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The Inaugural Sunstar Robert J. Genco Endowed Chair Is Named

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Patricia Diaz, DDS, PhD, State University of New York (SUNY) Empire Innovation professor and director of University at Buffalo’s (UB) Microbiome Center, has been appointed the Sunstar Robert J. Genco Endowed Chair. The appointment honors the legacy of Robert Genco, DDS, PhD, a SUNY Distinguished Professor and founder of the Microbiome Center. Genco, a prolific researcher who fostered a 40-year collaboration between Sunstar and UB, passed away in March 2019. In 2020, Sunstar donated $1 million to establish the endowed fund. Diaz is the first faculty member appointed to the chair and will serve as a liaison between UB and Sunstar to continue Genco’s research legacy. The endowed chair recognizes and supports UB faculty who are skilled educators, scholars, researchers, and applied learning innovators in oral biology and periodontal medicine. Diaz, a microbiome expert, plans to continue Genco’s groundbreaking research, exploring the relationship between periodontal diseases and systemic health. Her recent accomplishments include leading projects funded by $7.8 million in grants, studying the oral microbiome’s influence on cancer treatment outcomes, and publishing findings on antimicrobial mouthrinse benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes and periodontitis. Click here to read more.

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