Gary Anderson named Century Club Professor of the Year

Professor of the Year Gary Anderson, DDS, MS

Gary Anderson, DDS, MS, was named University of Minnesota School of Dentistry 2020 Century Club Professor of the Year during Research Day on March 5, 2021.

Interim Dean Keith Mays introduced the honor during the 17th annual and first virtual Research Day. "One of the things that is special about Gary, in addition to his broad intellectual knowledge, he has a capacity to relate to people on a human level which is so important as a senior leader," Mays reflected. 

Started by Dean Erwin Schaffer in 1976,  the award recognizes one faculty member each year for outstanding contributions to the School of Dentistry in the areas of education, research, and service. It is the highest honor bestowed upon our faculty.

Dr. Anderson is a full time tenured professor in the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences. He earned his dental degree from the University of Minnesota in 1980, and in 1981 he joined the School of Dentistry faculty as a clinical instructor in the Department of Removable Prosthodontics. In 1983, after completing a master’s degree in dentistry and a clinical training program in Prosthodontics, also from the University of Minnesota, he became an assistant professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences. In addition to his faculty position, he began a clinical practice with HealthPartners in 1984, treating patients until this past year. 

Dr. Anderson has directed, co-directed or lectured in more than 30 TMD and orofacial/craniofacial or orofacial pain, occlusion, and prosthodontics courses and has mentored or served as a thesis advisor for multiple students, both pre- and post-doctoral. He is a strong student advocate and has served on many committees regarding their concerns. 

His research includes more than 40 publications and 35 abstracts, along with more than ten grants, all with a focus on TMD and orofacial pain.

Additionally, he has served as a reviewer for multiple dental journals, including the Journal of Dental Education, the Journal of the American Dental Association, the Journal of Dental Research. the Cochrane Collaboration, and the Journal of Orofacial Pain. He has also served on many committees of the Minnesota Dental Association and the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, as well as Secretary, Vice President, and President of the Association of University TMD and Orofacial Programs. 

His extensive and accomplished service to the University and the School of Dentistry has included positions such as senior associate dean, co-director of the TMD & Orofacial Pain Clinic, chair of the Department of Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, interim department chair of the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, program director of the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies Program, interim dean, and most recently, dean of the School of Dentistry. 

"I have known Dr. Anderson for more than 40 years, and his intellectual curiosity has stimulated me to think about things in different ways since the day we met,” said Brent Larson, DDS, MS, Director, Division of Orthodontics, Assistant Dean for Advanced Education and Director of Graduate Studies, MS Dentistry. “I don't know anyone who has been more constant, and selfless, in their support of the students, staff and faculty of the School of Dentistry than he has”

Anna Thurmes,  PhD, MA, CCC-SLP, colleague and friend of Dr. Anderson, agreed. ”Dr. Anderson’s passion and commitment to advancing the mission of the School of Dentistry and University is unmatched,” she said. “He has a rare ability to understand the small and big picture of the landscape we navigate as educators, researchers, and members of the health care community. He has absolutely, positively shaped the way I think about leadership, education, and service to ultimately improve quality of life and outcomes.”