First Speaker in Dean's Seminar Series at SOD

Kenneth Hargreaves

The dental school’s new Dean’s Seminar Series—designed to promote oral health research at OHSU—kicked off in December with guest speaker Kenneth Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor and chair of endodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Hargreaves presented, “Iron in the Fire: The Role of Endogenous TRPV1 agonists in Inflammatory Pain,” which included recent unpublished findings from his group.

About 120 OHSU faculty and students attended the lecture at the School of Dentistry, with about one-third of attendees from the Schools of Medicine, and Nursing, and the Portland Veteran’s Administration Hospital.

“Research is a key part of the mission at OHSU, and at the School of Dentistry,” said Dean Phillip Marucha, D.M.D., Ph.D. “We are conducting quality research at the dental school and we want to share what we’re doing with the broader university community in hopes of strengthening collaborations.”

Dr. Marucha said the seminar series is designed to promote oral health research and will “provide visioning” for future research at the dental school. Dr. Marucha said he also hopes to further engage dental students in research.

“[The seminar] was an awesome opportunity to see so much of what we’ve learned, including neurophysiology/patch clamping, histology, and anatomy,” said first-year dental student Alayna Schoblaske. Classmate David Garfinkel noted that hearing Dr. Hargreaves’s findings made him “even more excited to study pain.”

In addition to his seminar, Dr. Hargreaves visited with researchers at three OHSU schools, took a tour of the dental school’s new building under construction, and had lunch with about a dozen dental students who are active in research.

“Dr. Hargreaves’s visit was a dream come true,” said Agnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of integrative biosciences. “His cutting-edge research is fascinating and relevant to both oral and systemic health and I received so much positive feedback from those who met with Dr. Hargreaves in other OHSU schools—many of whom have never been to the dental school before—as well as from our dental students.”

Said Professor of Integrative Biosciences and Associate Dean for Research David Morton, Ph.D., “Dr. Hargreaves is undoubtedly a leader in his field—as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Endodontics and editor of our dental students’ required text “Pathways of the Pulp”—and this is the kind of clinician-scientist we hope to bring regularly to speak at the dental school.”

The next speaker in the series is Jacques Nör, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., the Donald A. Kerr Professor of Dentistry at the University of Michigan. Dr. Nör is expected to speak at the dental school in January and more details will be forthcoming soon.