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Photo of Colvard, Michael

Michael Colvard, DDS, MTS, MS, PhD, FDS RCSEd

Director, Dental Medicine Responder Training (DMRT), Professor

Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences


Building & Room:



UIC College of Dentistry 801 S. Paulina Street, IL 60612


Michael David Colvard is professor of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences and Director of the Dental Medicine Responder Training (DMRT) Office at the College of Dentistry at UIC. Dr. Colvard publishes theory, policy, and education research advancing the role of dental professionals in emergency and disaster planning and First Responder support. This includes supporting local, state, national, and Federal officials to amend policies and plans, to include Dental Responders into First Responder and Coroner/Medical Examiner Teams.

Dr. Colvard's medical anthropology and museum anthropology research seeks to apply nondestructive imaging and directed energy (DE) based imaging and spectroscopy techniques to the characterization of ancient and modern teeth and the natural products used during human modifications of teeth and craniofacial tissues. Emergent imaging technologies can assist museum-based anthropology research to detail how ancient religious and clinical healers used various natural products for dental repairs and pain control. Anthropology research can assist in the discovery of the plants residues and the geological materials used on ancient teeth, providing insights to ancient oral health care techniques, informing the evolution of modern dental care.

Dr. Colvard earned a dental degree and Certificate in Periodontics from Loyola University.  Dr. Colvard is a graduate of Seabury-Western Episcopal Theological Seminary and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he earned a Master in Theological Studies (MTS) and Master's in Science (MS) degree respectively.  Dr. Colvard earned his Ph.D. in Theology and Medical Anthropology from the Graduate Theological Foundation’s Oxford Foundation House/Oxford (UK) Program. Dr. Colvard earned a Diploma in Oral Medicine (M OMed RCSEd) and has active Fellowship in Dental Surgery (FDS) within the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), United Kingdom.

Areas of Expertise 

  • Periodontal and Oral Diseases
  • Medical Anthropology and Natural Products for Dentistry
  • Dental Responder and Humanitarian Response
  • Global Health Diplomacy

Medical anthropology and ethnopharmacology research associated with plants and other natural products used for oral medicine conditions, pains and pathologies.

“I study the medical anthropology of plants used in dental care since the time of written history, about 3000 B.C.” 
-- Dr. Michael D. Colvard


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Research Currently in Progress

Dr. Colvard's research focuses on the following areas.

Spectrographic research studying the artifacts, specimens, and plants used for ancient dental disease, and how these religious and clinical traditions will impact modern dental care.
ADA / ANSI / NIST compliant Directed Energy technologies and therapies for Oral Medicine and Pharmacognosy (OMPL)
Dental support to pandemic, all-hazard, biometric, and forensic preparedness - Dental Medicine Responder Training (DMRT)