BY YASMINE PEZESHKPOUR MCM ’19
Professor Janet Oldak has been selected as a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The prestigious honor is bestowed upon members through nominations by their AAAS peers.
Oldak has been selected for her outstanding contributions to molecular mechanisms in biomineralization, assembly and function of inherently disordered matrix proteins for development of biomimetic peptide-mediated strategies for tooth repair.
“It is definitely rewarding that my scientific contributions of more than two decades is recognized by peers and colleagues in the research community,” Oldak said. “I’m honored and thankful to those individuals who have acknowledged the impact of my work and have supported my nomination as an AAAS Fellow.”
She is among 443 members this year to have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
Oldak, who has a dual appointment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, was recently awarded multiple grants for the development of a patented hydrogel that can regrow an enamel-like surface on teeth, preventing deep decay by addressing lesions early to rebuild the lost enamel.
In addition to her scientific contributions, Oldak is recognized among her peers for her tireless mentoring and instructional efforts.
“Oldak has contributed to shaping the educational model of small group, student-centered professional education at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and creating a focus for craniofacial engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering,” said Malcolm Snead, professor and chair of the Division of Biomedical Sciences, in his nomination letter.
The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.
“Janet is a consummate scholar who has made significant contributions to fundamental research on biological mineralization,” Snead said. “More so, she is adamant to translate here findings into the clinic, where enamel biomimetics may offer a biological solution to restoration of carious destruction of enamel, the most prevalent infectious disease of mankind. She is well-deserving to become a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.”
Oldak will be recognized for her contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum on February 15, 2020 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.
“It will be a great time to reflect back and enjoy the outcomes,” Oldak said.