Wolff Named Dean of Penn Dental Medicine

Dentistry Today


Mark Wolff, DDS, PhD, will be the next Morton Amsterdam Dean of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, effective July 1. Currently, he is chair of cariology and comprehensive care at the College of Dentistry at New York University (NYU) as well as the college’s senior associate dean for development and alumni relations. 

“Mark’s career is notable for his commitment to superb clinical practice as well as excellence in scholarship, education, and community engagement,” said Amy Gutmann, PhD, president of the University of Pennsylvania. 

“When we met Mark, he told us that he has always loved his work and believed in dental medicine because dentists help make people smile. We too are smiling at the prospect of Mark joining Penn and partnering with the incredible faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of Penn Dental Medicine to bring this storied school to even greater heights,” Gutmann said.

Wolff joined NYU in 2005, where he led more than 400 members of the faculty and staff. Student pass rates on national boards have been at nearly perfect levels during his tenure there, and more than $20 million in research programs have been completed under his leadership, Penn Dental reports. 

“Among Mark’s many successes, he has demonstrated the many ways in which integrating patient care, educational experiences, and research programs advance core strategic goals, strengthen faculty and student culture, and better link the mission of dental schools with local and global partners and communities,” said University of Pennsylvania provost Wendell Pritchett, JD, PhD. 

At NYU, Wolff designed and implemented the world’s largest electronic dental-health record and fully digital imaging system. He also increased interprofessional educational opportunities by creating an integrated case seminar that brings dental students together with students in dental hygiene, social work, nutrition science, and nursing.

Furthermore, Wolff led a school-wide initiative to emphasize duty, altruism, and community service as foundational components of the educational program. He developed a community-based educational program that ensures each dental student has the opportunity to work in underserved communities throughout New York. He designed clinical programs for survivors of torture and other crimes against humanity as well. 

As a faculty member at Stony Brook University for more than two decades before moving to NYU, Wolff pioneered a disease-based curriculum for first-year dental students that focused on prevention and wellness alongside interventions and procedures. He streamlined and strengthened patient care as well, Penn Dental says, including the design and adoption of the first 100% paperless clinical record at any dental school in the United States.

A Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, Wolff has authored or coauthored 80 original articles and 20 books and chapters. He also has mentored more than 100 dental students in research who have presented 75 papers before the American Association and/or International Association of Dental Research. And, he has served in leadership capacities in multiple dental and educational organizations.

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