Dean's Message

Posted on: Friday, 09/12/2014

Dear Students, Faculty, Residents, Trainees, Staff and Friends,

No-Hee Park

The start of the fall quarter is when we welcome a new class of dental students, made up of young and talented individuals from all over the country, and the incoming Class of 2018 is no exception. Attracting the best and the brightest is among the things that UCLA Dentistry is known for and we pride ourselves on providing them an education of exceptional value.

Last Tuesday, we held our annual White Coat Ceremony, and I was impressed at the caliber of the undergraduate majors and where they were earned. I already know that this class will exceed our expectations, just as the classes before them. I can sense the excitement that the students have for their future careers. After four years here, I know they will feel the same passion and drive that they feel now – passion for the dental profession, and drive to acquire even more knowledge and training.

We are about a quarter of the way through our 50th Anniversary Celebration timeline, which we kicked off in May at our Annual Alumni Day. To commemorate this important milestone, a series of events is taking place throughout this academic year, culminating with a celebratory gala event next May. I encourage everyone to join us at the upcoming festivities.

The summer months were filled with many achievements. One of our pre-doctoral students was awarded the coveted Charles E. Young Humanitarian Award for his work with homeless veterans. Another student was accepted into the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship where she will work with a community site to provide oral healthcare to infants and young children. We were also well represented at the spring CDA Presents event in Anaheim, where UCLA took home six student poster awards.

Many of our research faculty members were awarded notable new grants and contracts over the last few months. Dr. Kang Ting was awarded an R01 grant for $2.1MM from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to develop better therapeutics for osteoporosis. Dr. Sotirios Tetradis was also awarded an R01 grant for nearly $1.9MM from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, to study the mechanisms behind bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw. Additionally, Dr. Cun-Yu Wang had original research published in one of the leading science publications, Nature Medicine, about his team’s discovery of a key growth factor that could prevent bone loss in osteoporosis.

Our faculty members continue to lead the dental profession in terms of awards, noteworthy editorial positions and an overall high-standard of excellence in their scholarly and research activities. Highlights included, Drs. Dean Ho and Takahiro Ogawa who both received research awards from the International Association for Dental Research and Dr. Christine Quinn who received the American Student Dental Association’s 2014 Leonard M. Monheim Award for professional achievements in dental anesthesiology.

In May we held our Annual Alumni Day and recognized some very special supporters of the school, Mrs. Shirley and Mr. Ralph Shapiro as Co-Honorary Alumnus of the Year; and Drs. Doug Yoon and Adam Chen as Co-Alumnus of the Year. All awards were well-deserved and we are forever grateful to these individuals for their years of support.

In the coming months, there are several opportunities for the new dental students to meet faculty and the entire school to become involved. An All-School Picnic will be held on Saturday, October 18th following our Annual Alumni Breakfast and Lecture. We will be holding a large-scale Clinic Day on Thursday, October 16th, with lectures by our world-renowned faculty members and a poster presentation/competition for our students, residents, and trainees. I hope that you will join us for these exciting events.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and I encourage everyone to learn more about what makes the UCLA School of Dentistry such an amazing place to study, learn, educate, and work.

Sincerely,

No-Hee Park, DMD, PhD
Dean & Distinguished Professor

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