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3 Qs: Kent Knoernschild

Dr. Kent Knoernschild chairs the DCG Department of Restorative Sciences and holds the department’s Thomas P. Hinman Endowed Chair in Restorative Sciences. He is past president and chief professional officer of the American Board of Prosthodontics.

1How have you navigated your career decisions?

“I’ve always looked for opportunities that create a challenge. I practiced general dentistry for several years, then went back to school to specialize in prosthodontics. I found my fit, and I had great colleagues along the way. I had an incredible mentor in Iowa who pushed me forward and created excitement about what I was doing. Then, Dr. Art Rahn (then chairman of the DCG Department of Prosthodontics) recruited me and I had the opportunity to do research with wonderful people, many of whom are still here, including Drs. Carol Lefebvre, Fred Rueggeberg and Gretchen Caughman. Every one of those people made a difference. They sparked my enthusiasm, which is what I now try to do for others.”

2. How did you determine your research focus?
“I’m very interested in cell biology and tissue response. I focus on clinical outcomes. The materials and technologies we use are all very important for patient care and patient satisfaction.”

3What are your goals as an educator?

“As a department chair, I’m the mentor for many people with varied interests. I try to create the opportunity for people to do what really interests them. The great thing about this department is the faculty’s enthusiasm and motivation to help students learn. The department has nine sections, and everyone on the faculty engages the students and helps them throughout their training.”

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