Alumni News

Posted on: Wednesday, 02/19/2014

Announcing the 2014 Alumni & Honorary Alumni of the Year

Co-Alumni of the YearDrs. Douglas Yoon and Adam Chen were selected as the 2014 School of Dentistry’s Co-Alumni of the Year. Dr. Yoon (pictured right) graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1983 and quickly made a career change by working as a senior scientist at Logicon/RDA from 1983 to 1997.  His research areas included digital signal analysis, pattern recognition and process automation.  He left Logicon to join the School of Dentistry as a part-time lecturer in the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology from 1998 to 2003. In 2000, he and Dr. Adam Chen started a company that would later become Cyber Medical Imaging, Inc. (incorporated 2003 - DBA XDR Radiology).  He has served at Cyber Medical Imaging as President and Chief Technology Officer from its inception to the present day.

Dr. Chen (pictured left) also graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1983 and over the last 30 years has worked in private practice performing general dentistry. He is the co-founder of Cyber Medical Imaging, Inc. with Dr. Yoon. He helped design the XDR graphic user interface and, along with Dr. Yoon, has published a number of patents in the field of dental digital imaging. Dr. Chen still treats patients two days a week and has served at Cyber Medical Imaging, Inc. as a Vice President and Director of Clinical Operations from its inception to the present day. 

Mrs. Shirley & Ralph ShapiroMrs. Shirley and Mr. Ralph Shapiro were selected as the 2014 School of Dentistry’s Co-Honorary Alumni of the Year. Both Shirley and Ralph went to UCLA, Shirley received a BA in Education and Ralph received a BS in Business and Finance and a JD. The couple has a long history of generous service and philanthropy in the community. Specifically to the School of Dentistry, the Shapiros have provided scholarships to our dental students, established the Dr. No-Hee Park Endowed Chair in Dentistry and have supported the Section of Hospital Dentistry as well as the Apollonian Society Annual Fund.

Dr. Yoon, Dr. Chen and the Shapiros will be honored at the 2014 Alumni Association Luncheon on Saturday, May 17, 2014 in Anaheim, in conjunction with the kick-off of the School’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Congratulations to Dr. Yoon, Dr. Chen, and Shirley and Ralph.


Connecting Alumni with Dental Students

Dinner with 12 Students    Dinner with 12 StudentsOur first Dinner for 12 Dental Students program was a huge success. The program, organized by the Class of 2016, was modeled after the award winning “Dinner for 12 Strangers” program that UCLA has traditionally hosted since 1968. The organizers of the School of Dentistry’s version wanted to create a similar opportunity by bringing dental students and alumni together in a casual setting outside of the classroom. Over the course of nine alumni-hosted dinners, on the weekends of August 17-18 and 24-26, more than 100 dental students had an opportunity to socialize with their professors and local alumni.

The dental students found the program to be extremely insightful as it provided a perspective into a world outside of dental school. The common feedback among the participating alumni was that they enjoyed connecting with the students. The Dinner for 12 Dental Students program was very successful. Future plans are to invite more alumni and faculty and make the program an annual tradition.


Making a Career of Public Service

At a June 17th ceremony in Washington D.C., Dr. Neilesh Patel, an alumnus from the Class of 2008, was given the “National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service For an Individual Under Age 35.”

Since graduating, Dr. Patel has dedicated his time and expertise to providing dental services to those communities and people that really need it. Specifically in Bakersfield, Calif. and El Paso, Texas, locations that are given a Health Professional Shortage score by the Health and Human Services department. He now calls Porterville, Calif. home, where he continues to help others less fortunate. Read the full press release.


Recognizing Pediatric Dentistry Faculty & Residents

Pediatric Dentistry Alumni EventOn Friday, July 26th, the Section of Pediatric Dentistry held their Annual Alumni Day at the UCLA Faculty Center. More than 75 alumni, staff, and faculty attended the event. The gathering presented a valuable opportunity for alumni to network with colleagues and to hear about updates happening in the section.

During the day portion of the event, attendees had the opportunity to hear the graduating class of 2013 presenting their research projects. The attendees alsoheard from guest speaker, Dr. Marcio Guelmann, an Associate Professor from the University of Florida on “Evidence-based Pulp Therapy for the Primary Dentition.” During the evening portion of the event, volunteer faculty were recognized for their hard work, along with Drs. Ruth Becker, Scott Jacks, Les Latner, Elena Rumack, and Bill Zanger, the 2013 "Pedo Heroes."

From left to right: Drs. Chey, Ramos-Gomez, Ramirez  and Jacks.

A special thanks to the Friends of Pediatric Dentistry for hosting refreshments.


Former Graduate Lead Author in Major Dental Publication

Congratulations to alumni, Jennifer Crowe '06, for being a lead author on an article that made the cover of the Journal of the American Dental Association's September issue. The research article focused on,Minimally invasive resin infiltration of arrested white-spot lesions.