Costello Appointed New Dean of Dental Medicine

Bernard J. Costello, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery, has been named dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Arthur Levine announced last month. Costello had been serving as interim dean since February 2018. He began his deanship on April 1 and succeeds Thomas W. Braun, who retired in January after having served as dean for 18 years.

“Dr. Costello is deeply committed to our School of Dental Medicine, its faculty and students, and their success,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am pleased to welcome him — officially — to this role and excited to watch the School continue to flourish under his direction.”  

Costello joined Pitt’s faculty in 2001 in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and he has served as the School’s associate dean for faculty affairs and senior associate dean. He directed translational research for the School of Dental Medicine and the oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program until 2016 and he remains the fellowship director for pediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery. Costello is chief of both the Division of Craniofacial and Cleft Surgery in the School of Dental Medicine and the Division of Pediatric Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

“We are fortunate that our own faculty member, with years of commitment to his School, to our University and to our medical center, and who is recognized nationally and internationally for his research and clinical and educational achievements, has chosen to serve as our dean,” said Levine, who is also the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Pitt’s School of Medicine.

Throughout his career, Costello has been published extensively and secured more than $6.6 million in grants and funding for his research, which has focused on bone scaffolding for craniofacial regeneration, the roles of various proteins in craniofacial regeneration and other aspects of bone tissue engineering.

“As health care educators and researchers, we are tasked with providing new ideas and solutions to complex problems,” said Costello. “I have seen the School of Dental Medicine grow and evolve over the years, and I am excited for the opportunity to lead our students and faculty into a future that is focused on advancing oral health care through interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration.”

Costello earned his Bachelor of Science in biological science from the University of Scranton, followed by doctorates in medicine and dental medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Pitt, he completed training at the University of Pennsylvania Health System followed by the Georgetown University Medical Center. Costello is currently the president-elect of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.