National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research names new director

Rena D'Souza, DDS, PhD, will be the next director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institutes of Health announced Aug. 13.

Dr. D'Souza is currently the assistant vice president for academic affairs and education for health sciences at Salt Lake City-based University of Utah. There, she also serves as a professor of dentistry, the Ole and Marty Jensen Chair of the School of Dentistry, and professor of neurobiology, anatomy, pathology and surgery in the School of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. D'Souza has been a principal investigator on numerous NIH and other federal grants since 1987 and has published 140 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters. Dr. D'Souza was formerly president of both the American Association for Dental Research and International Association for Dental Research.

As NIDCR director, Dr. D'Souza will oversee an annual budget of more than $475 million, as well as translational and clinical research in dentistry. Dr. D'Souza will begin as director later this year. Previous director Martha Somerman, DDS, PhD, served from 2011-19 before retiring.

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