD student chosen as global health scholar

    Three University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) graduate students, including Natasha Varma, a doctoral dental medicine candidate in the UAB School of Dentistry, have been selected for the prestigious Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars program. They join top students and post-doctoral trainees from across the United States and 19 other nations who will train for global health research in low- and middle-income areas of the world. Varma, of Mobile, was selected to pursue her Fogarty fellowship at the Public Health Foundation of India in New Delhi. She will work under the mentorship of Dorairaj Prabhakaran M.D., D.M., M.Sc., and Nikhil Tandon, M.D., both faculty members of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. She will also work under the mentorship of K.M. Venkat Narayan, M.D., M.Sc., M.B.A., and Mohammed K. Ali, M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc., both faculty members at Emory University in Atlanta. Varma's UAB School of Dentistry faculty mentor is Mary MacDougall, Ph.D.

  • November 2010: SOD hosts UAB homecoming events

    The SOD hosted its annual Student Pizza Luncheon at noon in the David F. Greer Student-Faculty Center on Nov. 2 and 4. The school hosted a Staff Homecoming Celebration in Greer on Nov. 3.

  • June 2011: Reddy assumes interim dean position

    Michael S. Reddy, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., was named interim dean of the school beginning June 2011.

  • March 15, 2012: Reddy named 8th dean

    Michael S. Reddy, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., an internationally respected specialist in periodontics, has been named dean of the UAB School of Dentistry. His appointment is effective March 15, 2012. Reddy was chair of the UAB Department of Periodontology from 2004 to 2011 and is the former assistant dean for Planning and Clinical Activity. He also is a senior scientist in multiple UAB research centers, including the centers for Metabolic Bone Disease and Aging.

  • 2012: SOD receives grant to create a national dental practice-based research network

    SOD receives seven-year, $66.8-million NIDCR grant to create a national dental practice-based research network, consolidating the institute’s former three regional research networks into a single, nationally coordinated effort. It is housed in the UAB Department of Clinical and Community Sciences under the leadership of Gregg Gilbert, D.D.S, M.B.A. The school received $9,976,266 for the project in 2012.

  • 2012: DART funded at T90/R90 grant

    The UAB DART program was established in 2007 as a T32 grant, which was transitioned to a T90/R90 NIDCR grant in 2012.

  • 2012: SOD launches branding campaign

    Part of its strategic plan, the School of Dentistry launched a branding campaign that included a new website, light pole flags in front of the school, and promotional products.

  • Spring 2013: UAB and SOD ranked first nationally in NIDCR funding

    The UAB School of Dentistry leapt from No. 15 to No. 1 in recently announced rankings based on 2012 funding to dental schools and academic institutions in the country by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), one of the National Institutes of Health. The highest rank the school had received in recent years has been fourth. The School of Dentistry was awarded a total of $12,456,763 in 2012. In 2011, it received $4,251,671. This is an increase of slightly less than three times the school’s federal NIDCR research support from 2011 to 2012. It also is $2.5 million more in 2012 than the second-ranked Forsyth Institution.

  • April 16, 2013: DCAT Program launched

    DCAT stands for Dentistry Cultural Advancement Team and students, residents, faculty, and staff are part of that team. The DCAT program allows team members to enjoy great food and get to know each other better. Launched in 2013 with a program based on the book Whistling Vivaldi and inspired by a different book each time, the program includes a presentation by Dean Reddy followed by discussions of culture, diversity, and inclusion. The program was held twice each year through 2017.

  • Fall 2013: Clinic renovation

    School renovates several clinics including UAB Dental Group Faculty Practice and the UAB Endodontics Clinic.

  • October 9, 2013: First annual UAB Dentistry Cares Community Day

    SOD hosts first annual UAB Dentistry Cares Community Day charity event, treating more than 350 people.

  • January 29-30, 2014: Snowmageddon hits Birmingham

    A significant and rapidly developing winter storm hit Central Alabama January 28, 2014. The storm caused major impacts and severe travel issues as many people were caught outside unexpectedly in the hazardous conditions, which included snow, freezing rain and sleet. Many travelers were stuck on highways for hours, and many UAB employees took shelter on campus.

