Dr. Patricia Miguez recently joined the Department of Operative Dentistry as an assistant professor. Previously, Miguez had been a member of the department in an adjunct capacity.
“I am most humbled by this opportunity in the Department of Operative Dentistry at UNC,” said Miguez. “The department has supported my academic career since my post-graduate training years at UNC and I am thrilled to be part of this family. I have now been given the tools to succeed as a clinician-scientist and I am committed to achieve this goal and significantly contribute to the department’s and school’s reputation.”
Miguez will be involved in teaching, research, service and patient care in the Dental Faculty Practice. She is the co-director of the Oral Biology Research Seminar Series, is a deputy Group Practice Director for DDS2 and DDS3 classes, teaches in the Graduate Operative Dentistry Clinic and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Clinic apart from contributing to the DDS and post-graduate student didactic courses.
As assistant professor, Miguez will establish her laboratory and continue to pursue her research interests in mineralized tissue biology. Miguez’s research focuses on studying the function of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, such as collagen and proteoglycans, in dentin and bone. She has published in adhesive dentistry and dentin biology and her most recent work has focused on studying the structure-function of ECM proteins in mineralized tissue maintenance and regeneration. Another area of interest to Miguez is alternative medicine. She aims to contribute to the understanding of how natural compounds (phytochemicals) act at the cell and matrix levels affecting oral tissues and their responses to diseases such as caries and periodontitis. Miguez has primarily focused on in vitro and animal in vivo studies and will be mentoring pre-doctoral, post-doctoral students and visiting scholars at UNC while developing her projects.
“Dr. Patricia Miguez is an outstanding clinician, instructor and researcher,” said Dr. Andre Ritter, chair of the Department of Operative Dentistry. “As a perio-operative dual-trained dentist-scientist, she has unique insight into two common oral health diseases – dental caries and periodontal disease – and her work aligns well with the current departmental research programs. She will be a wonderful addition to our department.”
Miguez earned her DDS degree from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, in 1997, where she also completed a certificate program in periodontology. In the summer of 2000, after a stint in private practice, she moved to Chapel Hill and enrolled in the Operative Dentistry Graduate Program. She received a master’s in operative dentistry in 2003, and later a certificate in periodontology and PhD in oral biology.
Before returning to UNC in 2014, Miguez was assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in the Department of Periodontics. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, and has received multiple awards including the IADR/Phillips Young Investigator Award, the Rabinowitz Research Award at the University of Pennsylvania and more recently the prestigious Linda and Bud Tarrson Fellowship from the American Academy of Periodontology.