Joining the school on the tenure track in the Department of Restorative Dentistry is Dr. Santiago Orrego. With his background in dental materials and smart materials, Dr. Orrego will start a new research program on smart dental biomaterials, allowing students to better understand the benefits of designing novel dental biomaterials that respond to stimuli and interact with body enhancing treatments and oral health. Dr. Orrego also has an appointment in the Bioengineering Department in the College of Engineering.
“I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Orrego in his new position,” said Dr. Nezar Al-Hebshi, associate research professor for the Department of Pediatrics, Community Oral Health and coordinator of the Oral Microbiome Laboratory. “His research interests align with vital areas identified by the School and he has great potential to create collaborative activities across the Main and Health Science Center campuses, as well as to develop promising new innovations in dental and medical biomaterials for commercialization.”
Dr. Orrego will work closely with students in an effort to better the future of oral health care. He hopes to help them further understand the importance of research on dental applications and cleanings, what happens internally when designing and tailoring their treatments and solutions, and to put significant thought behind choosing materials.
“I am humbly excited with this great challenge and opportunity,” said Dr. Orrego. “I hope to positively contribute to Temple’s reputation as an institution where novel and effective dental biomaterials are created, and we can serve as a national and international reference in the field of oral health and dental materials.”
Dr. Orrego was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He received his B.S. and his M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from EAFIT University (Colombia) before earning his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.