Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty and Staff

Murrah Presides Over 62nd Annual Meeting of AAOMP

Dr. Valerie Murrah, the first female president of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (AAOMP), recently presided over the organization’s 62nd annual meeting.

The meeting was held in Montreal, Canada, and was attended by pathologists from numerous countries, including the United States and Canada. The meeting provided continuing education for all levels of diagnostics, including microscopic, clinical and genetic.

At the scientific program, researchers presented abstracts on the latest advances in oral and maxillofacial pathology, including oral cancer detection and diagnosis, management of oral mucosal diseases and molecular aspects of diagnosis and treatment. The meeting also addressed issues related to diagnostic laboratory practice management.

Murrah chairs the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Department of Diagnostic Sciences and General Dentistry and directs the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and the oral and maxillofacial pathology laboratory. The UNC-Chapel Hill laboratory accessions approximately 7,000 specimens per year, primarily from practitioners within the state of North Carolina.

Murrah, who also recently served as the first female president of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, said her year as AAOMP president was “a career pinnacle.” During the past year as AAOMP president, she added, she has represented oral and maxillofacial pathology at medical and dental meetings, addressing issues of health care reform, coding and reimbursement, and educational standards.

“Most oral and maxillofacial pathologists have a deep passion and curiosity about the diagnosis of disease, and those characteristics continue to make every day a challenge and an adventure,” Murrah said. “With new discoveries in genetics and the molecular basis for disease, pathology is changing rapidly, which mandates a strong national organization and members who are able to adapt nimbly to changing educational and practice environments.”

Murrah published a manuscript in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Dentists titled “Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: Quality Diagnostics for the Present and the Future.”