Dr. Ilka C. Ríos possesses a Doctor in Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) - Medical Sciences Campus (MSC), School of Dental Medicine (1980). She is a professor at the UPR-MSC, School of Dental Medicine, Surgical Sciences Department. Currently she co-directs a collaborative training program between the UPR and the University of Texas (UT), M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), in Houston, funded by NIH-National Cancer Institute (NCI).
As part of her formal training, she completed a two year residency program in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and a Postdoctoral Master of Science in Oral Biology from UMKC-School of Dentistry (1985), and a Fellowship from Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM), Drexel College of Medicine, Philadelphia (2004).
In 1999, Dr. Ríos was appointed as Dean for Student Affairs of the UPR Medical Sciences Campus (MSC). She held this appointment for nine (9) continuous years (until October 2008), during that period a comprehensive strategic plan was implemented; for the Student Agenda and the Institutional Alumni and Fundraising Initiative. In October of 2009, she was appointed Interim Dean for Academic Affairs (Provost) of UPR-MSC, and later certified as Dean by the UPR Board of Trustees as Dean (January 2011). She held this position for 3.5 years. In this last position Dr. Ríos was responsible of overseeing seven institutional research programs and institutes, most funded by NIH programs and projects, among them, RCMI, MBRS-SCORE, MBRS-RISE, the Institute of Neurobiology, the Behavioral Sciences Research Institute, the Women’s Health Center and the Puerto Rico Comprehensive Center for the Study of HIV Disparities. In this role she was also responsible for the academic component, faculty development program and the professional accreditation of 65 academic programs within UPR-MSC six professional schools; Medicine, Dental Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions. Under her leadership, as a result of a site visit in April of 2011, the MSC Campus kept its full accreditation status granted by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and all of the academic programs maintained full compliance with the accreditation standards of their individual professional accrediting agencies.
Dr. Ilka Ríos has conducted clinical research in the areas of Oral Cancer and Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders, studying symptoms, imaging, and treatment, which findings have been presented at national meetings, such as, the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) and the International Association of Dental Research (IADR). She has also presented educational projects in national meetings, such as, the annual meeting of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA – previously known as AADS) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). She conducts a TMJ Disorders Clinic, once a week, at the School of Dental Medicine Intramural Faculty Practice.
She has actively pursued a career in Academic Health Sciences since 1980, developing scholastically in the areas of teaching, research, health services, and administration. Other previous experiences include holding the appointments of Associate Professor in Granada University, Spain, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UPR-School of Dental Medicine, being in charge of the Faculty Development Program and the professional accreditations processes of the predoctoral and postdoctoral academic programs. She has received various honors, such as, the distinguished recognition of being elected to the Scientific and Cultural Ibero-American Academy of Puerto Rico (1998). In 2011, she was also honored with a distinguished faculty award and offered member elect status toOmicron Kappa Upsilon(OKU) Dental Honor Society, UPR Chapter. Currently she holds the position of President of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute of People with Disabilities (a non-profit organization which is a subsidiary of Young Adult Institute (YAI) of New York). She is also a volunteer for the Puerto Rico Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
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