Martha J. Somerman, DDS, PhD

Martha J. Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D.


Building 31, Room 2C39
31 Center Dr
Bethesda, MD 20814
United States

(301) 496-3571
Biographical Sketch

Dr. Martha J. Somerman is director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), a part of the National Institutes of Health. She also is chief of the Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology at NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. NIDCR's mission is to improve dental, oral, and craniofacial health through research, research training, and dissemination of health information. It is our vision that these activities will be recognized as a catalyst of change in transforming how oral health care is delivered.

Prior to becoming NIDCR’s director, Dr. Somerman was dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, a position she held from 2002-2011.  Before joining the University of Washington, she was on the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, from 1991 to 2002, and University of Maryland, 1984-1990. An internationally known researcher and educator, Dr. Somerman’s research has focused on defining the key regulators controlling development, maintenance and regeneration of dental oral and craniofacial tissues.  She has received numerous honors and awards throughout her academic career, including most recently the 2016 American Academy of Periodontology Distinguished Scientist Award.

Dr. Somerman holds a DDS from New York University, a certificate in periodontology from Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, NY, and a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Last Reviewed on
February 2018