H. Ralph Rawls is Professor of Biomaterials in the Dental School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; and Professor in the Core Faculty of the Joint UTSA/UTHSCSA Biomedical Engineering program.
Dr. Rawls received a BS in chemistry from Louisiana State University, a PhD in molecular biophysics from Florida State University, and a Research Career Development Award for Caries and Biomedical Materials Research from the NIH/National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
Dr. Rawls'' accomplishments include the development of novel photo-initiation and dual-cure polymer initiation systems for dental resins, low cure-shrinkage nanoparticle-reinforced dental resin composites, fluoride-ion releasing dental resins, self-cleaning biomaterial coatings, x-ray opaque biomedical plastics, a diagnostic aid for incipient caries, efficient acoustical insulation materials, and improvements in toothbrushes and other dental hygiene products.
Dr. Rawls'' current research is concerned with the development of polymeric biomedical materials for restorative resins, antimicrobial activity, dental tissue engineering and wound healing, adhesives, coatings, controlled-delivery and preventive applications. He has over 100 publications and 25 patents; principally on subjects concerning oral health & biomedical materials but also including photochemistry, lipid oxidation, novel composites for acoustic insulation, textiles, and environmental subjects.
Research Program Management:
Currently, Dr. Rawls is the principal investigator on an NIH/NIDCR-supported collaboration among six institutions, directed toward developing novel restorative materials that at least double the clinical service life of those currently in use. The UTHSCSA portion of the collaboration brings together researchers from UTHSCSA, Loma Linda University, and Designer Molecules, Inc.
Previously he directed an 11-year NIH program project grant to develop an advanced dental restorative system, in collaboration with Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio and University of Alabama at Birmingham. This project involved laboratory research and development; biological testing, and animal safety and efficacy evaluations.
Maintained continuous research funding as PI or coinvestigator from Office of Naval Research, NIH, FDA, USDA, private and corporate sponsors since 1968. Recipient of an NIH/National Institute of Dental Research Career Development award and an NIH Fogerty Senior International Fellowship.
Biomedical Research Subjects:
Development of highly durable polymer resins for dental composite materials; development of controlled oxygen-delivery systems for biomedical applications; development of antimicrobial biomedical materials; investigation of novel polymerization initiator systems; investigation of low shrinkage, photocured, nano-particle reinforced, radiopaque dental resin materials.
Professional and Advisory Activities:
Co-editor, Phillips Science of Dental Materials, 12th edition, 2013.
Member of NIH grant study sections and site visitation committees (1978-2012). NSF grant reviewer (2004).
Member, External Advisory Committee, Louisiana State Univ. School of Dentistry, NIH-Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (NIH-COBRE, 2004-2011).
Member ANSI/ADA standards committee on direct restorative materials.
Consultant to Biomedical Development Corp. of San Antonio, TX and Ultradent Products, Utah.
Manuscript reviewer: Acta Biomaterialia, Am. J. Dentistry, Advances in Dental Research, Caries Res., Chemical Communications, Colloids & Surfaces, Dental Materials, Critical Reviews in Oral Biol & Med, IEEE Transaction, J. Adhesion, J. Am. Dental Assoc., J. Biomed. Materials Res., J Biomed Mat Res-part B, J. Dental Research, J. Dentistry, J. of Endodontics, J. Prosthodontics, J. Soc. Cosmetic Chemists, Macromolecules, Molecules, Science of Advanced Materials, Texas Dental Journal, and others.