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Longtime UCSF Dentistry Faculty Greenspan and Silverman Honored by British Society for Oral Medicine

September 23, 2010

Two longtime faculty members in the UCSF School of Dentistry's Department of Orofacial Sciences, Deborah Greenspan, BDS, DSc, and Sol Silverman, MA, DDS, were awarded Fellowships of the British Society for Oral Medicine at a ceremony in London, England on September 23, 2010, each for their long and distinguished series of contributions to the field of oral medicine.Drs Greenspan and Silverman

Remarks Dean John D.B. Featherstone, “These awards are a great honor not only for our two distinguished faculty, but also for the UCSF School of Dentistry.”

Deborah Greenspan BDS, DSc is Professor of Oral Medicine and Chair of the Department of Orofacial Sciences at the UCSF School of Dentistry, and Clinical Director of the Oral AIDS Center. She is Chair of the San Francisco Division of the University of California Academic Senate. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Past President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), a member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences and in 2000 received the Silver Medal of the Ville de Paris.

As one of the leading investigators and clinicians in oral infectious diseases, she has long worked with colleagues throughout the world to improve oral and general health. Her international work includes training a generation of clinicians many from resource poor countries, both in clinical care and developing research programs. She has made crucial discoveries concerning oral health, including delineating new lesions in association with HIV infection, new ways of treating the mouth problems in HIV positive people and has charted the changes in the AIDS epidemic since its beginning in San Francisco. Her discovery of hairy leukoplakia opened up new aspects, not only of AIDS research worldwide but also in the field of Epstein-Barr virus research. Her group pioneered effective oral care for the millions of people world-wide with HIV infection, and set an example for delivery of dental care for that group. She led UCSF dental school’s effort to protect patients and health care providers against transmission of bloodborne infections. This example set the standard. She has made major contributions to improving mouth comfort for people with oral cancer who have been treated with radiation therapy. She is an international leader in oral science and has spoken extensively on oral cancer, oral candidiasis, AIDS, the oral manifestations of HIV infection and infection control and has given many radio, television and print media interviews.

She has served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control, the Health Resources Service Administration, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. She was a member of the Dental Research Programs Advisory Committee of the National Institute for Dental Research; the Clinical Guidelines Panel for AIDS and HIV Infection for the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and a member of the Dental Products Panel for the Federal Drug Administration. In 1989, she was named the Seymour J. Kreshover Lecturer by the National Institute for Dental Research and also received the Samuel Charles Miller Award from the American Academy of Oral Medicine. That same year she was awarded the Certificate of Commendation from the Assistant Secretary for Health for her work with AIDS. The Sc.D(hc) was conferred on her in 1990 by Georgetown University and the FDSRCS (Hon) by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1994. She gave the Annie McNeil Lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1995. She has testified before Congress in support of medical research and for care for those living with AIDS and HIV infection. She was a member of the ADA Council of Scientific Affairs. She is listed in Who's Who in America and the Dictionary of International Biography.

Sol Silverman, MA, DDS (D'54) has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Orofacial Sciences at the UCSF School of Dentistry for more than 55 years, and has worked to better understand a broad spectrum of patient care problems in oral medicine, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Although he has investigated many diseases and conditions, Silverman’s focus has always been on oral oncology and collaborative studies.

Silverman was principal investigator on a five-year National Cancer Institute grant that aims to improve early detection of oral cancer, and to provide dental professionals with continuing education courses that teach them to educate patients on the benefits of quitting smoking. There is an outcome assessment component to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach in modifying clinician behavior in this aspect of patient care. Silverman’s earlier contributions centered on cytology and descriptions of benign and malignant cells and lesions. His work helped lead to greater awareness of the importance of screening for oral cancer and premalignant lesions in dental healthcare settings. Follow-up studies with adjunctive techniques (toluidine blue, brush biopsy, and chemiluminescence) have furthered the goal of early recognition and acceleration of biopsy. The original description and biology of the most dangerous leukoplakia, proliferative verrucous leukoplakia, has contributed to the understanding and management of premalignant lesions.

Silverman is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine, Past President of the Board, and Past President of the American Academy of Oral Medicine. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, chapters in text books and monographs. He is author of texts on oral cancer, the oral manifestations of AIDS and essentials of oral medicine. Silverman serves as a consultant to the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs, and he is a national spokesperson for the ADA. His many honors include: the UCSF Medal of Honor in 1981; the prestigious ADA Norton Ross award in 1996 for excellence in clinical research; an honorary Doctor of Science Degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1998; and the prestigious Margaret Hay Edwards medal in 2002 from the American Association for Cancer Education for outstanding contributions to cancer education. He is a reviewer and editorial consultant to many scientific journals. Silverman heads an active Oral Medicine Clinic involved in patient care, research, and teaching.

Pictured (left to right): Deborah Greenspan, Sol Silverman (photograph courtesy Dr. John Greenspan of UCSF Dentistry's Department of Orofacial Sciences).

Links: UCSF Dentistry Department of Orofacial Sciences; British Society for Oral Medicine (BSOM) -