Dr. Dixon grew up on a family-owned golf course in Fairmont City, Ill. The 9-hole course has since been purchased by the State and designated protected wetlands, but Debra still loves to golf, loves Southern Illinois and is dedicated to her profession. She is the President of the Madison District Dental Society this year.
She's also dedicated to SIUE. "I truly love this university," she said. "I never dreamed of going to college anywhere else." She received her bachelor's from SIUE and her D.M.D. from the SIU School of Dental Medicine before going on to get her MSc in dental radiology from the University of London, England in 2002.
An advocate for community health care, Dr. Dixon plays a key role in the SIU School of Dental Medicine's annual Give Kids a Smile Day, which provided nearly $40,000 worth of free dental treatment for the area's underserved children in 2007.
Working collaboratively with colleague and mentor, Dr. Charles Hildebolt at Washington University, Dr. Dixon was awarded a $57,000 National Institute of Health (NIH) grant to study the impact of calcium and vitamin D on chronic periodontitits in men and women generally over the age of 50. The study will conclude in April 2009 and will provide valuable information in understanding preventive periodontal disease (gum disease) measures.