ECU School of Dental Medicine announces first research dean

Dr. Sharon M. Gordon has been named the first associate dean for research and chair of Foundational Sciences of the ECU School of Dental Medicine . Gordon assumed her new role Aug. 19.

Dr. Sharon Gordon

Dr. Sharon Gordon

She formerly served as the director of Graduate Research and Training at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore. She was an intramural scientist and directed research training at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health.

For more than two decades, Gordon has focused on workforce development with special emphasis on research training for clinicians. Her research interest is injury and interaction of the inflammatory response and nervous system in pain and wound healing.

She uses an interdisciplinary team approach in research and teaching, as exemplified by her work to create an educational pain management program that uses an inter-professional approach to diagnosing and managing pain. She uses her clinical research and educational experience to teach students about the relationship between patient care and research.

“I was trained using the model of general dentistry and comprehensive care that is the basis for ECU’s clinical program, and I am deeply committed to the full development of the general dentist to serve to their full capacity the needs of their patients,” said Gordon. “The ECU School of Dental Medicine is extending this model into the setting of underserved communities, an important step in improving access to oral health care.”

Gordon will remain active in her role with NIH and professional organizations, serving on NIDCR’s grants review panel evaluating research training and career development applications and as the national faculty advisor for the National Student Research Group of the American Association of Dental Research. She will also serve as board member of the American Dental Association Student Clinician Awards.

Greg Chadwick, dean of ECU’s School of Dental Medicine, said, “Dr. Gordon’s strong research, general dentistry and public health background uniquely qualify her to serve as our first associate dean for research and chair of Foundational Sciences. We are extremely excited to have Dr. Gordon join East Carolina University’s research team and lead the dental school’s research effort on our campus and in communities across North Carolina.”

Gordon earned a doctorate in dental surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School at San Antonio and completed a two-year general practice residency at Medical Center Hospital in San Antonio.  She earned a master of public health in epidemiology in 1997 and a PhD in clinical investigation in 2003 from Johns Hopkins University.

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