Achievements & Awards Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics Faculty Research Researchers Science

School of Dentistry faculty member Joshua J. Emrick named Kavli Fellow by National Academy of Sciences4 min read

April 29, 2024

School of Dentistry faculty member Joshua J. Emrick named Kavli Fellow by National Academy of Sciences4 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., April 29, 2024 – The National Academy of Sciences has named School of Dentistry faculty member Dr. Joshua J. Emrick as a Kavli Fellow, part of a program that brings together outstanding young scientists to discuss advances and opportunities in a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Dr. Joshua J. Emrick

Emrick, an assistant professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics, attended the annual Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium in Irvine, California, in March.

A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee selects Kavli Fellows from among recipients of prestigious fellowships, awards and other honors, as well as from nominations by NAS members and other participants. Fellows learn about cutting-edge research in fields other than their own and join a network of connections that help participants advance in their careers. The Kavli alumni network has more 6,000 members from symposia over the 34-year history of the program, which also supports several international symposia in addition to the U.S. event.

With both a DDS degree and a PhD in neuroscience, Emrick leads a research lab at the School of Dentistry that is focused on exploring the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying how we experience and interact with our oral environment. A Michigan native, Emrick joined the dental school in 2021 after extensive training. He earned his DDS and PhD in oral and craniofacial biology from the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry, completing his dissertation with Dr. David Julius (Nobel Prize, 2021). He conducted his postdoctoral studies with Nicholas Ryba at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the National Institutes of Health as a Dental Clinical Research Fellow. He is a U-M Biological Sciences Scholar and has support from a Career Transition Award (NIDCR K22), the RE-JOIN Consortium (NIAMS UC2), and a Research Project Grant (NIDCR R01).

The Frontiers of Science Symposium in March covered a wide array of topics, from astrophysics to marine biology to sensory biology. “The sheer diversity of topics makes it especially unique and a special opportunity to practice communicating effectively to non-experts,” Emrick said. “Over the three full days, I had dozens of in-depth conversations with a selection of the brightest folks, learned about their latest developments, and came away completely re-invigorated about my own work, the state of scientific research, and its impact on humanity.”

The NAS receives major support for the fellows and symposia program from the Kavli Foundation. Based in Los Angeles, the foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, and supporting scientists and their work. Its founder, the late Fred Kavli, was a Norwegian-born American physicist, entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the Kavlico Corporation. In the early 1960s and continuing for several decades, it became one of the world’s largest suppliers of sensors for aeronautic, automotive and industrial applications, supplying NASA, General Electric and the Ford Motor Company, among others. In addition to providing funding for the Frontiers of Science symposia, the foundation awards the Kavli Prize in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

The NAS is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and – with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine – provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral healthcare education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.