NIH names Dr. Rena D’Souza as director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has selected Rena N. D’Souza, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., as director of NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). A licensed dentist, Dr. D’Souza is currently the assistant vice president for academic affairs and education for health sciences at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. There she also serves as a professor of dentistry, the Ole and Marty Jensen Chair of the School of Dentistry and professor of neurobiology and anatomy, pathology and surgery in the School of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She is expected to begin her new role as the NIDCR director later this year.

“Dr. D’Souza is renowned for her research in craniofacial development, genetics, tooth development and regenerative dental medicine. She has worked as a proponent for NIH for decades, serving on critical advisory committees and as an expert consultant on multiple projects,” said Dr. Collins. “I look forward to having her join the NIH leadership team later this year. I also want to thank NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., for his valuable leadership as the acting director of NIDCR since January 1, 2020.”

As NIDCR director, Dr. D’Souza will oversee the institute’s annual budget of over $475 million, which supports basic, translational and clinical research in areas of oral cancer, orofacial pain, tooth decay, periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, craniofacial development and disorders and the oral complications of systemic diseases. The institute funds approximately 770 grants, 6,500 researchers and 200 organizations. Additionally, NIDCR supports research training and career development programs for approximately 350 people at various stages of their careers, from high school students to independent scientists.

Dr. Rena N. D’Souza

Rena N. D’Souza, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022