Focus on Alumni
Dr. Martha J. Somerman, '75, Named Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Dr. Martha J. Somerman

Dr. Martha J. Somerman, a 1975 graduate of NYUCD, has been appointed director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Dr. Somerman is currently dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, a position she has held since 2002. She began her duties as NIDCR director on August 29, 2011.

As director of NIDCR, Dr. Somerman will oversee a budget of $410 million and lead a staff of more than 400 researchers and administrators on the NIH campus, as well as hundreds of grantees at universities, medical schools, dental schools, and other research institutions.

An internationally known researcher and educator, Dr. Somerman has focused her research on defining the key regulators controlling development, maintenance, and regeneration of oral-dental-craniofacial tissues. Her work has been recognized with numerous honors and awards.

"Dr. Somerman's appointment brings great pride to her alma mater and to the dental profession," said Dean Bertolami. "Martha is a scholar, researcher, and clinician of rare distinction, as well as a superlative leader. Her appointment as director of NIDCR marks yet another example in a life of outstanding professional achievements. NYUCD offers Dr. Somerman hearty congratulations and best wishes for success in her new position."