USC University of Southern California

Yang Chai Named Chair of NIDCR Board of Scientific Counselors

Professor Yang Chai
Yang Chai

Ostrow School of Dentistry Professor Yang Chai has been named chair of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Board of Scientific Counselors.

Professor Chai, who holds the George and Mary Lou Boone Chair in Craniofacial Biology and is the associate dean of research and director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Ostrow School, has been a member of the board since 2008 and will serve a one-year term as chair. A total of nine board members, including the chair, are selected from among the most accomplished and celebrated experts in biomedical, dental and craniofacial science.

Chai is internationally renowned for his research into the genetics, cellular signaling, and development of cranial and facial structures, including the causes of and potential preventive measures for facial deformities such as cleft palate. Among his many honors, he has received a National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, has been elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Fellow, has received an International Association for Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award, and has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He is also an alumnus of the Ostrow School of Dentistry and is an award-winning educator and a practicing dentist at the school.

The Board of Scientific Counselors is responsible for meeting twice each year to review and provide recommendations for basic science and clinical investigations taking place within the NIDCR’s Intramural Research Program. Research conducted by NIDCR scientists spans a wide range of issues: topics include the structure and function of oral and facial tissues, the role of bacteria and viruses in oral disease, the treatment of craniofacial defects, the potential clinical applications of stem cells, and much more.

“It is an honor to be nominated and appointed by the NIH to serve as the chair of Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIDCR,” Chai said. “This appointment helps me to represent USC at the national level. I will continue to work with some of the most accomplished scientists to help shape the future of NIDCR’s intramural research program.”