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Thornhill to interface medicine and dentistry
(4-22-02)

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) welcomes Martin Thornhill, M.B.B.S., B.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., as professor and chairman of dental diagnostic science. With specialty training in oral medicine and a background covering both medicine and dentistry, Dr. Thornhill hopes to help future dentists understand how medical problems affect patients and how the medical field affects dentistry.

"Some diseases fall between the realm of medicine and dentistry. Patients might have a hard time finding a doctor to treat them," Dr. Thornhill said. "Dentists need to recognize those conditions or diseases that might otherwise go unnoticed. Oral medicine is at the interface between medicine and dentistry."

Dr. Thornhill looks forward to continuing his research investigating mechanisms of inflammation and immune defense in the mouth. Those mechanisms could help reveal the mystery of how cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, a question that is of particular interest to Dr. Thornhill.

"I'm happy and proud to be at the Health Science Center. This is a strong department with a history of great clinical work and teaching. I hope to build on that with a research program linking laboratory science to clinical work," Dr. Thornhill said. "It's a big challenge, but a great opportunity."

Contact: Aileen Salinas