On May 1, Timothy Wheeler, D.M.D., Ph.D., a professor and chair of the University of Florida College of Dentistry’s Department of Orthodontics and Assistant Dean for Advanced and Graduate Education, was appointed as the Academy 100 Eminent Scholar Chair.
The Academy One Hundred was a scholarship society established through the Florida Dental Association in the 1960s to help fund scholarships for student dentists and to promote the creation of a dental school in Florida. In 1984, the Academy One Hundred created the eminent scholar chair. Parker E. Mahan was the first appointee to the chair and when Mahan retired in 1993, the chair was assumed by Ivar Mjor. The chair has been vacant since Mjor’s retirement in 2008.
Criteria for the Eminent Scholar Chair include “outstanding professional reputation and outstanding contribution of scholarly activities.” The selection process included a search committee composed of senior UFCD faculty and nominations were solicited from among college faculty. The search committee made a recommendation to the dean and the appointment was approved by President Machen.
Wheeler has been involved in clinical dentistry for 20 years. As the Eminent Scholar, his duties will include contributing to the clinical instruction of dental and advanced education students, providing at least one course in dental continuing education each year, and mentoring at least one junior faculty member in clinical or translational research each year.
Wheeler currently oversees graduate clinics and teaches several clinical courses to the residents each year. Under his leadership, the program introduced new clinical techniques such as Invisalign, Multiloop Edgewise Archwire, and I-braces, and offered the latest technology such as all digital records (photos, models, x-rays, 3D CT and chart) in advance of other programs nationally. Another clinical program Wheeler initiated is the Orthodontics fellowship program that is highly regarded among U.S. dental schools, some of which have modeled similar programs.
Over his career, Wheeler has also been actively involved in clinical research and has secured both National Institutes of Health and industry funding. One 16-year Class II clinical trial resulted in a change in the way orthodontists view early treatment of Class II malocclusion.
His research has also included testing ways to biochemically accelerate tooth movement, improve treatments methods and explore dental health both during and after orthodontic treatment.
In addition to Wheeler’s education and research activities, he treats private practice patients in the college’s Faculty Practice.
Wheeler was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and earned his bachelor’s degree from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., in 1976. He attended the University of Florida, earning his Ph.D., his D.M.D. and his certificate of Orthodontics from UF. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
By September 1976, Wheeler was a graduate research assistant in the Department of Immunology and Medical Microbiology and the Department of Basic Dental Sciences. During his tenure at the college he has been a research fellow in the Department of Oral Biology, a resident in the Department of Orthodontics, an assistant professor in the departments of Oral Biology and Orthodontics, coordinator of graduate research in the Department of Orthodontics, an associate professor in the departments of Oral Biology and Orthodontics, director of postgraduate orthodontics, director of advanced education, director of advanced and graduate education and an associate professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics.
He became professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics in 1998 and the assistant dean of advanced and graduate education in 2001.
Wheeler has been a member of numerous local, state, national and international dentistry organizations, and has served in leadership p