The career plan had been largely charted out for Peter Polverini by a family friend: He’d go to dental school, pick a specialty and go to work.
What Polverini actually did was quite different.
A scientist at heart, he pursued basic research in vascular biology as well as pathology — such an unconventional blend for a dental student and scientist that he believes he had trouble convincing potential employers to hire him out of school. But the offbeat mix of disciplines served him well, and Polverini went on to become dean of the School of Dentistry, a practitioner and a pathology professor at the Medical School.
During his lecture Thursday as the Jonathan Taft Distinguished University Professor of Dentistry, Polverini described how his work as a scientist and dean inspired his vision of an integrated, personalized health care environment for dental patients.