Dear Colleagues and Friends of Pitt Dental Medicine,
It is with great pride and joy that I announce that Dr. Mary Marazita has been awarded the designation of Distinguished Professor in recognition for her internationally renowned, ground-breaking, and widely heralded work in the genetics of craniofacial disorders. Very few have earned this designation, and I believe that Dr. Marazita exemplifies what this award represents to our University and the global scientific community of scholars.
As described in University policy, the appointment of a faculty member to a Distinguished Professorship constitutes the highest honor that the University can accord a member of the professorate. Designation as Distinguished Professor recognizes extraordinary, internationally recognized, scholarly attainment in an individual discipline or field. These individuals are expected to make special contributions to the intellectual advancement of their home departments and schools, as well as to the institution as a whole.
Dr. Marazita has been the leader in cleft genetics for some time now and represents the pinnacle of team science in this field. She has amassed a data set and process of analysis for genetic information that hundreds of researchers utilize around the world to fund countless studies. For the last decade, Dr. Marazita has been considered one of the most prolific and important researchers in this area anywhere in the world. In this role, she is an inspiration for many scientists around the world that study clefts and population genetics of any kind. This is particularly the case for scientists that are women, and I can personally attest to many testimonials in this regard.
Dr. Marazita has published over 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 23 book chapters or monographs, over 500 published abstracts, and has her work represented in some of the most important scientific vehicles in the world, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, and many others. Her work has garnered her over 22,000 citations and an amazing h-index of 81, reflecting truly exemplary, unique and outstanding scholarly work. Most would consider an individual an “outstanding scientist” with an h-index of approximately 40 and a “truly unique” individual might have an index of approximately 60. The average h-index of individuals admitted to the National Academy of Sciences is in the mid 50’s. This puts the impact of Mary’s work as primary author and leader of team science in a truly exceptional realm.
Professor Marazita was recently awarded the International Association of Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award, which is their highest honor. This is our most prominent organization in the field of craniofacial biology and dental research. She has also won multiple Walter J Gies awards for the Best Paper Published in the Journal of Dental Research.
I am thrilled to witness this important moment in Dr. Marazita’s career and will be even more excited to appropriately celebrate this landmark moment for our University during a future event to be planned in conjunction with the Provost’s Office and Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences. Until that time, please congratulate Dr. Marazita on this amazing accomplishment. The designation officially begins on September 1, 2020.
Bernard J. Costello, DMD, MD, FACS
Dean and Thomas W. Braun Endowed Professor