Sahingur Named an ELAM Fellow

Dentistry Today


Esra Sahingur, DDS, MS, PhD, has been selected as a 2020-2021 fellow in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program. ELAM advocates for women occupying influential leadership roles in academic centers and accepts 60 candidates each year after a competitive selection process. Sahingur is the associate dean of graduate studies and student research at Penn Dental Medicine.

The program focuses on increasing the number of qualified women for executive leadership positions in academic medicine, dentistry, public health, and pharmacy. The one-year fellowship involves leadership training, networking, mentoring, and an Institutional Action Project (IAP). Each fellow develops and evaluates an IAP with the intention of supporting their respective institution’s initiatives for organizational growth.

“I am honored to be an ELAM fellow and part of this amazing group of women scientists and leaders across different disciplines,” said Sahingur.

“I met my cohort a few weeks ago, and they are all extraordinary women with inspirational backgrounds, both personally and professionally. I look forward to learning from each of them and establishing lasting relationships. Being an ELAM fellow will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding experiences in my professional career,” she said.

A core program of Drexel University College of Medicine, ELAM carries on the legacy of advancing women in medicine that began in 1850 with the founding of the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the nation’s first women’s medical school and a predecessor of today’s Drexel University College of Medicine, Penn Dental Medicine said.

Beginning in 1995, the growing program was developed specifically for women faculty at the associate or full professor level who exhibit the most potential for taking on executive leadership roles at academic health centers within the next five years, Penn Dental Medicine said.

Sahingur, who also is an associate professor for the Department of Periodontics, joined Penn Dental Medicine in 2019. After obtaining her DDS from Istanbul University and postgraduate degrees from State University of New York at Buffalo, she maintained a faculty position at Virginia Commonwealth University for 13 years before coming to Penn Dental Medicine.

During this time, she was recognized for her research program and led numerous projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and other sources while mentoring several students and faculty. She also received the Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine Award, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, and the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award.

A Dilpomate of the American Board of Periodontology, Sahingur also is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Dental Research and Molecular Oral Microbiology. She is a standing member of the Center for Scientific Review in National Institute of Health, Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Sciences Study Section as well.

“I am very grateful to Dean Wolff for his support and nomination for this prestigious fellowship,” said Sahingur. “Although I joined Penn Dental Medicine less than a year ago. I have already witnessed firsthand how strong leadership and vision move organizations forward, even during a pandemic.”

Sahingur will begin working on her project in September. ELAM graduates now number more than a thousand and serve in numerous leadership positions at 257 academic health centers in the United States and Canada.

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