Regents Professor designation for Opperman

November 19th, 2015

Dr. Lynne Opperman was awarded the title of Regents Professor by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents during its Nov. 12 meeting.

Throughout her career, Opperman, a member of the biomedical sciences faculty since 1997, has maintained leadership roles outside the dental school, including a two-year term as president of the American Association of Anatomists that concluded in April 2015. Locally, Opperman has served as president of the Biomaterials Interest Group of Dallas-Fort Worth, seeking and receiving grants to fund team research awards for the organization.

While Opperman concentrates her research on prenatal craniofacial development and craniofacial anomalies in children, as director of technology development at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, she utilizes a team approach to usher potential dental therapies from the research lab to market.

Dr. Lynne OppermanThis interdisciplinary approach to science coupled with an ability to broaden dental students’ mindsets beyond clinical care is what Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, TAMBCD dean, says characterizes Opperman’s contributions to the college.

“Dr. Opperman’s diverse knowledge base has given her an ability to foster collaborative research that has proven invaluable to the dental school,” Wolinsky says. “It’s this approach that will enable us to develop cutting-edge technologies that will benefit patients and clinicians alike.”

In addition, at the predoctoral level, Opperman serves as a mentor for dental students as they conduct predoctoral research and as course director of general histology. She also is course director of the graduate student colloquium.

Before joining the TAMBCD faculty, Opperman’s education spanned continents, including a doctoral degree in developmental biology with undergraduate training in zoology and psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, she completed postdoctoral fellowships in the departments of pathology and plastic surgery at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where she later served as an assistant professor in research.

“I am honored and humbled to join this illustrious group, as I become the 13th Regents Professor at the college of dentistry since we joined the A&M System in 1996,” says Opperman. “This achievement demonstrates that the college provides an environment fostering excellence in its faculty, and I feel lucky to be a member of this institution.”

— Jennifer Fuentes