Department of Oral Biology

The Department of Oral Biology provides graduate, predoctoral, and dental hygiene students with an educational foundation in the basic sciences including instruction in microbiology, biochemistry, nutrition, anatomy, pharmacology, and physiology. In addition, the department collaborates with the Department of Dental Public Health/Information Management to coordinate the school’s pre-clinical problem-based learning courses. With increased emphasis on active learning, faculty are challenged to develop innovative ways to present increasing amounts of information in a fashion that will encourage students to remain lifelong learners.

In addition to teaching activities, the department supports the school’s mission with research and service. The department is home to two research centers and a Dental Registry/DNA Repository and faculty members serve on committees within the school, and as representatives to various organizations in the University and on a national level.

The department provides unique graduate training programs that include the Oral Biology Graduate Program granting masters and PhD degrees as well as, joint degrees programs with a number of ongoing PhD granting programs at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, the SDM has collaborative programs with the Graduate School of Public Health, the School of Law, and the School of Education that allow pre-doctoral students the opportunity to pursue master’s degrees while enrolled in dental school.

Research continues to be a strength of the department with ongoing projects in genetics and tissue engineering, and a number of other areas of study.

The department’s Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics interacts with other genetics groups, and serves as the focal point for dental medicine genetics faculty and collaborators.

The department’s Center for Craniofacial Regeneration is dedicated to the development of technologies for craniofacial regeneration using protein-based polymer gels, non-viral gene delivery and extracellular matrix scaffolds, as well as studying cell surface interactions and mineralized structures. These technologies will be utilized to regenerate complete biomechanical functioning of cartilage, bone, muscle, and skin. These regenerated constructs would be individualized to each patient.

The department is also home to the school’s Dental Registry and DNA Repository (DRDR), which obtains clinical information and a biological sample from all individuals seeking treatment at the School of Dental Medicine.

Mark P. Mooney, PhD

Professor and Chair

School of Dental Medicine
Department of Oral Biology
347 Salk Hall

3501 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA. 15261
Phone: (412) 648-8833

FAX:  (412) 648-7535