James S. Wefel, PhD

James S. Wefel

The staff at P&G expresses our condolences regarding the loss of Dr. Wefel on September 1, 2012.  He was a major contributor to the field of cariology and prevention, leaving both a legacy of knowledge as well as mentorship to many young scientists.  We will miss him.

Dr. Wefel joined The University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1973.  He was director of the Dows Institute for Dental Research, administrative director of the Office of Clinical Research, and a professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.  Dr. Wefel's primary teaching responsibilities included the areas of graduate cariology, undergraduate cariology and preventive therapies, and undergraduate seminars in selective courses.

Dr. Wefel's areas of research included laser and tooth interactions, early caries detection, mechanisms of action of fluoride, topical fluorides, remineralization, kinetics of calcium phosphate crystal growth, secondary caries, oral fluoride kinetics, antimicrobials, and F-releasing materials.  Specific research in the Dows Institute for Dental Research included root surface caries, laser prevention of tooth demineralization, and F-releasing biomaterials and secondary caries.  Activities included promotion of research from the laboratory to the clinical in the Center for Clinical Studies.

Dr. Wefel was a reviewer for The Journal of Clinical Dentistry; Journal of Dental Research; Caries Research; Calcified Tissue Research; Archives of Oral Biology; American Journal of Dentistry; Journal of Oral Pathology and Gerodontology; reserved reviewer for Oral Biology and Medicine II Study Section, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; outside reviewer for the National Science Foundation and American Fund for Dental Health; ad hoc reviewer for the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIDCR; former president of the Cariology Research Group, IADR (1990-1991); consultant for the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs; recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientists Award; member of the American Association for Dental Research; the International Association of Dental Research; the American Dental Education Association; and the European Association for Caries Research; and member of the College of Dentistry's Faculty Promotions Advisory Committee.