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URMC / Eastman Institute for Oral Health / Word of Mouth / December 2016 / Former Center for Oral Biology Chair William Bowen Dies

Former Center for Oral Biology Chair William Bowen Dies

William H. Bowen, B.D.S., Ph.D. passed away suddenly on November 15, 2016. 

Dr. William BowenDr. Bowen, originally from Enniscorthy, Ireland, received his B.D.S. from the National University of Ireland, and then moved to Rochester for his residency and master’s degree from the Eastman Dental Center and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, respectively.  He returned to England for his doctoral work at the University of London, in oral bacteriology and cariology.

In the ensuing years, Dr. Bowen held several Fellowships at the Royal College of Surgeons (London), before returning to the United States as the Chief of Caries Prevention and the Research Branch of the National Caries Program at the National Institute for Dental Research at NIH.  In 1982, he returned to Rochester, as the Margaret and Cy Welcher Professor of Dental Research, the Chair of Dental Research (now the Center for Oral Biology, part of Eastman Institute for Oral Health) and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. 

Bill and Carole BowenDr. Bowen was a highly accomplished scientist, mentor, and leader in his field.  He consulted for numerous countries on oral health and caries prevention, in addition to his service to the FDA, the Public Health Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission, and the American Dental Services. He held every elected office in the International Association for Dental Research, the American Association for Dental Research, and he was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Organization for Caries Research, and member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine of the United States. He was also an elected member of the College of Surgeons of England and the College of Surgeons of his native Ireland.   

Dr. Bowen published more than 300 articles, books, and book chapters and received five honorary doctorates from Institutions outside of the United States. 

His is survived by his wife Carole, their five children and their 11 grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends in the scientific and equestrian communities, and those of us fortunate enough to have been his colleagues and students. 






Karen Black | 12/2/2016

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