Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, March 22, 2013

Laurie McCauley, expert in skeletal biology, appointed School of Dentistry dean

Dr. Laurie K. McCauley, a highly regarded scholar with faculty appointments in the dental and medical schools, and whose research focuses on hormonal controls of bone, has been appointed dean of the School of Dentistry.

  Laurie McCauley

Her five-year appointment, effective Sept. 1, was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents. McCauley is the William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor of Periodontics in the School of Dentistry and a professor of pathology in the Medical School.

"Professor McCauley is a seasoned academic administrator whose service to the School of Dentistry, the university and beyond is extensive," said Provost Phil Hanlon in recommending her appointment. "She brings a unique blend of clinical experience, research achievement, pedagogical leadership and administrative success to the position."

McCauley succeeds Dr. Peter Polverini, who is stepping down after serving two terms as dean.

"Leading the U-M School of Dentistry is a great honor. I am delighted to serve as dean of this outstanding institution steeped in a rich tradition of excellence," McCauley said. "Together with the faculty, students, staff and alumni, I will embrace the challenges and opportunities to reach even greater heights in the years to come" 

McCauley served as chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine from 2002 to 2012. During this time she oversaw the successful merger of her department and another, and successfully increased departmental endowment and research funding.

She earned all of her degrees from The Ohio State University including Bachelor of Science, Doctor of Dental Surgery, Master of Science in dentistry, and Ph.D. in veterinary pathobiology. She was engaged in private practice limited to periodontics in Marysville, Ohio, from 1988 to 1991 and joined the U-M faculty as an assistant professor in 1992, becoming a professor in 2001.

In 2002 she was appointed an associate professor of pathology in the Medical School, becoming a professor in 2009. Over the course of her career, she has had a number of visiting scientist and visiting professor appointments, including her current visiting appointment at the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She also continues a private practice limited to periodontics with U-M Dental Faculty Associates.

McCauley is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology and a fellow in both the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. She is the second dentist in the history of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) to be elected to its council, and also served on the National Institutes of Health, National Advisory Dental & Craniofacial Research Council.

Among the many recognitions of her research are the inaugural Paula Stern Achievement Award from ASBMR in 2010 and a distinguished scientist award from the International Association for Dental Research in 2011.

Hanlon said McCauley has been committed to education throughout her career. She edited a textbook published in 2012 on craniofacial mineralized tissues. Under her leadership as department chair, a new graduate program in oral pathology and a new e-learning dental hygiene degree program were established.

Additionally, she has mentored numerous graduate students who have gone on to tenure-track faculty positions and numerous junior faculty members who have received independent research funding and promotion. She also has given more than 150 presentations worldwide on research, pedagogy, and evidence-based practice.