George W. Burke Jr. Graduate Student Fund for Oral Health Research
Dr. George W. Burke Jr. published much of the original research on calcium hydroxyapatite and pulpal microbiology. He was a man of science who had a profound appreciation for the arts. In addition to being a faculty member at MCV Hospital, where he taught anatomy and dental histology, he also held the appointment of Professor of Dentistry at the School of Dentistry where he consulted and lectured on numerous dental topics. He also served as the editor of the Virginia Dental Journal from 1970 until 1984. Burke’s students often described him as having a uniquely bright mind. His commitment to quality research and truth in publishing served as an edifying example for all those who knew him, especially younger faculty members. His editorials often were a reflection of the unusually broad scope of his interests and they consistently urged the reader to improve their minds, to be as insatiably curious as he was, and to extend activities beyond the limitations of dentistry.
In 2017, Dr. George Burke III and his wife, Lyons Hardy Burke created this fund as a way to honor George Burke Jr.’s passion for oral research and his devotion to inspire students. Burke III has fond boyhood memories of doing his homework in a small office in the VCU Dental Building 1 while his father worked upstairs in his lab. He credits being exposed to cadavers at an early age in MCV anatomy labs as having sparked his interest in medicine. Burke retired from practice as a pulmonary specialist in 2014. This fund will provide professional development funding for oral health research graduate students in the Philips Institute for Oral Health Research.