Robert A. Burne, Ph.D., associate dean for research and chair of the Department of Oral Biology at the UF College of Dentistry, was recently elected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as a member-at-large to the section on Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences.
Burne, distinguished professor at UF, will serve a four-year term with the AAAS that runs February 21, 2017, to February 15, 2021.
The AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science, engineering and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.
As a member-at-large on the Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences Section, Burne’s responsibilities include serving on the Section Committee to help organize and arrange dental contributions to AAAS meetings, while undertaking various special projects and activities.
Members-at-large additionally serve on the section committee’s Steering Group which serves a number of different functions, among them taking action on policy matters, appointing a section secretary and filling vacancies in the section.
Burne’s primary research interests are in the molecular mechanisms governing the ability of bacteria that are capable of causing diseases in humans to modulate their virulence in response to environmental influences. Most recently, Burne and UFCD colleague Marcelle Nascimento, D.D.S., Ph.D., identified a new strain of bacteria in the mouth that may keep bad bacteria in check — and could lead to a way to prevent cavities using probiotics.
Burne, who accepted the role of associate dean for research at UFCD in 2010 and was named distinguished professor in 2011, earned his undergraduate degree in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University in 1981, then went on to earn his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Rochester in 1987.