School of Dentistry loses faculty member Charles Schachtele

Dr. Charles Schachtele, a faculty member at the School of Dentistry for forty years, suffered a heart attack and passed away June 11 in Peoria, Arizona. At the time of his death, he taught microbiology courses for pre-doctoral and graduate students at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Prior to that, he served as Director of the Dental Research Institute (1987-2002) and as associate dean for research from 1998-2002. Dr. Schachtele was 66 years old.

Dr. Schachtele joined the School of Dentistry’s microbiology program in 1968. Initially involved with research efforts involving the 29 virus, in the early 1970s his research focus shifted to the study of the role oral bacteria play in causing dental decay. His interest in caries-related research spanned four decades and included investigations related to: 1. Carbohydrate metabolism by cariogenic bacteria; 2) in situ and in vitro acid production by cariogenic bacteria; 3) diet and dental caries; 4) passive immunization against cariogenic and periodontopathic bacterial; and 5) polymicrobial and host factor interactions in human dental plaque formation. His most recent research focused on the role of salivary components in bacterial gene expression during plaque development.

Dr. Schachtele received his master of science and doctorate degrees in microbiology from the University of Minnesota. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Career Development Award (1971-1976); the Basic Research in Oral Science Award from the International Association of Dental Research (1977); and the Distinguished Dental Scholar Award of the University of Texas School of Dentistry (1982). He held five visiting professorships in nutrition supported by the National Dairy Council (1985-91) and was a scientific lecturer (1986-93) for the Institute of Food Technologists. In 1986, he was appointed to the Task Force of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). He also held the Visiting Professor Fellowship of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (1994), and was a member of the National Institutes of Health Oral Biology and Medicine Subcommittee 1 (1998-2001) and the National Research Council of the National Academies Ford Foundation pre- and post-doctoral Fellowship Program (2002-2005).

Dr. Schachtele is survived by his wife, Theresa; his mother, Agnes (Pat) Schachtele; son, Jon Schachtele and three grandchildren; sisters Patricia Miller and Frances Dorhout; and brother Alan Schachtele.

Read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's obituary of Dr. Charles Schachtele.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Dr. Charles Schachtele was held Thursday, June 19 in the McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

The family requests memorials to establish an endowed graduate fellowship fund be directed to: University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Development Office, 515 Delaware St. S.E. #15-136, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

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