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Memoir

Melvyn J. Baer
Regent's Proceedings 536

On January 1, 1983, Melvyn Jerome Baer, M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Dentistry, retires from active service with the School of Dentistry of The University of Michigan, after more than 15 years on the faculty.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Baer was trained in anthropology at the University of Chicago, earning the M.A. degree in 1944 (in a combined B.A.-M.A. program) and the Ph.D. degree in 1954, having interrupted his education to join the army in World War II. Following his discharge from the service in 1945, he worked as an anthropologist in the Research and Development Branch of the Office of the Quartermaster General and in that position participated in the Army Anthropometric Survey. In March 1948 he returned to The University of Chicago to resume his graduate studies. The year 1950 found him employed in Detroit as a physical anthropologist, teaching physical development courses, conducting research on growth, and chairing the teaching program for the Merrill-Palmer Institute, a position he held for 14 years. Beginning in 1954, he additionally taught courses in craniofacial growth to orthodontic students at the University of Detroit Dental School, which institution he joined on a full-time basis as professor of oral biology in 1964. In 1967 he became a member of the faculty at The University of Michigan School of Dentistry as Professor in Orthodontics.

Dr. Baer made important contributions to fundamental research in craniofacial biology, especially as it relates to an understanding and analysis of individual variation. His studies centered on the growth of the skull, using vital staining in a rat model. He provided strong research leadership for graduate students in the orthodontics department and supervised numerous master's dissertations. In addition, he is the author of a large number of publications, including an atlas on postnatal development of the rat skull and a textbook on physical development. He held membership in many professional organizations related to anthropology and craniofacial biology and served as special consultant to the Oral and Pharyngeal Development Section of the National Institute of Dental Research.

The Regents now salute this distinguished health educator for his dedicated service by naming him Professor Emeritus of Dentistry.