Our Second Genome is Subject of Schreiner Distinguished Speaker Series

September 28, 2015


BUFFALO, NY – The Dr. George E. Schreiner ’43 Pre-Medical Center Distinguished Speaker Series at Canisius College will welcome Robert J. Genco '60, DDS, PhD, to campus on Thursday, October 8. Genco’s lecture, entitled “Our Second Genome: The Human Microbiome and its Role in Health and Disease,” takes place at 7:00 p.m. in the Chester HON ’01 and Diane Stranczek Science Hall Commons, located on Main Street between Delavan and Jefferson avenues. The event is free and open to the public.

Genco is a Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also vice provost and director of UB’s Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach, which facilitates the transfer of UB discoveries into economic enterprises.

Genco has conducted pioneering studies surrounding the role of infections in increasing the risk for diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and stroke. His early work established smoking, diabetes mellitus, obesity, low dietary calcium, osteoporosis and stress as risk factors for periodontal infections. Genco also studied tissue engineering as applied to periodontal and implant surgery. For 30-plus years, he directed the Clinical Research Center and served on two FDA panels. Genco has also published more than 350 papers and edited 11 texts. He holds 11 patents.

His teaching career is equally impressive. A periodontist, Genco taught clinical periodontics and microbiology for several years. He directed UB’s graduate program in periodontology and oral biology, and has mentored more than 80 doctoral and post-doctoral students, many of whom became leaders in academics, industry and government research activities.

As a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Genco has served on several committees charged with examining such major health care issues as Medicare coverage of new clinical advances and barriers to clinical research. He is the recipient of many awards, including the American Dental Association (ADA) Gold Medal for Excellence in Research and the SUNY Research Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Genco earned a BS from Canisius College; a DDS, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo; and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an honorary doctorate degree from Georgetown University.

Genco serves on the board of directors for the Buffalo Museum of Science, as well as two regional seek capital funds: the Western New York Business Development Fund and Excell Partners. From 1996-2006, he served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Periodontology.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.