A professor and international authority in the field of salivary research will lead the College of Dentistry at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Walter Siqueira (DDS, PhD) was appointed to a five-year term as dean effective Sept. 1.
Continuing the college’s reputation of providing an excellent clinical and learning experience for students is a priority for Siqueira. Expanding research capacity, growing programming to better serve students and the community, and preparing the college for a multimillion-dollar transformation of its preclinic and clinic spaces are also high on the agenda.
“We need to share our success and we have a lot to share,” Siqueira said. “Our mission is to be a college that embraces the entire dental team. We graduate dentists and dental assistants, but in future years they will be joined by dental therapists, specialists and dental hygienists”
Siqueira previously served as the college’s Associate Dean Academic and was responsible for the successful delivery and quality management of the college's programs as well as strategic academic leadership to empower faculty and student success.
Siqueira is a dentist and PhD in biochemistry. He worked at Western University in London, Ont., for a decade before joining USask in 2019. He leads the Salivary Proteomics Research Laboratory — a program in proteomics, diagnostics, and therapeutic use of saliva that is unique in Canada. His research has received more than $9 million in funding from International, national and provincial organizations along with industry research contracts.
He is a recipient of the W.W. Wood Award for Excellence in Dental Education from the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry; the 2012 Salivary Researcher of the Year award from the Salivary Research Group, International Association for Dental Research (IADR); and the 2019 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award, the most prestigious international award in oral health science. In 2021, he was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Siqueira, who succeeds Dr. Doug Brothwell as dean, is committed to building on the college’s record of success. Earlier this year it received full accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada for the first time since 1994, and during the past five years its research portfolio has grown significantly, now with more than 40 papers annually and over $5 million in research funding.
“For us to be in the university environment we need to generate new knowledge. We cannot continue with dentistry from 50 years ago — things have changed. Research is creating new technology and techniques that will be used in the future,” Siqueira said.
“We are going to work significantly in this area by creating a realistic research strategic plan for the next 10 years. We are going to establish milestones for our PhD students, for our post-docs, for our faculty members to become a college of dentistry that can compete with the major players in North America in terms of research capacity.”
A $21.5-million renovation project beginning in the fall of 2023 will provide state-of-the art preclinic and clinic spaces and integrate digital dentistry technology. It is a significant addition in supporting the college’s reputation for excellent patient care and outstanding student learning.
“We will continue to provide the best clinical experience for our students. I am very proud to be part of this college because we provide the best clinical experience for our students — no doubt,” Siqueira said.
“In addition, we are committed to supporting student well-being and providing students with training in interpersonal skills. It is extremely important that students learn about leadership, teamwork, and communication skills so they graduate prepared to be leaders in our profession and communities.”