USC University of Southern California

Harold Slavkin Honored for Influential Research

The American Dental Association has named Harold Slavkin, professor and former dean of the USC School of Dentistry, winner of the 2009 Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Research.

The award celebrates a researcher whose basic science or clinical research efforts significantly have improved the dental profession and/or the oral health of the community. Given every three years, the winner receives an inscribed gold medallion and a three-year position with the American Dental Association Council for Scientific Affairs, a standing committee that provides input on scientific matters for the organization.

“During his nearly five decades in science and dentistry, Dr. Slavkin has worked tirelessly to advance all aspects of the dental field,” said Avishai Sadan, dean of the USC School of Dentistry. “Beyond the volumes of influential research that he has published, he has used his many leadership roles to advance oral health research, improve dental education and advocate for oral health care access for all populations.”

Slavkin said that he was deeply honored by the recognition, which came at the behest of more than 100 letters of nomination and support that colleagues from USC, the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research and elsewhere submitted to the association.

“Whenever a group of people that you respect decide that they want to recognize your accomplishments, it’s very touching,” Slavkin said.

Yang Chai, director of the USC School of Dentistry Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, said Slavkin’s zeal for the advancement of science is “infectious.”

“The most exciting aspect about Hal Slavkin is that he is so passionate about science,” Chai said. “Dr. Slavkin created the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, and his vision and passion for science have inspired many of us who continue to build upon his legacy to bring our scientific research to the next level of excellence.”