Margaret "Peg" Walsh, RDH, MS, MA, EdD, is one of dental hygiene's most prolific researchers. She has authored more than 100 scientific articles and received more than $10 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the state of California. Walsh has conducted studies on topics ranging from tobacco cessation to the use of fluoride varnish in federally qualified medical clinics to prevent caries among low-income children. Through the development of educational materials to assist dental and medical professionals in helping individuals quit tobacco, she has played a significant role in the decline of tobacco use in the United States.
Active in academia, Walsh established the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry. Today, she remains director of the master's program and is a professor in the UCSF School of Dentistry's Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences.
Walsh is also co-author of the textbook Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice, with the late Michele L. Darby, RDH, MS. Since 1995, the textbook has helped dental hygiene students learn how to incorporate evidence-based knowledge into their decision making. Walsh is the 2013 recipient, along with Darby, of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene's The Esther Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award.