martha_new Official Photo
Bethesda Maryland UNITED STATES

Martha J. Somerman is the Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health (NIDCR). She also is Chief of the Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The NIDCR mission is to improve dental, oral and craniofacial health through research, research training, and dissemination of health information. The NIDCR vision is 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, Somerman was dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, USA, 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, USA, from 1991 to 2002 and University of Maryland, College Park, USA from 1984-1990. An internationally known researcher and educator,  Somerman’s research has focused on defining the key regulators controlling development, maintenance and regeneration of dental-oral-craniofacial tissues. Further, she has been a recipient of numerous honors and awards throughout her academic career, including most recently the 2018 International & American Associations for Dental Research (IADR) Distinguished Scientist Award for Basic Research in Biological Mineralization.

Somerman holds a D.D.S. from New York University, N.Y., USA, a certificate in Periodontology from Eastman Dental Center, Rochester, N.Y., USA and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, N.Y., USA.