Global Health Nexus, Spring 2000

Recruiting the Best

Dr. Richard I Vogel, named excutive associate dean for academic programs

Dr. Richard I. Vogel, previously the acting associate dean for academic affairs and chairman of the department of oral pathology, biology, and diagnostic sciences at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, was named executive associate dean for academic programs and professor of basic and surgical sciences on January 1.

In announcing the appointment, Dean Alfano said, "Dr. Vogel is an accomplished clinical investigator, a frequent consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, an excellent teacher, and a fine administrator. I have known Dr. Vogel for 32 years and can state unequivocally that I have never seen an educator with higher standards, a greater understanding of the relationship between basic and clinical science, or more passion for excellence in the educational process. I am delighted that he has decided to join our community."

Dr. Vogel has responsibility for all of the academic programs at NYU Dentistry -- the predoctoral program, the postdoctoral programs, the graduate programs, and the allied dental health programs. Reporting to him will be Deans Frederick G. More and Cheryl Westphal and each of the division heads.

"My role," explains Dr. Vogel, "is to lift barriers so that each of the academic programs can achieve its fullest potential. I will be working closely with the faculty to formulate College-wide competencies for the predoctoral program and to establish a curriculum whose outcome should be, among other things, a critical-thinking, problem-solving clinician, who can communicate appropriately with other health-care providers in providing comprehensive patient care. Our goal is a curriculum that emphasizes questions as well as answers, humanity as well as technology, and wisdom as well as knowledge. Depending on students' objectives, such a curriculum may extend beyond NYU Dentistry's classrooms and clinics to opportunities like international study and service in developing countries -- experiences that can broaden and deepen the dental education process. An added priority for me is to help faculty achieve their goals and objectives."

An area of particular focus for Dr. Vogel will be the upcoming site visit of the American Dental Education Commission on Accreditation, scheduled for 2003. In contrast to earlier site visits, which required dental schools to demonstrate compliance with a list of standards designated by the commission, the new accreditation process is based on the dental school setting its own goals and objectives, measuring itself against those goals and objectives, and taking necessary measures to make certain that those goals and objectives are met.

A born-and-bred New Yorker, Dr. Vogel says he is "thrilled" with NYU Dentistry's vitality and cultural diversity and with the potential offered by the College's immense resources and its affiliation with one of the top universities in the world. But most impressive, he says, are the people. "Everyone I have met at NYU Dentistry -- the dedicated faculty, energetic students, and committed staff -- assures me that I have come to the right place."

Dr. Ralph V. Katz named director of the M.S. Degree Program in clinical research

Dr. Ralph V. Katz has been named director of the new M.S. Program in Clinical Research, effective January 1.

Dr. Katz had been director of the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Oral Epidemiology Postdoctoral Training Program since 1994. Concurrently, he was also serving as professor of behavioral sciences and community health at UCONN; lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University; professor of general dentistry and community health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and senior affiliate in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and Hygiene.

Dr. Katz holds the D.D.S., M.P.H., and Ph.D degrees. He is a regular consultant to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the author or coauthor of numerous scientific articles, abstracts, book chapters, and reviews. Dr. Katz brings with him a large, NIH-funded training grant in oral epidemiology, which is now the NYU-NIH Oral Epidemiology Postdoctoral Training Grant.

Calling Dr. Katz "perhaps the premier oral epidemiologist in the United States today," Dean Alfano said, "No one is more qualified than Ralph Katz to lead a program designed to educate future clinical investigators. We are very happy that he has chosen to make NYU Dentistry his professional home."

Dr. Katz's vision for the M.S. Program in Clinical Research is threefold: to help meet a national need for clinical researchers who are competent to do the follow-up studies that will emerge from the Human Genome Project; to offer an intensive clinical research training experience to dentists who may go on to complete a Ph.D. degree; and to provide dentists and other health professionals with the training needed to pursue research careers in the pharmaceutical industry or in government agencies.

"The project could not be more timely," he says. "There is a great demand on the part of the federal government for trained clinical investigators. Indeed, the NIH has identified a 'crisis' in clinical research. The M.S. Program in Clinical Research will play a powerful role in creating a cadre of these highly valued investigators."

The program will also offer a way for dentists to complement their clinical training with skill in conducting patient-based investigations. "For many dentists," he explains, "clinical research is a sidebar to their professional education, rather than a focus. The M.S. program will address this need for those who want to do scholarly research."

But he emphasizes that the program will not be limited to dentists. "Since basic principles of good clinical research design are the same in every field, the program also offers an unprecedented opportunity for dental hygienists, nurses, pharmacists, biologists, and other health professionals who want to work in a clinical research setting."

If he has one ambition for the program says Dr. Katz, it is that seven or eight years from now, anyone with an M.S. degree in clinical research from NYU -- no matter what career path he or she pursues -- will be immediately recognized as a clinical investigator of the first rank.