Dean's Message

Posted on: Wednesday, 10/28/2015

Dear Student, Residents, Trainees, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

I hope that everyone’s fall academic quarter has been productive and fulfilling.

We started this quarter by welcoming the Class of 2019 at our annual White Coat Ceremony. Year after year, I continue to be impressed by the high caliber of incoming students. In fact, this year’s admitted DDS program students had an average of 23 on the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This score is in the 99th percentile and the highest average ever for an incoming class. This also marked the last White Coat Ceremony that I will preside over, as I have announced that I will be stepping down from my post as the Dean. It has been an incredible honor to lead this dental school at UCLA and my years here have been some of the greatest of my professional career.

Highlights from this past summer and the beginning of this quarter:

We recently held our third annual Wilshire Bank Screening and Treatment Day events. We served a record number of people. More than 250 adults and children were screened and more than 130 received some form of dental care. This program continues to fulfill our mission of improving the oral health of the people of California.

Several of our pre-doctoral, residents and research trainees received awards for their academic and research achievements. Congratulations to all of those students and trainees who were recognized for their accomplishments.

Our research faculty continue to be leaders in the creation of new knowledge through their research endeavors. There were several successful studies that appeared in leading research journals, including a way to improve root canal therapy with the introduction of antibiotic-laced Nanodiamonds, and the discovery of a protein, which helps suppress cancer, that fades as we age.

Additionally, from the start of the 2015-2016 fiscal year until now, we have already been awarded more than $16.6 million in new contracts and grants. Most notably, Dr. Honghu Liu received $4 million to study medication adherence through an edible sensor. Dr. Cun-Yu Wang was awarded nearly $2.4 million to develop novel strategies for dental and craniofacial tissue regeneration. Dr. Francisco Ramos-Gomez was awarded $2 million to incentivize caregivers to prevent caries in young children, assess child oral health outcomes, and evaluate cost-effectiveness of the intervention.

In July, we announced the establishment of the School’s ninth endowed chair. The United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles Endowed Chair in Special Patient Care was created to support teaching, research and patient care for special-needs patients, with a goal to advance oral health care for people with developmental disabilities and other medically vulnerable patients. Following the announcement, we appointed Dr. Eric Sung as the inaugural holder of this endowed chair. Congratulations to Dr. Sung, it is a well-deserved honor.

The School’s Alumni Association chose the 2016 Alumnus of the Year -- Dr. Tom Rauth ’73. Dr. Rauth was instrumental in growing the Apollonian Society to what it is today. I look forward to presenting him the award at next year’s Alumni Day event.

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

Sincerely,

Dr. No-Hee Park
Dean & Distinguished Professor 

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