LMU-CDM Announces Promotions of Three Faculty Members

LMU-CDM faculty

Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine (LMU-CDM) and Founding Dean and Academic Officer Denise Terese-Koch, DDS, FAGD, MBA, EDD, announces the promotion of three distinguished faculty members, recognizing their outstanding contributions to dental education and research. Ammaar Abidi, DDS, PhD, Modar Kassan, PhD, and Karima Ait-Aissa, PhD, have been elevated to prominent positions within the College reflecting their exemplary dedication and expertise.


Abidi, DDS, PhD, a graduate with dual degrees from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, has been promoted to associate dean of research and associate professor of pharmacology. Abidi's career has been dedicated to advancing clinical therapies for oral inflammation and enhancing public oral health. His pioneering research in periodontal cells, cellular/molecular signaling, pharmacology, and inflammation has led to the development of novel pharmacologic screening tools and optimized in vitro periodontitis models. Abidi's current research focuses on the intricate relationship between the endocannabinoid system and inflammation, aiming to improve public oral and systemic health outcomes.


Kassan, PhD, who obtained his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the Lebanese University, Lebanon, has been promoted to director of the biomedical sciences department and professor of physiology. Kassan's extensive academic journey, spanning renowned institutions in Lebanon, Spain, and the USA, has equipped him with invaluable insights into drug actions, physiological responses, and microbial interactions. His research endeavors aim to unravel the complex interplay between oral/gut microbiota and systemic health, contributing to disease prevention and management strategies. Kassan is dedicated to advancing microbiology, pharmacology, and physiology through translational research for improved health care outcomes.


Ait-Aissa, PhD, renowned for her expertise in mitochondrial dysfunction and endothelial barrier permeability, has been promoted to director of research and assistant professor of biomedical sciences. Ait-Aissa's career, marked by postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a faculty position at the University of Iowa, has led to research on innovative targeted drug delivery systems and the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in microvascular disease. Her current research investigates the impact of mitochondrial dysfunction on endothelial barrier permeability subsequent to oral and systemic diseases, aiming to uncover underlying mechanisms for improved therapeutic interventions.


"We are delighted to announce the promotions of Dr. Abidi, Dr. Kassan, and Dr. Ait-Aissa, recognizing their exceptional leadership and contributions to LMU-CDM," said Terese-Koch. "Their expertise and dedication further strengthen our commitment to excellence in dental education, research, and community service."


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine (LMU-CDM) is home to the Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) and Dental Hygiene (DH) programs. It is located in Knoxville at the newly renovated LMU Tower. For more information about LMU-CDM programs contact, CollegeofDentalMedicine@LMUnet.edu.

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