William Giannobile, D.D.S., M.S., D.M.Sc.

Dean and Professor of Oral Medicine, Infection & Immunity
Harvard University, School of Dental Medicine

In 2020 William Giannobile was named the 11th Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He is also a Professor in the Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at Harvard. He previously served as the Najjar Endowed Professor of Dentistry and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry from 1998-2020. He received his DDS and MS in Oral Biology from the University of Missouri. He later received his Certificate in Periodontology and Doctor of Medical Sciences in Oral Biology from Harvard University. He completed postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He has served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Genoa Medical School Biotechnology Institute and the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London.

Dr. Giannobile’s continuously NIH-funded research program over the past 25 years has focused on Oral and Periodontal Regenerative Medicine, Tissue Engineering and Precision Medicine. He currently serves as Co-Principal Investigator to the NIH/NIDCR-supported Michigan-Pittsburgh-Wyss Regenerative Medicine Resource Center. The goal of the center is to translate early stage dental, oral and craniofacial reconstructive technologies into clinical practice. He has produced over 300 manuscripts, textbook chapters, and patents focused on periodontology, regenerative medicine and oral health research. He is the editor or co-editor of 9 books focused on clinical, translational research, periodontology and regenerative medicine. Dr. Giannobile recently completed a 10-year term as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Dental Research, the official journal of the International Association for Dental Research. Dr. Giannobile has serves as a consultant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Dental Devices. He serves as an Associate Editor for the upcoming report on the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health – 2021.

In 2019, Dr. Giannobile received the American Dental Association Norton Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Academy of Periodontology. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Dental Research and the International and American Colleges of Dentists. He is a past president of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation, and currently serves as the President of the Osteology Foundation, a foundation with the mission of promoting science through clinical practice in oral tissue regeneration. In addition to his administrative and teaching responsibilities, he practices periodontics and implant dentistry at the Harvard Dental Center.


Lecture 1: Precision Medicine in Periodontology: How to Translate Research Innovations into Personalized Care

The use of personalized/precision medicine includes the “4 P’s” of predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory for improved patient care. This presentation will highlight the use of these approaches to the oral health arena for the improved diagnostic and prognostic approaches for dental patients. The presentation will highlight advances in oral diagnostics such as saliva-based technologies that can measure protein, gene and microbial biomarkers of disease that may have application for patient care. Many of these tests are under development that could have chair-side applications with hand-held devices as rapid point-of-care (POC) use. The use of such tests may have clinical utility in identifying patients at high risk and low risk for adverse clinical outcomes such as tooth loss or in determining treatment approaches and periodontal therapies. The concept of patient stratification will be presented that has been applied in many areas of medicine such as in customized cancer therapeutics and in public health scenarios.

Lecture 2: Periodontal Regenerative Medicine: From Cells to Nanotechnologies to Advance Patient Care

Repair of alveolar bone defects caused by periodontal and peri-implant tissue destruction is a major goal of oral reconstructive therapy. The field of regenerative medicine combines advances in materials science and biology to repair tissues and organs. Bone tissue engineering has been achieved with limited success by the utilization of barrier membranes, space fillers, and block grafting techniques. The use of biologics such as growth factors have entered into the clinical arena to offer another tool to treat periodontal lesions. This presentation will review emerging therapies in the areas of materials science, 3D printing, growth factor biology and cell therapies. Results from preclinical and human clinical trials will be presented using stem cells, 3D printing and growth factors. The presentation will conclude with a future perspective on the use of novel biomimetic approaches such biomimetic scaffolding materials with the potential of accelerating dental implant osseointegration and periodontal tissue repair.