By BERT GAMBINI
Published March 10, 2023
Marcelo W.B. Araujo, an internationally recognized clinical researcher and epidemiologist who currently serves as chief science officer of the American Dental Association (ADA) and chief executive officer of the ADA Science & Research Institute (ADASRI), has been appointed dean of the School of Dental Medicine.
The appointment, effective May 15, was announced today by A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Allison Brashear, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, after an extensive international search that yielded a pool of highly qualified candidates.
“A widely respected leader in his field, Dr. Araujo has an approach to innovative dental education, impactful research, dedicated community engagement and outstanding patient care that will take our School of Dental Medicine to new heights of excellence,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “His wide-ranging accomplishments, combined with his collaborative nature, will serve our students, our faculty and our entire scholarly community exceptionally well.”
“Dr. Araujo brings to this role impressive leadership experience, an extensive network in scientific and clinical dental research, a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the field of dental medicine, and a strong vision for expanding the impact of the school,” said Weber and Brashear. “He has been at the forefront of emerging scientific issues affecting oral health, dental practice, patient care, and health programs nationally and globally.”
Araujo succeeds Stefan Ruhl, who has served as interim dean of the dental school since December 2021.
Weber and Brashear noted that Araujo has a broad knowledge and extensive experience in clinical research, medical and scientific affairs. He has a strong commitment to improving oral health globally through research and public health policy.
Araujo joined the ADA in 2015 as vice president of its Science Institute and was named the ADASRI’s chief science officer and chief executive officer in 2019. He has provided strategic leadership for the ADA’s research enterprise, developing collaborative opportunities for the ADA’s key scientific initiatives, increasing grant funding and enhancing the ADASRI’s impact.
Araujo earned his PhD in epidemiology and community health, and a master’s degree in oral sciences from UB, where he also completed a fellowship in periodontology research and teaching. He received his DDS and a certificate in periodontology from Universidade Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Araujo previously held faculty appointments in both UB’s School of Dental Medicine and the School of Public Health and Health Professions. He says his appointment is both a career achievement and a homecoming.
“Coming back to UB is an opportunity to give back to the university, the school and the community that provided me with an excellent education and great friends,” said Araujo.
“The face of dentistry has changed in the last decade, and we need to make certain that our school will continue to lead into the future,” he added. “As UB moves toward becoming one of the top 25 public universities in the nation, our job is to ensure that the School of Dental Medicine continues to excel in its mission by graduating exceptional dental professionals and excelling in dental research.”
Araujo is an active clinical researcher who has published extensively on impactful issues in dental medicine. He has more than 25 years of experience in clinical practice, academia, regulatory and medical affairs. His current work focuses on developing guidelines for antibiotic prescriptions for dentists and periodontists, and is supported by the National Institutes of Health.
He is a member and upcoming chair of the American Association for Dental Oral and Craniofacial Research’s ethics in dental research committee, and he serves on the medical advisory board for the HPV Alliance.
In recognition of the strength and impact of his work, he received the International Association for Dental Research and American Association for Dental Research William J. Gies Award for clinical research, the International Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UB Alumni Association, and is an honorary member of the American Academy of Periodontology.
In their announcement to the campus community, Weber and Brashear thanked the search committee members and Gary Pollack, dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who chaired the committee.
“We would also like to thank interim dean Stefan Ruhl for his leadership and stewardship of the School of Dental Medicine during the transitional period,” they said.