NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIDR/      

National Institute of Dental Research : Biographical Sketch of NIDR Director

Harold C. Slavkin, D.D.S.

In July 1995 Dr. Slavkin, former director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, was sworn in as sixth NIDR director.

Born in Chicago, Ill., on March 20, 1938, he received his B.A. in 1961 and D.D.S. in 1965 from the University of Southern California. After completing postdoctoral training at USC, he was named chairman of the department of biochemistry and nutrition at the university’s school of dentistry in 1969. He served in various capacities at USC over the next 26 years, including chief of the laboratory for developmental biology in the Gerontology Center, chairman and program director of the graduate program in craniofacial biology, and director of the Center for Cranifacial Biology, a position he held for 6 years prior to his appointment as NIDR director.

In his last position Dr. Slavkin directed a team of scientists investigating the genetics of normal and abnormal craniofacial, oral, and dental development. His own studies focused on the developmental processes underlying a number of congenital and acquired craniofacial and oral defects. He was also responsible for creating the first Ph.D. program in the U.S. in craniofacial biology, a program he chaired for 10 years.

He has been active in programs to promote science appreciation and literacy at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He helped initiate a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation that gives high school students an opportunity to work on a research project at a university. He served as executive producer and writer for a Public Broadcasting Service film called A Lifetime of Change, shown at the 10th annual conference of the International Society of Developmental Biology and the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. He also collaborated with PBS on the production of Genetic Engineering, Why in the World? and with other educational film companies in the making of Development and Differentiation and Intercellular Communication.

A grantee since 1966, Dr. Slavkin has been a member and chair of NIDR’s Board of Scientific Counselors and served as acting chief of NIDR’s Laboratory for Developmental Biology and Anomalies. He also served on the NIDR Blue Ribbon Panel that formulated recommendations to shape the future of the institute’s Division of Intramural Research.

He serves on editorial boards of the International Journal of Developmental Biology, Differentiation, Oral Diseases, and Current Opinion in Dentistry. A member of numerous professional organizations, he has authored more than 90 book chapters and over 180 publications in developmental and craniofacial molecular biology. Directors of NIDR

NameDate of Birth Dates of Office
H. Trendley DeanAug. 25, 1893 Sept. 17, 1948Mar. 31, 1953
Francis A. Arnold, Jr.Dec. 30, 1910 Apr. 1, 1953February 1966
Seymour J. Kreshover.........................February 1966June 30, 1975
Clair L. Gardner (Actg).........................July 1, 1975Dec. 31, 1975
David B. ScottMay 8, 1919 Jan. 1, 1976Dec. 31, 1981
John F. Goggins (Actg).........................Jan. 1, 1982Dec. 31, 1982
Harald Löe.........................January 1983June 1, 1994
Harold C. SlavkinMarch 20, 1938July 1995.........................


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