Award for Young Leaders in Dentistry Goes to Dr. Erin Bumann

In less than two years as an assistant professor at the UMKC School of Dentistry, Dr. Erin Bumann, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S., has made a splash. The Kansas City Musculoskeletal Diseases Consortium recently made a nearly $50,000 grant for research Dr. Bumann will work on with a KU School of Medicine researcher. And now Dr. Bumann has been selected for the 2019 Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award from the ADA Foundation.

The Whiston Award, which honors a longtime leader of the American Dental Association and its foundation, was established to provide formal leadership training for promising dentists early in their careers. In making the award, the ADA Foundation said Dr. Bumann stood out among many highly qualified applicants because of her demonstrated leadership skills and her desire to strengthen those skills. The foundation also was impressed by Dr. Bumann’s desire to cultivate innovative approaches to the complexities the dental profession faces, and to improve access to good oral health care for all.

The award provides $5,000 for Dr. Bumann, a pediatric dentist-scientist, to attend any of several leadership training courses offered by the American Management Association or approved by the ADA Foundation.

“The Dr. David Whiston Leadership award will enhance my skills in team leadership, strategic thinking and developing a dynamic voice,” Dr. Bumann said. “I will explore vision and communication skills, as well as learn powerful techniques to effectively lead others to create value for the School of Dentistry and dentistry as a whole. I am honored to have this opportunity from the ADA Foundation to help develop skills that will be critical in my career.”

Dr. Bumann’s innovative research involving avian embryos has focused on cells that influence bone development, in hopes of someday preventing or reducing craniofacial abnormalities in people. She also emphasizes mentoring the undergraduate, graduate and fellowship members of her research team.

“I started in a research lab in my undergraduate training, and it is why I am in the position I am in today,” Dr. Bumann said. “I think it is very important to give back and mentor future generations of scientists and dental professionals.”