Patient Care

COB Director Robert Quivey Stepping Down

Dec. 16, 2019

Robert G. Quivey, Ph.D., is stepping down as director of the Center for Oral Biology (COB) and Margaret and Cy Welcher Professor in Dental Research. He will remain in that role until a new director is named, and will continue as professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Rob Quivey in labA widely published and accomplished scientist in the area of Streptococcus mutans, Dr. Quivey and his team have worked to gain a better understanding of the biology behind the how and why the organism causes dental caries, known to most people as cavities. Recently, the work of Dr. Quivey and two graduate students, Chris Kovacs and Andrew Bischer was featured on the cover of the scientific journal Molecular Microbiology. Their results not only provide new insights into how cavities form, but also into how other species of streptococci cause disease in humans.

Dr. Quivey, whose work has been continuously funded for more than 35 years, was named COB director in 2009, when Eastman Institute for Oral Health was established, uniting the clinical, education, basic and clinical research components under single leadership. Dr. Quivey received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Penn State and his PhD from the University of Texas. He came to Rochester for post-doctoral training in microbiology in 1984 as an NIH-NIDCR post-doctoral trainee, and subsequently joined the faculty in 1988.

Under his leadership, Research Training and Research Education grants from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, were renewed twice and supported more than 90 trainees. He has played an integral role in the successful collaboration between the Center for Oral Biology and the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s departments of Pharmacology and Physiology, Microbiology &Immunology, Biomedical Genetics, Dentistry, Medicine and Dermatology. Dr. Quivey regularly reviews scientific articles for journals in oral biology and in microbiology, and has participated in many NIH reviews of scientific grants and PhD-training programs funded by NIDCR.

“Rob has played an integral role in helping foster collaboration between basic and clinical and translational research,” said Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD, professor and EIOH director, who had heard about Dr. Quivey’s work long before he joined EIOH. “I’m looking forward to future collaborations and a continued working relationship with him.”

Dr. Quivey followed previous COB Directors Larry Tabak, DDS, PhD, the current Principal Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health and Jim Melvin, DDS, PhD, the former Deputy Scientific Director of National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

“Dr. Quivey has continued the outstanding leadership tradition in the COB As director, Rob significantly enhanced the Center’s mentoring and training programs, by serving as Principle Investigator for the Rochester Training Program in Oral Science, one of the largest training grants here at URMC, and led the closer integration of COB with Eastman Institute of Oral Health,” said Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. “Thanks in large part to his efforts, the EIOH now ranks ninth nationally in NIDCR funding.”