Nini Tran, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
(310) 825-8578
UCLA School of Dentistry
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951668
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668
Office:  23-021A CHS


Dr. Nini Chaichanasakul Tran is an Assistant Professor in the Section of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Tran received her DDS degree and went onto obtain a PhD degree in Oral Biology from UCLA School of Dentistry. She received her residency certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at UCLA School of Dentistry. Dr. Tran is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and truly an advocate for children.

As a dual-trained academic pediatric dentist, her goal is to provide comprehensive oral care for her pediatric patients from the best available scientific evidence and to educate future generation of dentists and scientists by connecting translational sciences and clinical practice. Dr. Tran provides dental education at both predoctoral and postdoctoral levels.


Educational & Professional Background

  •  BS, Biology, UCLA, 2004
  • DDS, UCLA School of Dentistry, 2009

  • PhD, Oral Biology, UCLA School of Dentistry, 2012

  • Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry, UCLA School of Dentistry, 2014


Research & Interests

Dr. Tran’s research focuses on diagnostics and therapeutics of early childhood caries (ECC) related to microbiome and host susceptibility. She conducts basic and translational research examining the role of Streptococcus mutans and the oral microbial communities in children’s susceptibility to ECC.


Professional Memberships

  • Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD)
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)

  • California Society of Pediatric Dentistry (CSPD)

  • International Association for Dental Research (IADR)

  • American Association of Dental Research (AADR)


  • 2018 – 2024 K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award, NIDCR/NIH
  • 2007 – 2011 Ruth L. Kirsten National Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant, UCLA Fundamental Clinical Research Training Grant T32 DE007296

  • 2009 – Omicron Kappa Upsilon - National Dental Honor Society Membership elected by the Epsilon Zeta Chapter at the UCLA School of Dentistry

  • 2009 - Kathy and Randy Wall Endowment Scholarship

Representative Publications

1.   Aleti G, Baker JL, Tang X, Alvarez R, Dinis M, Tran NC, Melnik AV, Zhong C, Ernst M, Dorrestein PC, Edlund A. Identification of the bacterial biosynthetic gene clusters of the oral microbiome illuminates the unexplored social language of bacteria during health and disease. mBio 2019 Apr 16;10(2). pii: e00321-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00321-19. PMID: 30992349 PMCID: PMC6469967

2.  Agnello M., Marques J., Cen L., Mittermuller B., Huang A., Tran N.C., Shi W., He X., Schroth R.J. Microbiome Associated with Severe Caries in Canadian First Nations Children. Journal of Dental Research. 2017 Nov; 96 (12):1378-1385. doi: 10.1177/0022034517718819. Epub 2017 Jul 14. PMID: 28709393; PMCID: PMC5652857

3.  Agnello M., Cen L., Tran N.C., Shi W., McLean J.S., He X. Arginine Improves pH Homeostasis via Metabolism and Microbiome Modulation. Journal of Dental Research. 2017 Jul; 96(8):924-930. doi: 10.1177/0022034517707512. Epub 2017 May 9. PMID: 28486080; PMCID: PMC5502959. 

4.  Chaichanasakul, T., Kang, B., Bezouglaia, O., Aghaloo, T.L., and Tetradis, S., Diverse Osteoclastogenesis of Bone Marrow from Mandible versus Long Bone. Journal of Periodontology. 2014 Jun;85(6):829-36. doi: 10.1902/jop.2013.130376. Epub 2013 Sep 4. PMID: 24003963; PMCID: PMC4472369

5.  Kang, B., Cheong, S., Chaichanasakul, T., Bezouglaia, O., Atti, E., Dry, S. M., Pirih, F., Aghaloo, T.L. & Tetradis, S. Periapical Disease and Bisphosphonates Induce Osteonecrosis of the Jaws in Mice. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2013 Jul;28(7):1631-40. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1894. PMID: 23426919; PMCID: PMC3688704

6.  Aghaloo, T.L., Chaichanasakul, T., Bezouglaia, O., Kang, B., Franco, R., Dry, D.M., Atti, E., and Tetradis, S., Osteogenic Potential of Mandibular vs. Long-bone Marrow Stromal Cells. Journal of Dental Research. 2010 Nov;89(11):1293-8. doi: 10.1177/0022034510378427. Epub 2010 Sep 1. PMID: 20811069; PMCID: PMC3113466

Additional Information

Teaching Activities

  • GDA103, Growth, Development and Aging: The Science of the Face and Tooth, Course Chair

  • IDS301, Interdisciplinary Systems – Pediatric Diagnosis and Treatment Plan, Course Chair

  • AS111, Pediatric Review Course for Professional Program for International Dentists, Course Chair

  • Behavioral Pediatric Dentistry Rotation, Course Chair

  • Comprehensive Pediatric Dentistry Rotation, Course Chair

  • Clinical instructor – Pediatric Dental Residency