Former dean inducted into Korean Hall of Fame in Science and Technology

Posted on: Friday, 01/19/2018

Dr. No-Hee Park, dean emeritus and distinguished professor of dentistry and medicine at UCLA, was selected out hundreds of nominees as a “Person of Distinguished Service to Science and Technology” by the Republic of Korea and will be inducted into the country’s Hall of Fame in Science and Technology.

Park is the youngest of the 32 individuals selected, of whom only 10 are still alive. This is the first time in its history the Korean government is recognizing individuals considered pioneers in the science and technology fields.

Park served as the dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry for 18 years where he directed an approximately $90 million budget, with 400 full- and part-time faculty, 450 dental students, 91 dental residents and a staff of 300 employees. Notably, he was the first Korean-American appointed dean at a U.S. university. Under his tenure, the school is now recognized worldwide as a leading research-intensive dental school.

As a major scientist in the oral and craniofacial research community, Park has authored more than 190 scientific publications in research journals. His research has primarily focused on oral cancer, specifically the role of human papillomavirus in the development of cancer; the aging process, including osteoporosis, and, most recently, he is exploring the relationship between periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases. He has made influential contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of oral cancer development which have resulted in many advances in translational and interdisciplinary health science research.

Park has also been recognized for his dedicated academic leadership, including the William J. Gies Award for Vision, Innovation and Achievement, a fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Distinguished Alumnus Award from Georgia Health Sciences University and the Seoul National University Alumnus of the Year. In 2009, the “Dr. No-Hee Park Endowed Chair in Dentistry” was established at UCLA in honor of his outstanding achievements in biomedical research and his leadership as dean.

During the past two decades, Park has trained more than 100 research students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting faculty members. Most of his mentees are presently faculty members of dental schools, medical schools and colleges of life science in the U.S. and many other countries including Korea, Japan China and Europe.

Park received his D.D.S. degree and certificate in periodontics from Seoul National University. After he migrated to the U.S., he received a doctorate in pharmacology from the Medical College of Georgia, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Medical School Eye Research Institute and then a doctor of dental medicine degree from Harvard University.

As a world-class researcher and an adept academic leader and administrator, Park’s scientific contributions and academic achievements are a testament to the impact he has made in the health science research community, on future generations of students in science and technology and, particularly, in the dental education and biomedical research communities.