The Global Initiatives program strives to improve the global impact of UMSoD on oral and craniofacial health through research, education and service while providing unique opportunities of professional development and personal growth for our students, staff, and faculty.


dental students in brazil


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dental students in china


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dental students in ethiopia


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dental student in greece


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dental student in guatemala


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israel city scape


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dental students in jamaica


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dental students in kenya


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dental students and instructors in mexico


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margherita fontana

Margherita Fontana, DDS, PhD

Clifford Nelson Endowed Professor and Professor of Dentistry
Director, Global Initiatives Program in Oral and Craniofacial Health

Margherita Fontana, DDS, PhD, is the Clifford Nelson Endowed Professor of Dentistry in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics at University of Michigan School of Dentistry (U-M). She is Director of the Global Initiatives Program in Oral and Craniofacial Health at the School of Dentistry. She is currently co-director of Cariology courses, and cariology discipline co-coordinator at U-M. As a principal investigator, she has received research grants associated with cariology from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, the Delta Dental Fund, DentaQuest, and private industry amongst others. She has over 150 papers published in peer reviewed journals, such as Journal of Dental Research, Caries Research, Journal of Dental Education, Pediatric Dentistry, Advances in Dental Research, Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Journal of the American Dental Association, British Dental Journal, etc. She was the 2007-2008 President of the Cariology Group of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), and the 2010-2011 Chair of the Cariology Section of ADEA. In 2012 she received the USA Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her work on caries risk assessment in children. She was the 2009 winner of the IADR Cariology Research Group’s Basil G. Bibby Award in Cariology, and in 2016 winner of the IADR Burrows Memorial Award.


The camaraderie developed in a culturally immersive yet professional environment has had a lasting impact on me during my formative years here at Michigan. I will cherish these memories far beyond my time in school.

David Li, DDS



Helping, Learning in Kenya

Pires, F | Michigan News, 2020

Integrative Dentistry: The key to sustainability

Brown, J; Tinawi, S | Contour Magazine, 2020 (Article based on information presented in Shantou by the GIOCH China 2019 group)

What does it mean to be in a nation where health is a constitutional right?

Bhat, M | Inter-Professional Health Student Organization Newsletter, 2019

Oral Health Status of Adults in Rural Meru, Kenya

Crouch, S; Dzingle, J; Tyus, J; Kapila, S; Eber, R; Ndege, PK, Kapila Y. | Oral health and dental management, 2016, 15(1):5-13

Community-based assessment and intervention for early childhood caries in rural El Salvador

Dabiri D, Fontana M, Kapila Y, Eckert G, Sokal-Gutierrez K. | Int Dent J. 2016 Aug;66(4):221-8. doi: 10.1111/idj.12228. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

To Brazil and Back: An International Dental Student Exchange Program

Crouch S, Farkash J, Branch A, Vasconcellos L, Veronesi G, Kapila YL. | MDAJ 2015, July:40.

Oral health status of children in rural schools in Kithoka, Kenya

Fujawa D, Tyus J, Cooper J, Dzingle J, Kapila S, Eber R, Gonzalez-Cabezas C, Ndege PK, Peck M, Peck S, Kapila Y. | OHDM 2014;13(4).


Interested in finding out more about Global Initiatives in Oral & Craniofacial Health at the U-M?

Contact Dr. Fontana at or Emily Yanca at