CALIFORNIA: More than 800 national and international ACPA members of American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) gathered at California’s The Westin Mission Hills hotel in Palm Springs to share the latest scientific research across more than 30 disciplines, including surgery, dentistry, speech pathology, genetics, otolaryngology, and psychology.
The keynote speaker at this week’s meeting of the ACPA (April 20-25), author, dentist, and researcher Prof. Harold C. Slavkin, discussed the state-of-the-art in repairing cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial anomalies.
Discussing recent advances in medical care, including regenerative medicine and dentistry, personalized medicine and dentistry, and precision health care, Dr. Slavkin explained how better care for craniofacial patients touches the human condition.
His recent book, “The Birth of a Discipline: Craniofacial Biology,” focuses on the evolution of craniofacial care during the past 200 years and how this discipline has affected other areas of healthcare. He also discussed the need for dual training as scientists as well as technicians. The book was reviewed in The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, which said, “If anyone should be giving the ‘State of the Field’ address it should be Dr. Slavkin, and this book fills this role.”
Dr Slavkin is Professor and Dean Emeritus of the University at Southern California (USC). For nearly five decades he has engaged in biomedical research focusing on craniofacial developmental and molecular biology. He was the founding Director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at USC. In 1995, he took a leave of absence to serve as the sixth Director of the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1995-2000). He was instrumental in the name change for the Institute to become the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in 1998. Slavkin and his team served as the lead federal agency for the first time ever Surgeon General’s Report “Oral Health in America” released in May 2000. These and related activities resulted in a doubling of the NIDCR budget during his five-year tenure. He then returned to USC as Dean of the School of Dentistry from August 2000 thru December 2008. He is the author of Developmental Craniofacial Biology (1979), The Birth of a Discipline: Craniofacial Biology (2012), a novel Atlanta (2012), and he has edited nine books, and he has authored more than 430 peer-reviewed scientific papers emphasizing basic, translational and clinical craniofacial biology with applications to biotechnology as well as health care. Slavkin is a past president of the American Dental Research Association (AADR), a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also produced and wrote the PBS documentary `A Lifetime of Change’. He has received many honors and awards, including Honorary Degrees from University of Connecticut, University of Detroit, Georgetown University, University of Maryland, University of Montreal, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, University of Paris, and Peking University in Beijing, China. He presently serves on the Board of Directors for The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health and focuses on the integration of primary health care with mental, vision and oral health through Wellness Centers that serve the 650,000 students and families within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD is the second largest in the nation).