  • February 18-20, 2014: Accreditation

    Undergoing a coordinated site visit, our nine CODA-accredited programs were accredited for the upcoming cycle.

  • 2014: Assistant Dean for Community Collaborations and Public Health

    Dr. Allen Conan Davis appointed assistant dean for Community Collaborations and Public Health to enable the school to improve oral health through community-based education, research and service.

  • August 2014: Lemons named Sam Brown Bridge Builder

    Jack Lemons, Ph.D., professor in the UAB School of Dentistry Division of Biomaterials, is the recipient of the 2014 Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award. This annual award honors individuals who engage in interdisciplinary, collaborative efforts across campus in ways that embody the vision, character and bridge-building talents vital to the future of UAB. Lemons’ academic career spans more than 40 years, most of which has been spent at UAB in various positions within the schools of Dentistry, Engineering and Medicine.

  • 2015: New student laboratory

    SOD dedicates a new D. Thomas Winstead Student Laboratory, giving students and patients a new, cutting-edge technological dental space to enhance training and care.

  • 2015: School launches new strategic plan

    SOD rolls out ambitious 5-year strategic plan to optimize oral health in Alabama and beyond.

  • 2016: SOD headlines UAB Community Week

    SOD hosts Acting Deputy Director of the Office on Trafficking in Persons in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rochelle Rollins to headline UAB Community Week.

  • 2016: SOD ranks first in NIDCR funding for fourth straight year

    UAB School of Dentistry is ranked first again in research funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The School has been ranked first since 2012. UAB received more than $13 million in research funding from NIDCR in 2015. NIDCR is the federal government’s lead agency for scientific research on dental, oral and craniofacial health and disease, and is the nation’s leading funder of these areas. NIDCR is one of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • 2016: Student selected to inaugural ASF class

    SOD student Aissatou Barry-Blocker selected as part of the inaugural class of Alabama Schweitzer Fellows. The students will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom the Fellowship is named.

  • 2016: UAB pregnancy and gingivitis study sets the stage for future pregnancy and oral health research

    New research from the UAB School of Dentistry shows that women who are pregnant are likely to have moderate to severe gingivitis, and may need regular care to maintain their oral health and help avoid adverse pregnancy outcomes. The study, funded by a grant from Procter & Gamble, also states that gingivitis is relatively stable in the late first and second trimesters. The study was presented by Dean Michael Reddy, DMD, at the International Association for Dental Research meeting in Seoul, South Korea.

  • August 2016: SOD staff member elected inaugural UAB Staff Council president.

    SOD staff member Ginger Hattaway (Administration & Finance) elected inaugural president of UAB Staff Council

  • 2017: SOD ranks first in NIDCR funding for fifth straight year

    SOD ranks first in NIDCR funding for fifth straight year. The NIDCR reports more than $11 million in research funding was awarded to UAB in 2016.

  • 2017: UAB Employee of the Month

    SOD staff member Maddie Lowrey-Poole (Pediatric Dentistry) awarded UAB Employee of the Month.

  • 2017: Robinson earns diversity award

    Dr. Michelle Robinson earns Minority Access Inc. National Role Model award, illustrating UAB’s consistent commitment to championing and advocating for equity and inclusion.

  • 2018: Robinson becomes interim dean

    Michelle A. Robinson, DMD, MS, a member of the dental school faculty since 2005, was serving as an associate dean when she was named as Interim Dean of the School of Dentistry.

  • 2018: SOD helps elevate Alabama in Oral Health America report

    Alabama rose to No. 29 in Oral Health America State of Decay report, up from No. 50. The elevated ranking reflects a joint commitment made by state public health officials, other dental organizations, and the UAB School of Dentistry faculty, students and alumni to improve outcomes in this population after an alarming last-place ranking in the previous report.

