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Dr. Wenyuan Shi Appointed CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of The Forsyth Institute

Aug. 29, 2017
Category: Career

The Forsyth Institute, a world leader in oral health research, today announced that the Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Wenyuan Shi as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of the Institute effective September 1, 2017.

“Dr. Shi’s creativity, vision and drive will help reinvigorate Forsyth in a way that not only evokes our original mission of providing quality dental care to Boston’s children, but also takes Forsyth forward as the leader in cutting-edge dental research from the lab into the real world,” said Peter Nessen, Chair of the Board. “His track record as an innovator, entrepreneur and academic leader – paired with his extensive international network and proven ability to translate science into successful business – make Dr. Shi ideally suited to lead Forsyth into a bright future.”

Dr. Shi is the co-author of over 200 scientific articles and is credited as co-inventor of 45 patents. Most notable among these inventions is an herbal lollipop that can treat tooth decay in children, which he designed and brought to market in 2008. In recent years, Dr. Shi has worked to patent a series of inventions that aim to more effectively kill bacteria in the mouth, preventing dental problems like gum infections and tooth decay before they start. Dr. Shi is also a co-founder of C3J Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on improving human health through targeted, pathogen-specific antimicrobials to modulate microbiome. Upon taking on the role of CEO, Dr. Shi will step down from his present position as the Chair of the Section of Oral Biology at the UCLA School of Dentistry and the Doctoral Advisor for the Oral Biology PhD Program at UCLA, where he has been heading multiple NIH and industry grants to use multi-disciplinary approaches to study the oral microbiome.

“I am excited to be joining an organization whose mission so closely aligns with my passions,” said Dr. Shi. “The Forsyth Institute has long been a leader in bringing together great minds and fostering discussion and discovery. I truly believe that we can revolutionize the way oral health and overall health are perceived through foundational research discoveries, as well as through community outreach programs that educate the public about the importance of oral health. I look forward to furthering the Forsyth mission by elevating oral health into the national spotlight and by continuing to serve as a convenor around important discussions that will drive new discoveries.”

In addition to the appointment of Dr. Shi, the Board of Directors has also appointed interim-CEO and Chief Operating Officer Diane MacDonald, to the role of President, in recognition of the energy, dedication and structure she has brought to the institute during her time as the interim-CEO.

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Jeffrey Vande Leest ’75 retired June 30, 2021.

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