Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, has served as dean of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and senior vice president of Columbia University Medical Center since August 1, 2013. He received his DMD and DrMedDent degrees from the University of Bern, Switzerland, where he also obtained certificates in oral surgery and prosthodontics. From 2003-2013, he was the dean of the School of Dentistry, University of Maryland, where he led a curriculum update, oversaw Maryland’s expansion to become the largest public dental school in the U.S., re-engineered the school’s business operation, and expanded the school’s global presence.
Before joining the University of Maryland, he held several positions at the University of Michigan, including professor at the School of Dentistry, research scientist at the Center for Human Growth and Development, director of research at the School of Dentistry, and professor and chair of the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences. While at Michigan, he was named the William R. Mann professor and held the Roy & Natalie Roberts endowed chair.
Dean Stohler is a leading expert on pain management and on jaw disorders such as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJD). He has helped lead National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded work into the genetics, endocrinology, and neurobiology of the human response to pain—particularly in patients with TMJD, a chronic and painful jaw joint disorder that affects from 5–12 percent of the population. He was a member of the team that was the first to show that thinking that a placebo will relieve pain is enough to prompt the brain to release endorphins, the body’s own painkillers, and that this corresponds with a reduction in how much pain a person experiences. Dr. Stohler’s more than 120 articles and book chapters have been cited more than 5,400 times.