  • 2018: SOD ranked among top 25 in world

    SOD ranked among top 25 dental schools in world according to ShanghaiRanking’s 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

  • June 2018: First International Dentist Program class graduates

    First International Dentist Program class graduates 10 students from all parts of the world – from London to the Middle East

  • July 10, 2018: SOD partners with TeamSmile

    More than 90 faculty, fourth year dental students and community volunteers gathered on July 10 for Birmingham's first TeamSmile event. The school teamed up with current and former UAB football players, sponsors and program staff to capitalize on the allure of high profile sports while providing a life changing dental experience to children in need. Nearly 100 at-risk youth learned the value of a life-long commitment to oral health.

  • October 2018: SNDA named UAB diversity champion

    UAB Student National Dental Student Association (SNDA) named UAB President’s Diversity Champion, Student Organization category. SNDA has a long history of working to increase the presence of underrepresented groups in dental schools. Founded in the 1970’s, the UAB chapter is dedicated to educating members in the social, moral and ethical obligations of the profession of dentistry. The UAB chapter is a strong inclusive chapter of diverse members working to improve the delivery of dental care to all people. Chapter members’ work in the community is recognized as they have received several national accolades. For example, chapter members include Albert Schweitzer Fellows, Colgate-Palmolive Pre-Doctoral Scholars, and American Dental Association Foundation’s Underrepresented Minority Scholars. In addition, members have been recognized for their local and national leadership positions that include SNDA President, Treasurer, Director of Regional Communications and Corporate Roundtable Representative. Lastly, in alignment with the SNDA’s mission, the UAB chapter is committed to promoting a viable academic and social environment for underrepresented students. Regardless of race, ethnicity, social or cultural differences, the goal of UAB SNDA is to ensure that every student feels included in a family of student dentists.

  • November 12, 2018: SOD hosts the 2018 Microbiome Symposium

    UAB SOD hosts the 2018 Microbiome Symposium, a full-day sympsoium with leading researchers in the study of human microbiomes. The symposium is an integral activity of the UAB Microbiome Center, housed within UAB SOD. The mission of this university-wide research pilot center is to establish an integrated microbiome research and education platform on campus enabling comprehensive studies of the human microbiome in health and disease.

  • February 2019: Comprehensive Care Clinic renovations

    UAB SOD completes renovations to the Comprehensive Care Clinic. The multidisciplinary, faculty-supervised clinic is where third- and fourth-year students provide general, cosmetic and operative dentistry services to patients. With 76 individual operatories, the renovations including aesthetic updates — new floors, cabinetry and paint — and advanced technological upgrades, including state-of-the-art intraoral and panoramic X-rays, motion sensor lights, and new air handlers.

  • February 15, 2019: Pediatric Dentistry hosts annual Give Kids A Smile®

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry hosted its annual volunteer initiative Give Kids A Smile® at the Sidney B. Finn Pediatric Dentistry Clinic on Feb. 15. Event volunteers provided free, accessible dental care to 49 qualifying local children in need. The event raises awareness of the epidemic of untreated dental disease, while also enabling those who may not otherwise receive regular dental care the dental attention they needed.

  • 2019: D3 student elected vice president of ASDA House of Delegates

    Kai Huang, a third-year dental student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Dentistry, has been elected vice president of the American Student Dental Association’s House of Delegates, which represents all 66 United States dental schools and 30 university predental chapters.

  • 2019: SOD celebrates 2 UAB Employees of the Month

    SOD staff members Sheila Turner (Pediatric Dentistry) and Chris Seidenfaden (Restorative Sciences/Prosthodontics) were awarded UAB Employee of the Month in 2019.

  • February 11, 2019: Dr. Gregg Gilbert presents the UAB Distinguished Faculty Lecture

    Gregg Gilbert, DDS, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Clinical & Community Sciences presents the UAB Distinguished Faculty Lecture. Gilbert is the man who is quite possibly the most funded investigator in the annals of oral health research, and certainly the recipient of the largest federal grant in UAB history. Beginning with a few hundred dentists in northern Florida, Gilbert built several regional practice-based research networks. Then, in 2012, he received a seven-year, $66 million-plus grant from the National Institutes of Health to take his vision nationwide with the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (National Dental PBRN). The grant was renewed for seven years with a $22.4-million extension in 2019.

About the 2020's

  • 2020s: Early orthodontic management in cleft lip and cleft palate patients

    SOD partnership with the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Children’s of Alabama results in use of early orthodontic management of patients.

