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Joan Gluch, RDH, PhD

Associate Dean for Academic Policies
Division Chief and Professor of Clinical Community Oral Health


Dr. Joan Gluch serves as course director for four academically based service-learning community health courses in the predoctoral program at Penn Dental Medicine, and participates in the PennSmiles education, screening, sealant and dental treatment program as well as the Oral Health Outreach Program for individuals with HIV disease. Dr. Gluch directs the Community Health Honors programs, and also serves as program faculty for the interprofessional education program, Bridging the Gaps. Dr. Gluch’s research interests focus on expanding access to oral health promotion and clinical care in community based settings.

Thomas P. Sollecito, DMD, FDS, RCS

Chair and Professor of Oral Medicine


Dr. Sollecito is Chair of the Department of Oral Medicine and Professor of Oral Medicine. Dr. Sollecito is an Attending in Oral Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a Clinical Associate at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is a reviewer for Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology and the Journal of the American Dental Association. He is a Fellow and Diplomate in Hospital Dentistry of Special Care in Dentistry Organization. He is also a member of OKU, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Academy of Oral Medicine. He is a Diplomate in Oral Medicine and he has authored numerous papers and chapters related to various topics in Oral Medicine including facial pain, mucosal disease, and treatment of medically complex dental patients.

Faizan Alawi, DDS

Associate Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Director, Penn Oral Pathology Services


Dr. Alawi's research focuses on the role of the dyskeratosis congenita 1 gene (DKC1) in influencing cellular proliferation, genomic stability and cellular transformation via the oncoprotein c-MYC. c-MYC is one of the most important cellular proteins; it directly and indirectly regulates many of our most fundamental biological functions. Upregulation of c-MYC, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several different cancer types, including oral cancer.

Rabie M. Shanti, DMD, MD 

Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Penn Dental Medicine


Dr. Shanti's research is an extension of his clinical interest in functional rehabilitation surgery through the utilization of reconstructive microsurgical techniques has been regenerative medicine. Dr. Shanti is currently investigating the potential of mesenchymal stem cells in tongue tissue engineering, as well as, the engineering of other orofacial tissues. Dr. Shanti also has a special interest in rare pathology of the head and neck, in investigating the pathogenesis of benign tumors and cysts of the jaw, and rare malignant tumors of the oral cavity. Dr. Shanti has also been involved in investigative studies looking at complex infections of the head and neck (e.g., deep neck infections, osteomyelitis of the jaws) and for this work he was the co-recipient of the Daniel M. Laskin Award for the "most outstanding article published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 2006."

Katherine France DMD, MBE

Dr. France is an Assistant Professor of Oral Medicine where her work focuses both clinically and academically on expanding access to high quality care for all patients across the entire scope of dentistry. This includes increasing access to oral medicine treatment for patients with oral lesions and facial pain conditions, and quickly and effectively treating these patients. Dr. France treats patients in both general dentistry and oral medicine, lectures on subjects including oral medicine, ethics, practice management, and behavioral health, and is involved in research focusing on oral and mucosal disease, facial pain, learning pedagogy, and bioethics. Dr. France served as a board member and chair of the Philadelphia Oral Cancer Walk and 5k as a dental student and is glad to continue her involvement with the organization.



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