BCD Professor named Regents Professor

December 2, 2010
Dr.Robert J. Hinton

Dr. Robert J. Hinton

Dr. Robert J. Hinton, professor and director of undergraduate teaching and faculty mentoring in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry, is a recipient of prestigious Texas A&M University System Regents Professor Award.

Established in 1996, the Regents Professor Award is bestowed annually by the A&M System’s Board of Regents in recognition of awardees’ exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.

Hinton’s award was announced Dec. 2 as one of two recipients from the Texas A&M Health Science Center. In all, 11 A&M System faculty members were designated Regents Professors for 2009-10.

Hinton is a recognized leader at the college in teaching innovation and curriculum development. He is a principal investigator for a four-year $630,000 NIH R25 Oral Health Research Education Grant, which is the driving force behind the college’s evidence-based-dentistry initiative, a significant paradigm shift in teaching at TAMHSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. Hinton coordinates the grant’s multifaceted elements, including the development of curricular materials for students as well as seminars and training programs for the clinical faculty who will implement the concept of using current research findings to supplement patient treatment planning. He also oversees the Dental Scholars enrichment program for dental students considering academic careers.

“This award is a tremendous honor, and I am flattered to join the company of the distinguished faculty at BCD who are previous recipients,” Hinton said. “I feel fortunate to have spent my career in a department that encourages and rewards both research excellence and teaching innovation.”

Hinton completed a Ph.D in biological anthropology and post doctoral work in anatomy and craniofacial biology at the University of Michigan before joining the TAMHSC-BCD faculty in 1983. His research focuses on the temporomandibular joint – the jaw joint associated with a painful condition commonly known as TMJ disorder or TMD. Known internationally for his work in this area, Hinton’s research has been supported by three National Institutes of Health grants and three foundation grants.

In addition to serving on numerous committees and taskforces at the college and the TAMHSC, Hinton’s national service has included presidency of the International Association for Dental Research’s Craniofacial Biology Group and membership on the American Dental Association’s National Board of Anatomic Sciences Test Construction Committee.

“Bob Hinton is a stellar professor as evidenced by the fact that he has been nominated six times for Teacher of the Year by BCD students,” said Dr. James S. Cole, TAMHSC-Baylor College of Dentistry dean. “He also is an innovator who is merging his passion for research with enhanced clinical dental education. It is gratifying to see him receive the recognition of Regents Professor. He is certainly worthy of such a distinguished honor.”

Award recipients are designated as Regents Professors for the duration of their service or employment within the A&M System, provided a $9,000 stipend payable in $3,000 increments over three consecutive years, and receive a special medallion bearing the seal of the A&M System and a certificate signed by the chancellor and the chairman of the Board of Regents.

The designation as Regents Professor places Hinton on a growing list of TAMHSC faculty members to receive this distinction. The health science center is now home to 25 Regents Professor Award holders, whose excellence in a variety of fields of expertise has earned them this recognition.

— Arthur Upton