Dr. Russell S. Taichman is the Major Ash Collegiate Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, serves as the School’s Associate Dean for Research. He received his D.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, a D.M.Sc. and a certificate in periodontology from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and engaged in post-doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Taichman has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of bone biology, hematology, academic leadership and Arctic exploration. Dr. Taichman developed and directed for nearly 10 years the Scholars Program in Dental Leadership (SPDL) –the nation’s first program focused on the leadership development of dental and dental hygiene students.
Research in the Taichman laboratory focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms that regulate how the bone marrow functions in both health and disease states. The team is interested in understanding the pathways that are used by osteoblasts to support hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and how osteoblasts function as regulators of the microenvironment or “niche” that supports HSCs. In addition, the group is interested in the isolation and characterization other marrow stem cells for tissue regeneration. Building on these areas, the team focuses on the mechanisms used by tumors to gain footholds in the marrow and become dormant by taking advantage of the HSC niche. Current studies are focused on how the marrow regulates the activities of cancer stem cells.