Spotlight on Dr. Valeria Gordan

Reprinted below from the UF College of Dentistry’s Office of Research Newsletter, found here.gordan

Dr. Valeria Gordan, D.D.S., M.S., is the Director of the South Atlantic Region of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network is a consortium of participating practices and dental organizations committed to advancing knowledge of dental practice and ways to improve it.  Essentially, it is “practical science” done about, in, and for the benefit of “real world” everyday clinical practice. The grant is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

UF is one of six regions in the network and it provides the infrastructure for the South Atlantic (SA) Region which encompasses five states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Dr. Gordan serves as the principal investigator for the SA region. She and her team at UF provide input into the development of protocols, implementation of the studies in the field, processing data from the offices, as well as publication and presentation of the research results.

As examples of the type of network research, there are two longitudinal studies currently on the field: a Cracked Tooth Registry, designed to capture data about cracked teeth before and after treatment and assess their outcome, and a Dentin Hypersensitivity Study, which evaluates treatment recommendations and results. The primary goal of the network is to improve oral health thus, the patients’ quality of life. The network has approximately 6,300 members nation-wide and about 1,300 of them are from the SA region.

In the network, Dr. Gordan acts as both the director of the SA Region and nationally as the director of Practitioner Education and Training for the entire Network. She has also been a member of the Publication and Presentation Committee for the network since its inception in 2004. Her collaboration in study development at UF has a wide range involving not only faculty in restorative dental sciences, but also in community dentistry and behavioral science, orthodontics, oral surgery, psychology, the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the College of Medicine.

Dr. Gordan has mentored and served as a consultant to universities in the US, Japan, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and United Kingdom.  At UF she mentors four faculty in restorative dental sciences and, at the request of Dr. Martha Somerman, the NIDCR director, she led an international symposium to discuss the global impact of the national network. The successful symposium had participation of 20 countries. Another symposium is planned for March 2016 at the AADR meeting.

Although she has been involved mainly in research for the past decade, her career has been highlighted by teaching awards including UF Teacher of the Year, Faculty of Honor in the Professionalism and Coating Ceremony, and The Dental Educator Award from the Florida Dental Association. Nationally she is a Fellow of the Leadership Institute at the American Dental Education Association and internationally, she will receive the Buonocore Memorial Lecture Award this February in Chicago from the Academy of Operative Dentistry in celebration of her career. She also maintains a busy faculty practice since she started her career at UFCD in 1997.