Passing of Dr. Dominick P. DePaola '60
Friday, May 17, 2013
Posted by: Michael Graziano
Dr. Dominick P. DePaola, St. Francis Prep Class of 1960, a renowned dental educator and researcher, died unexpectedly April 16 at his home inPalm Beach Gardens,Fla. He was 70 years old.
"This is a sad day for dental education and research," Dr. Richard W.
Valachovic, executive director of the American Dental Education
Association, said in an email to ADEA leaders.
Dr. DePaola was the first person elected by his peers to the office of
president of the ADEA. He also was elected president of the American
Association of Dental Research and was the first person to hold both the
ADEA and AADR presidencies. In 2005, ADEA presented
Dr. DePaola with its Distinguished Service Award, one of many honors
and awards earned in his lifetime.
At the time of his death, Dr. DePaola was academic dean of the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine inFort Lauderdale,Fla. From 1998-2007, he was president and chief executive officer of Boston's Forsyth Institute, an independent research organization.
Earlier in his career, Dr. DePaola served as dean of three U.S. dental schools: theDental School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; the New Jersey Dental School at theUniversity ofMedicine and Dentistry atNew Jersey; and the Baylor College of Dentistry,Dallas. During his tenure inSan Antonio, Dr. DePaola also was acting dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
He was highly regarded for his research on nutrition as it relates to
oral health and disease—work that earned him an honorary membership in
the American Dietetic Association, the only dentist so honored.
Dr. DePaola published more than 80 scholarly articles and textbook
chapters, and also edited two texts. He delivered more than 1,000
national and international lectures, seminars and special education
courses. He also was a founding member of the Santa Fe Group,
a think tank on dental policy and advocacy.
In 2009, he received the Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement in
Global Oral Health and Education from the ADEAGies Foundation.
Born in Brooklyn,N.Y., Dr. DePaola received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1964 fromSt. Francis College,Brooklyn Heights.
In a 2011 interview for Inside Dentistry, Dr. DePaola lauded the
education he received at St. Francis as preparation for a career in
service to others.
"Essentially, they made it clear that we had a lot of opportunities
ahead of us in life, and one of them could be caring for people," he
said. "So that experience pushed me into thinking about what kind of
profession I wanted to go into."
He earned his dental degree in 1969 from the New York University College
of Dentistry and later completed a general dentistry internship at Beth Abraham Hospital in New York City. He also earned a doctorate in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Asked what advice he would offer today's dental graduates, Dr. DePaola
told Inside Dentistry that new dentists should "train to be careful,
He added, "They have to understand lifelong learning and be prepared for
the unexpected, because change is imminent and continuous. They also
need to really care about the health of the public."
A funeral mass for Dr. DePaola was scheduled for Saturday, April 20, at Brooklyn's St. Francis of Paola Church, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery in Greenpoint,Brooklyn.
Dr. DePaola is survived by his wife, Rosemary, and their daughter,
Alexis. Donations can be made to the Dominick and Rosemary DePaola
Scholarship Fund atSt. Francis College,180 Remsen St.,Brooklyn Heights,N.Y. 11201.