  • February 2020: SOD hosts 2nd TeamSmile event

    The UAB Student Recreation Center was bustling with volunteers, sponsors and program staff who came together on February 5 for the city’s second TeamSmile event. UAB School of Dentistry’s pediatric dentistry team joined former UAB football players for a program that capitalizes on the excitement and allure of high-profile sports to provide a life-changing dental experience to children in need. Held in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month, the event promoted the benefits of good oral health to children and their caregivers.

  • February 2020: SOD hosts 2 conferences

    The school hosted the Southern Conference of Dental Deans and Examiners (SCDDE) in conjunction with its annual Alumni Weekend.

  • March 2020: COVID-19 pandemic forces closures

    By March 15, dental schools across the country and around the world experienced disruptions in research activities and clinical training due to COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing measures, and concerns about the spread of the virus in clinical settings. UAB was no different. Quickly regrouping, clinics were fully and safely reopened by July.

  • 2021: Waite retires

    Peter Waite, D.D.S., M.D., F.A.C.S., long time Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery chair retires. He is seceded by Patrick Louis, D.D.S., M.D.

  • Jan. 16, 2021: McCallum passes away

    Charles A. “Scotty” McCallum, Jr., D.M.D., M.D., the first dean of the School of Dentistry and the third president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a pillar of the community for 70 years, died Saturday.

  • Mid 2021: Class size expansion

    In 2021, the school began implementing a CODA-approved stairstep expansion of DMD and IDP classes.

  • April 23-24, 2022: SOD joins RAM in Gadsden

    The East Central Alabama Area Health Education Center and Remote Area Medical – RAM® – are hosting a free pop-up clinic offering medical, dental and vision services April 23 and 24 at Gadsden City High School, 1917 Black Creek Parkway, Gadsden, AL 35901. This will be the first full-scale clinic that RAM has operated in the state of Alabama. This free clinic is open to the public. For the Gadsden clinic, RAM has enlisted the help of locally sourced volunteers, including medical providers from UAB Medicine, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, UAB School of Dentistry and UAB School of Optometry.

  • September 2022: DART receives five-year $3.2M NIH grant

    In 2022 the SOD received a five-year, $3.2 million NIH grant renewal to continue the program.

  • September 2022: Dothan satellite clinic

    The UAB School of Dentistry has announced plans to bring a new satellite dentistry clinic to the Health Center South Medical Tower in Dothan, Alabama, to recruit, educate, train and retain dentists to help improve the dental health of those living in the Wiregrass region of the state. The project is supported by a $3.4 million appropriation from the state of Alabama to develop this first-of-its-kind model to address the shortage of dental health providers in rural Alabama.

  • October 2022: $1.5 million HRSA grant

    Faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry received a five-year $1.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to help improve the oral health of vulnerable adults in underserved areas in Alabama. The UAB Department of Clinical and Community Sciences has a strong partnership with the Alabama Department of Senior Services and will engage in multidisciplinary education and care of patients of UAB Medicine clinics.

  • 2023: 75th anniversary

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. A yearlong celebration was kicked off at Alumni Weekend.

  • 2023: Pros Clinic renovation

    By early 2023, the school completed a renovation of the Prosthodontics Clinic.

  • 2023: 1st floor clinic renovation

    The school is providing the space for students to grow their dental skills, thanks to a recently completed expansion of the first-floor portion of the Comprehensive Care Clinic. The multidisciplinary, faculty-supervised clinic is where third- and fourth-year students provide general, cosmetic and operative dentistry services to patients. Along with other enhancements, the project added 40 new dental chairs on top of the already 76 chair Comprehensive Care Clinic on second floor. The space was redesigned with an open concept in mind that makes the dental team more accessible and approachable to patients, while also providing aspects that enhance patient privacy. The expansion of the Comprehensive Care Clinic is one part of a larger renovation of the SOD facilities that includes improvements to the spaces for walk-in emergency patients, treatment planning, waiting rooms, business office space, and office areas. But it is the increase in clinic dental chairs that is expected to have the most direct impact on SOD students.