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News Briefs

For immediate use

Sept. 15, 2006 -- No. 428


Guckes honored for outstanding contributions
to National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia

Dr. Albert Guckes, associate professor in the UNC School of Dentistry's department of prosthodontics, received the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias' John E. Gilster, DDS, Outstanding Service Through Dentistry Award at its recent 25th anniversary gala.

Also assistant dean for admissions and predoctoral education at the school, Guckes was honored for his commitment to the oral health of individuals affected by ectodermal dysplasia syndromes and for his outstanding contributions to the foundation. Ectodermal dysplasia syndromes constitute a group of about 150 heritable disorders that affect the ectoderm, which is the outer layer of tissue in a developing baby.

Guckes conducted the first prospective clinical trial of dental implants in individuals with ectodermal dysplasia while at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a component of the National Institutes of Health. He continued his interest in managing the prosthodontic treatment of people with ectodermal dysplasia after coming to the UNC School of Dentistry in 1994.

A member of the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias' Scientific Board from 1993 to 2002, Guckes currently is a consultant to that organization. His major clinical and research interests include: implants to replace congenitally missing teeth, the effectiveness of prosthodontic treatment and computer applications in dental education.

The foundation was founded in 1981 as a support group for families affected by one of the ectodermal dysplasia syndromes. The foundation provides information to affected families, financial support for dental treatment and grants for research projects related to ectodermal dysplasia syndromes.


Murrah leads oral, maxillofacial
pathologists at national meeting

Dr. Valerie Murrah, chair of the UNC School of Dentistry's department of diagnostic sciences and general dentistry, represented all board-certified oral and maxillofacial pathologists at the American Dental Association's August meeting of dental specialty boards.

Murrah, also director of oral and maxillofacial pathology at the School of Dentistry, is president of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology for 2005-2006. A member of the UNC School of Dentistry faculty since 1998, she is the first female president in the board's 58-year history.

Oral and maxillofacial pathology, one of the nine formally recognized specialties of dentistry, focuses on the diagnosis and management of disorders and abnormalities of the oral and maxillofacial region. Such abnormalities include, but are not limited to, cold sores and oral cancer.

The UNC Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Laboratory, which Murrah directs, diagnoses more than 6,000 biopsies of oral abnormalities per year, and UNC oral pathologists see more than 600 patients every year.

Murrah also will preside over the national board's October meeting, during which about 15 new diplomates will be certified.


Stone Center receives $5,000 grant
to enhance youth outreach program

A community outreach program at The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History recently received a $5,000 grant to fund its youth publication.

Strowd Roses Inc., a Chapel Hill-based charitable foundation, awarded the grant to the Stone Center's Communiversity youth program to fund "In Our Voices: The Youth Review of Arts and Humanities." The publication is designed to expose students to various forms of African, African-American and other cultural expressions and to allow them to document experiences in their own words.

Communiversity is an after-school program run by UNC student volunteers. It provides skill development and cultural enrichment activities to K-12 students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system. Volunteers offer homework assistance, computer literacy training, reading help and other programs. The program began in 1992 and will celebrate its 15-year anniversary this academic year.

Strowd Roses Inc. first awarded a grant to fund the "In Our Voices" publication in 2004.


News Services contacts: Becky Oskin, (919) 962-8596,; Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093,