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Remembering Former NIDCR Director Harold C. Slavkin, DDS

Posted on Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The National Institute of Health has announced the passing of Harold C. Slavkin, DDS, the sixth director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Slavkin served as NIDCR director from 1995 to 2000 and died on December 22, 2023, at his home in California; he was 85.

As a pioneer of craniofacial biology, Slavkin expanded the research portfolio of the then National Institute of Dental Research to become the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Furthermore, he founded the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry and created and chaired the first craniofacial biology PhD program in the United States.

During Slavkin’s tenure as director of the NIDCR, the institute completed the first United States Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health in 2000. Slavkin also expanded efforts towards reducing oral health disparities as well as recruiting and supporting a more diverse research community and workforce. He is remembered by the NIH and NIDCR as a passionate researcher and advocate for health equity.


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