New Recruit Dr. Kyle Vining Strengthens Dental, Engineering Interface


Philadelphia – Adding to the depth of research at the dental medicine and engineering interface, Penn Dental Medicine welcomes recent recruit Dr. Kyle Vining, who joined Penn Dental Medicine and its Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD) on July 1. Dr. Vining will be appointed Assistant Professor of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, and Department of Materials Science, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, pending approval by Penn Dental Medicine’s personnel committees and the Provost’s office. In addition to his primary faculty appointment at Penn Dental Medicine, he will have a secondary appointment at Penn’s School of Engineering.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Vining has joined us,” says Penn Dental Medicine’s Morton Amsterdam Dean, Dr. Mark S. Wolff. “With his combination of dental and engineering training and depth of research experience, he will play a vital role in the work and advancement of the CiPD and our goal of accelerating the development of new solutions and devices to address oral health needs.”

Dr. Vining, who holds a PhD in bioengineering from Harvard University (2020) and a DDS from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry (2014), comes to Penn Dental Medicine from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he has been a postdoctoral researcher for the past two years. A primary focus of Dr. Vining’s research has been targeting mechanical regulation of tissue inflammation in bone marrow disease and head and neck cancer. He is also developing strategies to target inflammation and promote tissue repair and regeneration in oral and craniofacial diseases. Among his projects in the area of biomaterials development, he engineered a novel antimicrobial coating for titanium dental implants and developed a new polymeric dental material that supports differentiation and proliferation of dental pulp stem cells for regenerative dentistry applications. His most recent work was published in Nature Materials.

Committed to teaching the next generation of clinician scientists, Dr. Vining was an active research mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students throughout his postdoctoral training. He is currently a Councilor in the Oral & Maxillofacial Research Group of the International Association for Dental Research and is a scientific peer reviewer for 13 journals, including the American Chemical Society journals and the Journal of Dental Research.

“Dr. Vining is an ideal fit for the vision and mission of the CiPD,” says Penn Dental Medicine’s Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo, Co-Director of the CiPD. “With a secondary appointment in the School of Engineering, he will be instrumental in continuing to strengthen our engineering collaborations and teaching our students to work across disciplines to advance research, training, and entrepreneurship in this realm.”

“Kyle’s work at the interface of immunology, oral health, and materials brings exciting new directions to both schools and to the CiPD,” adds Dr. Kathleen Stebe, Co-Director of the CiPD at Penn Engineering.

Dr. Shu Yang, Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering agrees. “Kyle’s research in developing novel biomaterials that interface with dental tissues and biomechanics will strengthen our leadership in biomaterials for precision health engineering.”