Jin Hee Kwak, D.D.S., M.S.
Adjunct Associate Professor
(310) 825-4384
UCLA School of Dentistry
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951668
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668


Jin Hee Kwak, D.D.S., M.S. joined the faculty of the UCLA School of Dentistry, Section of Orthodontics, upon completion of the UCLA post-doctoral orthodontics training program in 2013. She obtained board-certification through the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) in 2014 and was the Clinic Director of the UCLA orthodontic clinic in 2015-2018. Dr. Kwak participates in the ABO Educators Symposium annually to review and update board policies and the direction of orthodontic education. Her clinical expertise includes adolescent growth-modification, adolescent and adult orthodontics, multidisciplinary craniofacial deformity treatment, orthodontics for orthognathic surgery via conventional and surgery-first approaches and TMJ disorder. For these treatment modalities, Dr. Kwak utilizes various tools such as clear aligners, lingual braces, orthodontic micro-implants and botulinum toxin. She has received fellowship awards from the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation every year since 2015.

Educational & Professional Background

·         B.S./D.D.S., Yonsei University, S. Korea, 2009

·         M.S., Oral Biology, UCLA, 2012

·         Certificate, Orthodontics, UCLA, 2013

·         Certificate, American Board of Orthodontics, 2014

Research & Interests

Dr. Kwak’s research focus is in musculoskeletal and craniofacial bone regeneration. Dr. Kwak is a recipient of a K08 award from the NIDCR/NIH and a co-investigator in several NIAMS/NIH grants. Dr. Kwak is also a co-investigator and project manager for “RR-5” spaceflight mission supported by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The spaceflight mission aims to investigate NELL-1-based systemic therapy to combat bone loss and fat marrow formation in both space travelers and patients suffering extreme cases of osteoporosis. The mission involves man’s first live-return of drug-treated rodents from the International Space Station (ISS) to recover and continue therapy on Earth. With this work, Dr. Kwak and her team has been awarded the 2018 ISS Innovation Award from the American Astronautical Society.

Dr. Kwak also serves as an organizer for the UCLA Musculoskeletal Seminar Series hosted by the Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center (OHRC). This seminar, held every Thursday, serves as one of the central educational themes for the collaborative effort among three NIH T32 training grants: Regenerative Musculoskeletal Medicine Training Program (AR059033), Muscle Cell Biology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics (AR065972), and Translational Research Training in Pediatric Nephrology (TDK104687). For the past 5+ years, this weekly seminar brings together a healthy mixture of clinicians and basic scientists, including postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research staff, who work on various aspects of bone, muscle and cartilage biology from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Bioengineering among others.

Professional Memberships

·         2010-Present. Member, International and American Association of Dental Research (IADR/AADR)

·         2010-Present. Member, American Association of Orthodontics (AAO)

·         2013-Present. Member, American Dental Education Association (ADEA)

·         2014-Present. Member, American Dental Association (ADA)

·         2014-Present, Member, College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics


·         Colgate Research in Prevention Travel Award, 2011, International and American Association for Dental Research (IADR/AADR)

·         Charley Schultz Resident Scholar Award, 2011, American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)

·         Johnson & Johnson Hatton Award, 2014, American Association for Dental Research (AADR)

·         Robert E. Binder Teaching Fellowship Award, 2016, American Association of Orthodontists Foundation (AAOF)

·         Willie and Earl Shepard Fellowship Award, 2017, American Association of Orthodontists Foundation (AAOF)

·         K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award, 2017, NIDCR/NIH

·         2018 ISS Innovation Award, American Astronautical Society

·         Colgate Award for Research Excellence (CARE), 2018, Colgate Palmolive Company

·         Biomedical Research Award, 2018, American Association of Orthodontists Foundation (AAOF)

Representative Publications

·         Zheng, Z., Yin, W., Zara, J.N., Li, W., Kwak, J., Mamidi, R., Lee, M., Siu, R.K., Ngo R., Wang, J., Carpenter, D., Zhang, X., Wu, B., Ting, K., Soo, C. The use of BMP-2 coupled-nanosilver-PLGA composite grafts to induce bone repair in grossly infected segmental defects. Biomaterials 2010, 31 (35): 9293-9300. PMID: 20864167.

·         Baek, M.S., Choi, Y.J., Yu, H.S., Lee, K.J., Kwak, J., Park, Y.C. Long-term stability of anterior open-bite treatment by intrusion of maxillary posterior teeth. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2010 Oct;138(4):396.e1-9.

·         Zhang, X., Peault, B., Chen, W., Li, W., Corselli, M., James A.W., Lee, M., Siu, R.K., Pang, S., Zheng, Z., Shen, J., Kwak, J., Zara, J.N., Chen, F., Zhang, H., Yin, Z., Wu, B., Ting, K., Soo, C. The Nell-1 Growth Factor Stimulates Bone Formation by Purified Human Perivascular Cells. Tissue Eng Part A. 2011 Oct;17(19-20):2497-509. PMID: 21615216.

·         Kwak, J., Zara, J.N., Chiang, M., Ngo R., Shen, J., James, A.W., Le, K.M., Moon, C., Zhang, X., Gou Z., Ting, K., Soo, C. NELL-1 Injection Maintains Long-bone Quantity and Quality in an Ovariectomy-induced Osteoporotic Senile Rat Model. Tissue Eng Part A. 2013 Feb;19(3-4):426-36. PMID: 23083222.

·         Kwak, J., Zhang, Y., Park, J.Y., Chen, E., Shen, J., Chawan, C., Tanjaya, J., Lee, S., Zhang, X., Wu, B., Ting, K., Soo, C. Pharmacokinetics and Osteogenic Potential of PEGylated NELL-1 In Vivo After Systemic Administration. Biomaterials. 2015 Jul;57:73-83. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.03.063. PMID: 25913252.

·         Dasy, H. & Dasy, A., Asatrian, G., Rozsa, N., Lee, H.F., Kwak, J. Influence of Variable Attachment Shapes and Aligner Material on Aligner Retention. Angle Orthodontist. 2015 Nov;85(6):934-40. doi: 10.2319/091014-637.1. PMID: 26516708.

·         Shi, J., Lee, S., Pan, H.C., Mohammad, A., Lin, A., Guo, W., Chen, E., Ahn, A., Li, J., Ting, K., Kwak, J. Association of Condylar Bone Quality with TMJ Osteoarthritis. Journal of Dental Research 2017. May 1:22034517707515. doi: 10.1177/0022034517707515. PMID: 28476093 

Additional Information

Journal Reviewer:

·         2012–Present. Ad hoc reviewer, Tissue Engineering 

·         2013–Present. Ad hoc reviewer, Oral Health and Dental Management 

·         2015-Present. Ad hoc reviewer, Angle Orthodontist