Dr. Purnima Kumar is the William and Mary K. Najjar Endowed professor of Dentistry and Chair of the Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan. She received her dental degree from Annamalai University in India, and her Masters in Periodontology and PhD in Molecular Microbiology from The Ohio State University. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and a Fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program, the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, the Pierre Fouchard Académie and the American Association of Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Research. Dr. Kumar is the Principal Investigator of Oral Microbial Ecology Laboratory at the University of Michigan that is funded through the NIH, NCI, and oral healthcare industry. She has authored over 100 papers and book chapters and serves as the Associate Editor of Periodontology 2000, Nature Scientific Reports and Senior Editor of Microbiome.
She is an active researcher, clinician, teacher, and administrator, has mentored several pre-dental, dental, master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral students and junior faculty colleagues, and has served on several grant review panels for the NIH. She serves as the Chair of the Continuing Education Oversight Committee for the AAP and was a member of the AAP’s Taskforce for Future Science. She also serves on the board of directors of the Osteology Foundation and the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation. She is the Chair of the Council of Scientific Affairs of the ADA and is their official spokesperson on e-cigarettes and vaping. Dr. Kumar has served on various committees of IADR and is presently the President of the Periodontal Research Group. She also serves on several taskforces for women in science, women in surgery and women in STEM and volunteers for groups that empower women locally and nationally.