Campus News

Zambon named dean of School of Dental Medicine


Published May 6, 2016

“Dr. Zambon has played a significant role in the success and stature of the School of Dental Medicine in so many capacities — as a distinguished scholar, a renowned and dedicated educator, and a gifted administrator.”
President Satish K. Tripathi
Joseph Zambon.

Joseph J. Zambon, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Periodontics and Endodontics, has been appointed dean of the School of Dental Medicine.

The appointment, effective Monday, was announced jointly today by Charles F. Zukoski, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, after an international search that attracted a pool of highly competitive candidates.

“Dr. Zambon brings to this role exceptional scholarly and teaching accomplishments, significant administrative experience and proven dedication to students and faculty,” Zukoski said.

“Under his leadership, we are confident that the School of Dental Medicine will continue to be a global leader in the innovation of oral health through research, education, clinical care and service.”

Cain noted that Zambon emerged as the top candidate from a large field of excellent applicants. “He is uniquely qualified to assemble a team of school and university thought leaders to develop and implement a strategic plan that moves the school to the next level of excellence in education, research and clinical care,” he said.

President Satish K. Tripathi said that over the years Zambon “has played a significant role in the success and stature of the School of Dental Medicine in so many capacities — as a distinguished scholar, a renowned and dedicated educator, and a gifted administrator. And he is an outstanding choice to lead the School of Dental Medicine on its continued upward trajectory,” Tripathi said.

“He has a clear vision for its future that is grounded both in his deep understanding of the school itself and his keen understanding of the national and global landscape impacting dental medicine, research and education.”

Zambon — a UB faculty member since 1982 and an internationally recognized authority on periodontal pathogens — said it was “an extreme honor to be able to lead the School of Dental Medicine.”

“With the support of the UB administration, faculty and staff, I hope to renew our physical infrastructure, rejuvenate our faculty and position the school for dental practice in the 21st century to ensure our graduates have the necessary skills to be successful, competent and caring dental professionals.”

In addition to his faculty appointments at UB, Zambon has served as interim dean of the School of Dental Medicine since August 2015, as associate dean for academic affairs for 14 years and for two years as associate dean for faculty advancement and advanced education. He was also director of the Advanced Education Program in Periodontology in the Department of Periodontics.

He succeeds Michael Glick, who served as dean of the dental school for nearly six years.

Twice named Dental Educator of the Year in the UB dental school, Zambon has authored or co-authored more than 150 scholarly papers — including four of the most highly cited articles in dental journals — more than two dozen book chapters and more than 225 abstracts. He also has been principal or co-principal investigator of more than 60 grants, holds five patents and secured more than $11 million in grant funding over his career.

Zambon’s research in oral bacteria has been supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research within the National Institutes of Health, as well as other government and private funding agencies.

His laboratory focuses on clinical trials that seek to determine the role of subgingival microorganisms as risk factors for periodontitis, evaluating the role of oral bacteria in the oral manifestations of AIDS, examining the microbiological safety and efficacy of oral and periodontal therapy, and investigating the distribution of virulence factors within and among oral bacteria species.

Other investigations include examining the genetic diversity within species of bacterial pathogens and exploring the genetic regulation of bacterial virulence factors.

Among Zambon’s numerous awards are the UB Exceptional Scholar Award; the R. Earl Robinson Periodontal Regeneration Award and the Clinical Research Award, both from the American Academy of Periodontology; the Richard A. Powell Award for Teaching Excellence, the Alan J. Gross Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Charles Lipani Award for Faculty Service, all from the UB School of Dental Medicine.

He is a member and former chair of the dental school’s curriculum committee and a co-director of its Electronic Curriculum Project, which completely digitized the school’s educational program.

Zambon has served on the editorial boards of several of the leading academic journals in the field of periodontology, including the Journal of Periodontal Research and the Journal of Periodontology. He also was elected a fellow of the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists.

Prior to joining UB, Zambon served for four years as a dental officer in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps and held the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. John Fisher College and a DDS and PhD in oral biology, both from UB.


Great choice. Congrats to Joe. 


James Pignataro

Congratulations. The best news in the history of the school. Good luck and you will be the best.


Violet I Haraszthy

It is a great selection. Thanks to the members of the selection committee. Dr. Zambon is a great scholar, researcher and teacher. He's got our support.


Ivan and Michelle Lee

Congratulations to Dr. Zambon and to the school. I still look back fondly on my  time working with Dr. Zambon in the Dean's Office/Academic Affairs Office. Excellent choice!


Anne Phillips

What a great selection for dean of the School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Zambon will bring a new enthusiasm to the school. Congratulations to a fellow St. John Fisher alumnus.


James DeLucia

Joe, congratulations on your appointment.


Jane Gillespie

Congratulations, Joe!


Warren Waldow, DDS '74

So impressive Joe! We are indeed proud of you! Congratulations!


Suellen Graney