NIH deputy director to deliver Harrington Lecture

Published May 21, 2024

UB alumnus Lawrence A. Tabak, principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health, will deliver the 2024 Harrington Lecture, part of Spring Clinical Day on June 1 at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Tabak, who earned a doctorate in oral biology in 1981 and an advanced certificate in endodontics in 1985, both from UB, will be part of a panel with UB faculty discussing “Collaborative Frontiers: Exploring Interdisciplinary Science and Leadership.”

The Jacobs School will present its Distinguished Alumni Awards following the lecture and panel. Tabak will receive the Distinguished Health Sciences Alumnus award.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon in the M & T Lecture Hall on the second floor of the Jacobs School, 955 Main St., Buffalo.

The event is co-sponsored by the Jacobs School in conjunction with its annual Spring Clinical Day and by the School of Dental Medicine. Register online for the free event.

Tabak, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, has held numerous administrative positions in academia and in the federal government. Currently at the NIH, where he also serves as deputy ethics counselor, he previously directed the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for 10 years and has held other positions in federal research funding agencies.

Before joining the NIH, Tabak was senior associate dean for research and professor of dentistry, biochemistry and biophysics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester.

“Dr. Tabak has managed to excel in leading in several disciplines, including endodontics, oral biology and dental medicine,” says Marcelo W.B. Araujo, dean of the School of Dental Medicine.

“In addition to his current post as principal deputy director at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Tabak has led the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Nursing Research and served as an administrator and faculty member at the university level, all while continuing to maintain an active research program. From 2021 to 2023, following the retirement of Dr. Francis Collins, he served as acting director of the NIH, the highest federal post that a dental researcher has ever achieved.”

Allison Brashear, vice president for health sciences at UB and dean of the Jacobs School, notes that Tabak has been both an advocate for interdisciplinary research and a collaborative researcher himself.

“Dr. Tabak’s career exemplifies the transformative power of interdisciplinary collaboration in advancing scientific knowledge and improving health outcomes,” she says. “His ability to bridge diverse fields of research and his dedication to fostering cooperative efforts serve as an inspiration to all of us throughout the health sciences at UB.”

In addition to Tabak, Araujo and Brashear, the panel will feature:

  • Remi M. Adelaiye-Ogala, assistant professor of medicine in the Jacobs School.
  • Nicholas M. Fusco, interim executive director of interprofessional education in the health sciences and clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Liise K. Kayler, program director of kidney and pancreas transplantation, chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery, Jacobs School.
  • Ranjit Singh, vice chair of research, Department of Family Medicine and director, Primary Care Research Institute, Jacobs School.