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Charlotte M. Mistretta
Regents' Proceedings

Charlotte M. Mistretta, Ph.D., William R. Mann Professor of Dentistry and professor of dentistry in the School of Dentistry, retired from active faculty status on August 31, 2021.

Professor Mistretta received her B.A. (1966) degree in biology, cum laude, from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. and her M.S. (1968) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees in biological sciences from Florida State University. Her post-doctoral training was at the Nuffield Institute for Medical Research, University of Oxford, England. She joined the University of Michigan School of Dentistry as senior research associate in 1972, and was appointed assistant research scientist in 1974, associate research scientist in 1976, and research scientist in 1982. She was appointed professor with tenure in 1991 and served as the inaugural director of the Oral Health Sciences Ph.D. Program from 1993-2010. She held appointments in the Center for Human Growth and Development on the primary research track (1975-96), and in the School of Nursing as associate professor with tenure (1975-83), professor (1983-2002), and interim director of the Center for Nursing Research (1985-88). She was named the William R. Mann Professor of Dentistry in 2003 and was associate dean for research and Ph.D. training from 2005-13. She received the U-M Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 2015.

Professor Mistretta was internationally recognized for her research on taste development. She demonstrated prenatal taste function in mammalian peripheral and central nervous systems, with in vivo fetal physiological studies; developed the first embryonic, whole tongue organ culture; and, led the field in identifying regulatory pathways for taste receptor development and homeostasis. Throughout her career, she had NSF and NIH research grants. From 1976, she served on NIH study sections and advisory councils. She received numerous research honors including a Research Career Development Award, NIH; the Claude Pepper NIH Award for research excellence; and the Kerry-Manheimer Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemosensory Sciences, Monell Chemical Senses Center. As a founding member of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, 1978, she served as president and in other major offices. She was named member, Phi Beta Kappa, Epsilon Chapter, District of Columbia, Trinity College, for distinguished achievements. She taught across the DDS curriculum, mentored numerous post- doctoral fellows and Ph.D. students, and received the Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award in 2018. She had a remarkable record of university service, serving on the Rackham Executive Board, budget priorities committees, provost advisory boards, central leadership search committees, and on MICHR, Organogenesis and MCubed Leadership teams.

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member by naming Charlotte M. Mistretta, William R. Mann Professor Emerita of Dentistry and professor emerita of dentistry.