Columbians Ahead of Their Time
 Lawrence A. Tabak
Lawrence A. Tabak "We need to challenge ourselves to find even more innovative and effective ways of doing biomedical research and converting that into cures."

Lawrence A. Tabak (1951– )
Dental Researcher
DDS 1977

Lawrence A. Tabak has been at the forefront of dental research since his student days at Columbia. Currently the director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health, he heads a team of 450 scientists, administrators, and support staff with an approximate annual budget of $383 million. Under Tabak's leadership, the Institute is funding research on ways of preventing tooth decay, the use of adult stem cells to heal bone fractures and defects, the transfer of replacement genes into the salivary glands for therapeutic purposes, periodontal disease as a possible risk factor in premature birth, and pain management. Tabak has published extensively on the structure, biosynthesis, and function of salivary mucins, the pathogenesis of salivary gland disease and dysfunction, and the use of saliva as a diagnostic fluid. His current research focuses on sugars that are essential for normal embryonic development, play significant roles in both innate and acquired immunity, and play important structural roles in membrane-bound proteins.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from City College of New York, Tabak entered Columbia's School of Dental and Oral Surgery in 1973, and joined the research effort in the laboratories of Irwin D. Mandel and Daniel Fine ("Very exciting places to be," he said years later). Tabak earned his dental degree in1977, going on to obtain a PhD and a certificate of proficiency in endodontics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


The School of Dental and Oral Surgery


Irwin D. Mandel


Bessie Delany

Write Columbia's History

Columbia's history, as seen by those who have studied, taught, and worked here.

Columbians Ahead of Their Time

Columbians have changed the world and how we see it.

C250 Celebrates | C250 Perspectives | C250 Forum | C250 Events | C250 To Go |
Contact C250 | Privacy Policy | About This Web Site | © Copyright 2004 Columbia University