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Robert A. Burne ’87M (PhD)

Robert BurneDr. Robert Burne is the associate dean for research at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He also serves as professor and chair of the school’s department of oral biology. He is recognized as an early pioneer in the application of molecular biology and molecular genetic techniques to the study of oral bacteria, especially to the physiology and genetics of pathogenic and health-associated oral streptococci.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University in 1981 and a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1987. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the school’s departments of dental research and microbiology & immunology, he stayed on as an assistant professor beginning in 1990. In 1997, he became an associate professor of microbiology and immunology in Rochester’s Center for Oral Biology.

In 2001, he joined the University of Florida as a tenured professor and chair of its department of oral biology. He was named associate dean for research in 2010 and awarded the distinction of “distinguished professor” in 2011.

Dr. Burne received the University of Rochester’s Wallace O. Fenn Award in 1988 for his meritorious doctoral thesis research. In 2003, he won the Center for Oral Biology’s Alumni Award for Research and in 2009, he was the featured speaker for the center’s 2009 William H. Bowen Lectureship.

Dr. Burne is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the national dental honor society Omicron Kappa Upsilon. He received the University of Florida Faculty Achievement Recognition Award in 2004 and the International Association for Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award for Research in Dental Caries in 2009.

He is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Association for Dental Research, and the International Association for Dental Research, serving as president and group program chair of this organization’s microbiology and immunology section from 1997 to 2001. 

Dr. Burne and his wife, Andrea, live in Gainesville, Fla., and have one daughter, Alexandra.