Marcelle Nascimento, D.M.D., M.S., Ph.D., received a 2019 UF Research Professorship Award from the UF Office of Research in recognition of her distinguished current record of research, particularly in the area of cariology. She is one of 32 UF faculty members who received this three-year award which includes a $5,000 annual salary supplement and a one-time $3,000 grant.
“The UFRF Professorships recognize our most innovative and productive faculty, the best examples of researchers and scholars who have helped UF claim its place as a top 10 public university,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “Key to this recognition is that it is based not just on what they have done in the past, but what they are expected to achieve in the future. These are faculty who we anticipate will continue to generate cutting-edge research well into the future.”
The UFRF Professors were recommended by their college deans based on nominations from their department chairs, a personal statement and an evaluation of their recent research accomplishments as evidenced by publications in scholarly journals, external funding, honors and awards, development of intellectual property and other measures appropriate to their field of expertise.
Nascimento’s research group was the first to reveal that an increased risk for dental caries is associated with a reduced capacity of dental biofilms to produce alkali in the form of ammonia. The fact that alkali production in the form of ammonia has the capacity to neutralize glycolytic acids, and thus prevent dental caries, is a tremendous finding that has significant potential to change the clinical practice of dentistry in the near future. Her basic and translational science studies are pioneering in the fields of cariology and oral microbiology by redirecting the attention from dental caries to dental health. Thus, her studies have a high likelihood of leading to a major breakthrough in understanding the caries process, and ultimately to novel clinical practice paradigms that incorporate alkali production into caries intervention.
In recognition of her ground-breaking research findings, Nascimento received the 2018 University of Florida Term Professorship Award. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Cariology, or AAC, Board of Directors and Chair of the AAC Research Section Pillar. She is also the current president of the Cariology section of the American Dental Education Association, or ADEA. In 2015-2016, she served as president of the Cariology Research group of the International Association for Dental Research. In 2016, Nascimento received the Joseph Lister Award for New Investigators from the International Academy of Dental Research. That same year, she was inducted into the prestigious Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society, which recognized her significant contribution to the art and science of dentistry. In 2015, Nascimento was nominated and accepted into the Academy of Research Excellence of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. In 2014, she received the Faculty of Color Award from the ADEA. This ADEA award allowed her to attend the Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program through the Academy for Academic Leaders.
An associate professor in the UF Department of Restorative Dental Sciences Division of Operative Dentistry, Nascimento joined the college in 2005 as a post-doctoral associate in oral biology. She became an adjunct clinical assistant professor in 2006, an assistant professor in 2007 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2015.
For a full listing of this year’s UF Research Foundation Professors for 2019-2022, visit the UF Office of Research website.