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Eastward bound

Dr. Lawrence E. Wolinsky
Dr. Lawrence E. Wolinsky (center), who steps into his role as dean Sept. 1, is shown here at the Aug. 12 International Periodontics Symposium reception.

Photo by Steven Doll

Wolinsky moves from California coast bringing leadership, research skills in tow

For 30 years, Dr. Lawrence E. Wolinsky has contributed knowledge and leadership to academic dentistry. On the one hand, he’s delved into research — leading projects that explore plant compounds’ plaque-inhibiting effects to helping develop the antimicrobial gel known as Atridox®, which aids in periodontal disease management.

His leadership roles within academic administration also run deep.

Wolinsky, who since 2008 has served the UCLA School of Dentistry as associate dean of academic programs and personnel, also was interim chair of the school’s oral biology and medicine division from 2005-2007.

“Dr. Wolinsky brings years of experience
across a variety of roles — roles which led him
to seek the position of dean.”
— Dr. Nancy W. Dickey

It’s a career that, until now, has transpired almost exclusively on the west coast. Now, after a move 1,400 miles across the country, Wolinsky seems poised for what lies ahead when he assumes the role of dean at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry.

“I am looking forward to … continuing the tradition of excellence that the Baylor College of Dentistry and the Texas A&M Health Science Center share,” Wolinsky says.

Dr. Nancy W. Dickey, president of Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the A&M System, offers her own vote of confidence.

“Dr. Wolinsky brings years of experience across a variety of roles — roles which led him to seek the position of dean,” Dickey says. “He is committed to excellence in research and innovation in education; both goals are consistent with the TAMHSC’s overarching goals.”

This August, after more than a decade as dean, Dr. James S. Cole will step down from his post. Wolinsky — whose duties at UCLA included promoting excellence in dentistry education, graduate education and research via recruitment of high quality faculty, ensuring space and resources for all programs, and overseeing curriculum, student affairs and educational policies — will start Sept. 1, although he may be seen on campus before then.

As Wolinsky transitions to TAMHSC-BCD, it’s likely he’ll draw from those years of academic experience, which include his previous role as professor of oral biology, having joined UCLA’s dental faculty in 1980.

Over the years, Wolinsky helped lead UCLA’s dental school through a successful reaccreditation and created a mentorship program for junior faculty. On the research front, he assisted with the creation of Enamelon®, a remineralizing toothpaste designed to reverse early tooth decay.

Wolinsky attended Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where he earned his dental degree. He obtained his certificate in periodontology from UCLA and a doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.