Dubbed the "father of oral science" by the Journal of Dental Research, Genco was considered one of the world's leading periodontal researcher and a pioneer in the study of how oral health impacts overall health. He died unexpectedly on March 6.
Robert Genco Robert Genco, DDS, PhD. Photo by Douglas Levere, and image courtesy of University at Buffalo.
He and his colleagues were among the first to report a connection between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, and several cancers, and they led studies that linked periodontitis to diabetes and obesity -- all of which were discoveries that have influenced decades of oral healthcare research and products.
Genco served as vice provost of the University at Buffalo Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR) from 2002 to 2016. Under his leadership, STOR helped launch more than 80 businesses in western New York.
In 2013, he coauthored a study, which supported the association between treated periodontal disease and reduced hospital admissions and emergency room visits and lower medical costs.
"Dr. Genco was a legendary figure in dental research known throughout the world," said Joseph Zambon, DDS, PhD, the dean of the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, in a statement. "He will be remembered for his towering intellect, for innovative research that transformed the scientific basis of dental practice, and building the connection between oral health and overall health. Most of all, for his exceptional humanity, which he generously shared with his many students and colleagues."
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