The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has announced that long-time UNC Adams School of Dentistry faculty Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque, DDS, PhD, as the organization’s next deputy director. Her appointment with NIDCR will begin early next month.
“Dr. Webster-Cyriaque has been a part of the UNC faculty for more than 20 years, and during that time she has been a respected leader and a trusted mentor not only to learners but to her colleagues in the research community and beyond. While we are going to miss her in Chapel Hill, we are incredibly proud of and excited for her as she enters this new phase of her career as deputy director of NIDCR,” said Adams Interim Dean Julie Byerley, MD, MPH.
Webster-Cyriaque has served as joint-appointed faculty at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry and the UNC School of Medicine for more than two decades. Known as an accomplished researcher in the space of oral virology, Webster-Cyriaque has led high profile research on patients living with HIV, the implications of the oral cavity on cancer-causing viruses like HPV, and examined how oral health influences HIV outcomes. She has more than 80 published scientific articles and abstracts.
“As a beneficiary of the NIDCR training pipeline, I have always been drawn to NIDCR’s mission, and to the tremendous impact I know the institute can have by translating scientific discoveries and reducing oral health disparities,” said Webster-Cyriaque. “As someone who has studied the nexus of oral health and infectious disease, NIDCR’s focus on understanding the oral health implications of COVID-19 leave me eager to play a role in the developing science around emerging infectious diseases.”
As a faculty member and educator at UNC, Webster-Cyriaque has mentored countless students throughout the years in research activities and oral health care at UNC. Additionally, she served as the faculty advisor for the UNC Adams Malawi Project since 2004, and in that role has overseen international student travel which has provided no-cost dental care to Malawians in need. She previously served as the faculty advisor for the UNC Undergraduate Student National Dental Association (SNDA), and also has been an attending faculty at the UNC Adams SNDA CAARE clinic in Durham, NC, which provides care for underserved adults.
Webster-Cyriaque earned her PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998, her doctor of dental surgery degree from SUNY Buffalo in 1992, and her bachelor of arts degree in biology and interdisciplinary social science from SUNY Buffalo in 1988.