PUCRS Alumnus takes over as professor and clinical director of Harvard University

André Weissheimer took his Masters and PhD in Dentistry at PUCRS and currently works in the North-American institution

18/07/2023 - 15h18

Photo: Personal archive

Master and PhD through PUCRS’s Graduate Program in Dentistry, André Weissheimer recently took over as professor and clinical director of the Program in Orthodontics of Harvard University’s School of Dental Medicine, in the United States. Weissheimer finished his Masters in 2008 and his Doctorate in 2013, in Orthodontics, advised by professor Luciane Macedo de Menezes.

The sandwich doctorate, from a partnership that had already been established by his PUCRS advisor with the University of Southern California (USC), in Los Angeles, was crucial for his future. In 2015, the innovations that resulted from this partnership received private investments for the development of a revolutionary orthodontic treatment. “As a consequence, I decided to move to the United States and contribute to the development of a company of technology and innovation in Orthodontics called InBrace, in Irvine, California. Since 2015, the company has already received 250 million dollars in investments from the Silicon Valley for its technological development,” says Weissheimer.

The decision of establishing permanent residency in the United States was accompanied by the dream of being a renowned orthodontist, with a degree from the American Board of Orthodontics and a member of the prestigious Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontics. “With the support of my wife, Diandra Luz, also a Dental Surgeon with a degree from PUCRS, I finished my residency in Orthodontics at the University of Southern California this year. They were three years of plenty of dedication, learning and sacrifices,” he adds.

Weissheimer began his studies in Dentistry at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, where he also finished his Specialization in Orthodontics in 2006. Later on, he took is Masters and Doctorate at PUCRS, and this year he finished his residency in Orthodontics at USC. The professional has significant experience in cosmetic orthodontic treatment (lingual orthodontics), digital orthodontics, CAD/CAM, cone-beam computed tomography, and personalized braces, with over 40 publications, book chapters and patents in his name. The researcher was on the cover of two of the main clinical orthodontics magazines five times. Many of this publications and patents were made during his activities at PUCRS.

On social media, Weissheimer celebrated the important position he achieved. “I am immensely grateful for the opportunities and experiences I had. With humbleness and gratitude, I take on this new chapter at Harvard, knowing I owe a debt of gratitude to my former colleagues and mentors at PUCRS and UFSC, who made me the professional I am today. Together, we will continue on our search for excellence and to shape the future of our profession,” he celebrated.

Academic distinction

Photo: Personal archive

According to Weissheimer, PUCRS’s PPG in Dentistry was important for the opportunity in the United States for two reasons. “The first was the possibility of doing part of my doctorate research in a prestigious American university, allowing me to interact with new technologies and to establish an international networking. The second, and most important, was the experience of being advised by extraordinary mentors: professors Luciane Macedo de Menezes, Susana Maria Deon Rizzatto and Rogerio Belle de Oliveira, and I take the opportunity to express my deepest admiration and gratitude towards them.”

The important position achieved by the alumnus was also celebrated by the coordinator of the PPG in Dentistry Maximiliano Schunke Gomes. “His work in an institution of high scientific impact in the global scenario also projects PUCRS’s name, and reflects an academic journey profile that has always been in tune with innovation and the industry. This news represents a singular achievement, that mirrors our Program’s international educational reach,” he says.

For professor Luciane Macedo de Menezes, Weissheimer’s advisor during his Masters and Doctorate at PUCRS, the success he achieved came as no surprise. “André has also stood out for his determination and search of excellence. We are thrilled with the accomplishments of our alumni, who, at different levels and in different areas of expertise, are able to show the value of knowledge acquired through serious and consistent work.”

Solid education and clear goals

When asked about what his advice would be for someone who is starting their career in Dentistry, Weissheimer stressed the important of seeking out good mentors and having clear medium- and long-term goals. “The class question ‘Who do I want to be in five years?’ is a guide not only to decide what to focus on, but mostly to know what to renounce. The care and attention given to the patient should always come first, with treatments made in an integrated manner and based on science and on the search for excellence,” he comments.

The professor complements by saying that, in a world where fads and immediacy seem to prevail, it is crucial to seek a solid education and to master basic concepts. “Improvement of techniques is a process that requires time, and excellence comes from dedication and patience ‘Mastery is not a destination, but a lifelong journey of growth and self-improvement’”, he concludes.

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