MILESTONE CELEBRATION: School of Dental Medicine opens research facility

A new space for research is positioning the School of Dental Medicine to be a strong partner in the effort to bring more research dollars to East Carolina University, leaders said at a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 28.

University administrators, former legislators, and representatives from state and national dental organizations gathered Friday to celebrate the school’s most recent milestone: nearly 15,000 sq. ft. of lab and support space on the fourth floor of Ledyard E. Ross Hall in Greenville.

Ross Hall opened in 2012, but the fourth floor remained a shell until construction began a year ago.

“Opening new space is inspirational, and it’s certainly important in the life of this dental school,” said Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences. “The health sciences division has been a leader in the research efforts of the entire university and will continue to be that.”

Research initiatives underway and proposed for the 4th floor space will be interdisciplinary in nature, promised Dr. Sharon Gordon, associate dean for dental research. Topics will range from the use of pediatric anesthesia and dental implants, to the impact of a new dental school on dental-related emergency visits, to prescription opioid abuse.

Dr. Sharon Gordon, associate dean for research, leads a tour of the new dental facility. Dr. Sharon Gordon, associate dean for research, leads a tour of the new dental facility.

“As we deliver on our promises of evidence-based oral health care to the people of North Carolina, research is essential,” said Dr. Greg Chadwick, dean of the School of Dental Medicine. “We’re doing our part in addressing the state’s oral health disparities.”

The School of Dental Medicine’s clinics – located in eight underserved communities statewide and at Ross Hall in Greenville – have served more than 38,000 patients from 98 counties thus far. And its students hail from 74 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

“We must make sure our students have the best opportunities to be prepared for a future in the global economy,” said Chancellor Cecil Staton. “One of the ways we make that happen is to make sure (students) have access to our great faculty, can engage in creative activity and collaborate in teams.”

For more information about ECU’s School of Dental Medicine and its unique curriculum, visit

Oct. 31, 2016
By Kathryn Kennedy
University Communication