School of Dental Medicine

Pioneering New Technologies & Teaching

Featured Researchers

This year, we highlight many successes we have realized in both our clinics and research areas. To share these advancements, Research Symposium 2023  showcases  exciting clinical and basic research that has the highest impact on patient care—the kind of research we do best.

Our prominence as a research institution advances the dental field and, most importantly, improves the lives of our patients.

Our research program is one of our school’s biggest assets.  Our collaborative and innovative research spans basic sciences to translational research—evidenced by the many funded research projects at Pitt Dental Medicine. 

Being part of a research-intensive institution and sharing in our collaborative spirit is a privilege for these research faculty, who are passionate about the discoveries we make each day. Our aim is not only to share knowledge, but also to enhance the bonds between us as scientists, clinicians and dentists.

This website is designed to celebrate the achievements of our investigators as they find forward-looking solutions that can both advance research and make a direct difference in patients’ health.

2023 Research Symposium Program

Learn more about the Symposium agenda

Giuseppe Intini


When trying to solve problems of bone-related disorders and injuries observed in the clinic, Giuseppe Intini, DDS, PhD, doesn’t merely take the research question to the bench. He takes it to space.

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Alejandro Almarza


Already pioneers in regenerative therapies for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) degeneration, Alejandro Almarza and his lab are now shifting their research focus to developing novel technologies to repair the articular surface of the condyle of the mandible.

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Juan M. Taboas

Endodontic Therapies

Juan M. Taboas, PhD, and his team are developing Vital-Dent, a drug-free implant for use in root canal procedures. It is intended to support continued tooth growth and prolong tooth survival, and will be especially valuable for younger patients.

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Center for Craniofacial Regeneration

  • Charles Sfeir DDS PhD
  • Elia Beniash PhD
  • Alejandro Almarza PhD
  • Andrew Brown PhD
  • Mariana Bezamat Chappel DDS
  • Daniel Clark DDS MS PhD
  • Jin Gao
  • Giuseppe Intini DDS MS PhD
  • Kai Liu
  • Henry Margolis PhD
  • Dobrawa Napierala PhD
  • Fatima Syed-Picard MSE PhD
  • Juan Taboas MS PhD
  • Konstantinos Verdelis DDS PhD
  • Alexandre Rezende Vieira DDS MS PhD
  • Samer Zaky DMD PhD

Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics

  • Mary Marazita PhD          
  • Seth Weinberg PhD
  • Rebecca Michele Green PhD
  • Ariadne Letra DDS MS PhD
  • Samantha Manna PhD
  • Ahmed El Sergani BDS PhD MOMS RCSEd

Dental Public Health Research

  • Robert J. Weyant MS DMD DrPH
  • Jacqueline Burgette DMD PhD
  • Deborah E Polk AB PhD
  • Nilesh H Shah PhD

Periodontics Clinical Research

  • Martinna Bertolini DDS MS PhD
  •  Andrea Ravida DDS MS

Diagnostic Sciences Clinical Research

  • Suvendra Vijayan MS MPH BDS

Endodontics Clinical Research

  • Renato Silva DDS MS PhD 

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Clinical Research

  • Rody Wellington DDS MS

Message from the Dean

Dear colleagues and friends,
I am honored to welcome you to the 2023 Pitt Dental Medicine Research Symposium. This is a day to not only share and celebrate our accomplishments, but is an occasion to look ahead to the unique and exciting opportunities that the future holds for us. Research is an essential part of our success as a school. It is a privilege to be part of this exciting event and learn more about our amazing collaborative work in translational and clinical research.

Today, we turn our attention to the achievements of our traditional researchers and to the important role that our students and clinicians play in contributing to our collective discovery. The intersection of research, academics, and patient care is a crucial one, as all three feed and support the success of the other. Our sessions today will showcase that unity through outstanding presentations that will heighten our knowledge, spark our curiosity, and offer us the opportunity to give voice to innovative ideas of our own.

Our profession selflessly accepts the obligation to improve the health and quality of life for our community. It is this aim that ultimately drives our research endeavors—at its heart, our research is about striving to better the lives of as many as we can. It is this obligation to improve the foundations of our profession that drives us toward this meaningful work. This is the secret to our success as researchers, scholars, teachers, and clinicians. It is evident in the passion with which we at Pitt Dental Medicine provide care and pursue innovative discoveries.
I am proud to be a part of this celebration of our remarkable and collaborative work.

Marnie Oakley, DDS


Together, we keep our sights focused on a vision of innovation and excellence encompassing our school’s teaching, service and research to better understand the inner workings of dental genetics, pioneer new technologies and improve our clinical practice as a point of pride for us all.