Fotinos Panagakos, D.M.D, Ph.D., MA, MBA, was recently named associate dean of research in the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. The new lead of the Department of Dental Research has interest in focusing on the effects improved oral health can have on chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

“I see wonderful opportunities for research at the school,” Panagakos said. “Being part of an R1 research university and a vibrant health sciences campus provides a rich environment for advancement in the research enterprises at the WVU School of Dentistry.”

Dr. Panagakos is a commissioned Army reservist. He was a full-time dental school faculty member and an administrator at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Dental School (now Rutgers University School of Dental Medicine) and maintained a private dental practice in Westfield and Newark, N.J. He spent 12 years at the Colgate Palmolive Co, in Oral Care Research, where he was involved in leading research projects and focused on communicating the science to outside parties as the global director of scientific affairs.  Most recently, Dr. Panagakos served as the Vice President for Scientific and Clinical Affairs at the Gesitlich Pharma company.

His formal education includes:

PhD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1993
DMD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1993
MA, Seton Hall - New Jersey, 1999
MBA, Lehigh University - Bethlehem, PA, 2008

For the new associate dean, broader research in the role of inflammation on hard and soft tissue biology evolved into research of the role oral inflammation can play on overall wellness.

Over the course of five years, Dr. Panagakos received Fellowships in the International College of Dentists, Academy of Dentistry International and the American College of Dentists. He is the co-editor of three books focusing on gingival disease, oral lesions and evidence based interventions for common oral conditions.

“Personally, I hope to grow my research on oral health and the impact on overall health and wellness,” Panagakos said. “Research has shown that a person’s oral health has an impact on a number of chronic non-communicable diseases including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. I would like to collaborate across WVU Health Sciences with my colleagues who are working in these areas to explore the impact that improvements in oral health has on the overall wellness of the population.

Dr. Panagakos began his position with the School of Dentistry August 1, 2018.

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