Dr. Andrew I. Spielman, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology, is also a lifelong historian of dentistry and medicine, a passion he inherited from his father, Dr. Jozsef Spielman, a former Professor of Sociology and of the History of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Tirgu Mures, Romania, where Andrew was born.
In addition to his academic and administrative duties at NYUCD, Dr. Spielman teaches "The History of Medicine and Dentistry," a full semester course for NYU College of Arts and Science freshman honors students.
"Understanding the history of major medical and dental discoveries leads to a better appreciation of what we have today," he says.
While encouraging his son to cultivate a passion for the history of medicine and dentistry, Professor Jozsef Spielman also urged him to pursue a pragmatic course for his future. Dr. Spielman decided on a career in dentistry and enrolled at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Tirgu Mures, Romania, where he earned a DMD degree, magna cum laude and valedictorian, in 1974.
After completing a two-year general practice residency in Romania and practicing for a year, Dr. Spielman immigrated to Israel to pursue postdoctoral training. He earned a certificate in oral surgery from the Technion Institute of Technology School of Medicine and served for 14 months as a dental officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, where he treated frontline casualties during the 1982 war in Lebanon.
Dr. Spielman moved to Canada in 1982, earning an MS degree in oral biology and a PhD in biochemistry/oral biology (protein biochemistry) from the University of Toronto. In 1988, Dr. Spielman came to the United States to conduct postdoctoral research in neuroscience at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. He joined the NYUCD faculty in 1989.
A recipient of numerous honors and awards, including NYU’s highest award for teaching excellence, the Distinguished Teaching Award, Dr. Spielman has played a central role in introducing instructional technology at the College and in establishing NYUCD’s Academy of Distinguished Educators (see related story).
"Andrew is truly a Renaissance man," says Executive Vice Dean Richard I. Vogel. "His diverse interests and talents, and his absolute commitment to scholarly excellence, have enriched NYUCD’s - and the University’s - intellectual environment beyond measure."