Dr. Shigemi Nagai
Dr. Shigemi Ishikawa Nagai is an associate professor of restorative dentistry and biomaterials sciences at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Since arriving at HSDM in 2001, she has been working as a full-time faculty member in prosthodontics and has served as director of advanced dentistry in the DMD program.
Dr. Nagai received her DDS in 1982 and her PhD in 1988, both from Iwate Medical University School of Dentistry in Japan. She also received her board certification in prosthodontics in Japan in 1990. While on sabbatical in Boston, Dr. Nagai received a master’s degree in biomaterials from Boston University Goldman School of Dentistry in 1995. Throughout her career, Dr. Nagai has been dedicated to teaching prosthodontics and mentoring students’ research, first as assistant professor at Iwate Medical School and, since 2001, at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Nagai has received numerous awards recognizing her teaching, including the Distinguished Junior Faculty Award from HSDM in 2004, the Claude R. Baker Teaching Award for excellence in teaching pre-doctoral fixed prosthodontics in 2006, and several Outstanding Teaching Faculty awards from the predoctoral students at HSDM. She also has more than 35 peer-reviewed publications, including one in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry for which she received the Judson C. Hickey Scientific Writing Award in 2006.
Dr. Nagai has been operating the Nagai Lab in the Research and Education Building at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, conducting both clinical and in-vitro research. She continues to mentor numerous predoctoral students and prosthodontics residents, guiding them to publication and research awards.
Fields of Interest
Dr. Nagai’s primary research interest and expertise are in translational and clinical research in color science in dentistry. She was deeply involved in the development of a commercially available dental spectrophotometer that is currently the most reliable color-measuring device in clinical dentistry. Her interest in color science has moved into fluorescence, which can be used for early dental caries detection. Currently, she is focusing on development of a novel optical system for caries detection using an NIR (near-infra-red) fluorescence probe. At the same time, she continues her color science projects, which include computerized color-matching technology for dental restorations and maxillofacial prostheses.