Genco to Receive Dentistry's Top Research Award from American Dental Association

By Lois Baker

Release Date: August 8, 1991 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Robert J. Genco, D.D.S., Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Oral Biology at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, is recipient of dentistry's most prestigious research award, the American Dental Association's Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Dental Research.

The award, presented only once every three years, is jointly sponsored by the ADA and Chesebrough-Pond Inc.

Genco will receive the honor, which includes $25,000 and a gold medallion, in October at the ADA's l32nd session in Seattle. He was selected for his significant contributions to basic and periodontal research and the understanding and treatment of periodontal disease.

Periodontal or gum disease is the largest single cause of tooth loss among adults.

Genco's research has demonstrated the protective role of antibodies against dental caries and paved the way for work in caries vaccine development. He and co-workers also have identified specific organisms found to be major causes of periodontal infections. His contributions also include demonstration of the role of neutrophils and antibodies in protection against bacteria that cause periodontal disease and the beneficial effects of antibiotics in treatment of this oral condition.

Genco, who has been on the University at Buffalo dental faculty since 1967, was installed as president of the International Association for Dental Research at its annual meeting in April in Acapulco, Mexico. The association, with more than 8,000 members in more than 60 nations, represents all disciplines and specialties in dental research.

Internationally-known for his dental research, Genco is past president of the American Association for Dental Research and current editor of the Journal of Periodontology, the most widely read publication in its field worldwide.

A native of Silver Creek, N.Y., he is director of the Periodontal Disease Clinical Research Center at UB and associate dean for graduate studies and director of the fellowship program in immunology and periodontology. He also is acting chair of the Department of Microbiology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

He has served on the editorial boards of Infection and Immunity, Immunochemistry, Journal of Dental Research and Immunological Investigations. He has also been associate editor of the Journal of Periodontal Research and Oral Microbiology and Immunology. In addition, he has published more than 200 professional journal articles and edited four texts.

Genco is a 1963 cum laude graduate of UB's School of Dental Medicine and received a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967.

He is a SUNY Distinguished Professor, recipient of the Samuel P. Capen Alumni Award and George Thorn Award from UB's Alumni Association and a Doctor of Science Honoris Causa from Georgetown University School of Dentistry.

Currently, he and his colleagues are studying causes of the severe forms of periodontal disease that occur in diabetics and patients with AIDS. He also is involved in evaluating risk factors such as smoking and stress in the largest survey of oral disease ever conducted in Western New York.