Building 31, Room 2C39
31 Center Dr
Bethesda, MD 20814
Dr. Rena N. D’Souza is the director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. She oversees NIDCR’s annual budget of more than $475 million, which supports basic, translational, and clinical research in areas of oral cancer, orofacial pain, tooth decay, periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, craniofacial development and disorders and the oral complications of systemic diseases.
A licensed dentist, Dr. D’Souza is recognized for her research in craniofacial development, genetics, tooth development, and regenerative dental medicine. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. D’Souza was the assistant vice president for academic affairs and education for health sciences at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. There she also served as a professor of dentistry, the Ole and Marty Jensen chair of the School of Dentistry and professor of neurobiology and anatomy, pathology and surgery in the School of Medicine and the department of biomedical engineering. In 2012, Dr. D’Souza was selected to be the inaugural dean of the University of Utah’s School of Dentistry. She is a devoted mentor and champion of diversity in the biomedical research workforce. Since 1985, she has served as a volunteer dentist for women in need and people struggling with homelessness in Salt Lake City, Dallas and Houston.
D’Souza received her bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from the University of Bombay, India, after which she completed her general practice residency. She earned her D.D.S, Ph.D., and master’s degree in pathology/biomedical sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
- D'Souza RN, Collins FS, Murthy VH. Oral Health for All: Realizing the Promise of Science. N Engl J Med. 2022 Mar 3;386(9):809-811. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2118478. Epub 2022 Feb 26. PMID: 35213102.
- Dye BA, Albino J, D'Souza RN. Oral health problems are global and need to be addressed in the USA. Lancet. 2022 Jan 8;399(10320):127-128. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02842-7. Epub 2021 Dec 21. PMID: 34951949; PMCID: PMC8735891.
- D'Souza RN, Lee JS, Shum L, Hoffman M. 40 Weeks In: A Look at How One NIH Institute Handled the Unimaginable. J Dent Res. 2021 Jul;100(7):673-676. doi: 10.1177/00220345211013305. Epub 2021 Apr 27. PMID: 33906484; PMCID: PMC8412845.
- D'Souza RN, Shum L. Leaving no stone unturned: The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research's scientific response to COVID-19. J Am Dent Assoc. 2021 Jun;152(6):413-414. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2021.04.012. Epub 2021 Apr 23. PMID: 34044965; PMCID: PMC8064624.