Faculty News

Posted on: Thursday, 10/27/2016

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Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award Goes to Dr. Ronald Mito

Dr. Ronald Mito, professor of clinical dentistry and executive associate dean for academic programs and personnel, was awarded the 2016 Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award by the California Dental Association. Dr. Mito is a member of the D.D.S. Class of 1976 and completed his general practitioner residency the following year. He teaches several courses, including a course he co-developed for first-year students.

Dr. Mito has served in more than a dozen leadership capacities locally, statewide, and nationally, including trustee of the California Dental Association, president of the American Association of Hospital Dentists and member of ADA Council on Government Affairs. Additionally, his community involvement over many years has earned him several awards and honors. He was a governor’s appointee to the Dental Board of California. During his tenure, he helped to initiate the portfolio licensing efforts that involved collaboration between all schools and organized dentistry. He was also appointed by the secretary of Health and Human Services to the first advisory committee on training in primary care medicine and dentistry which was advisory to the Secretary and Congress. He was instrumental in the use of graduate medical education (GME) funding to support dental residency programs.  

Mito has focused his academic creativity on the management of dental fear and anxiety and the professional development of dental students. He is recognized as an innovator in office-based dentistry under anesthesia for patients with severe phobias and anxieties.

“Dr. Dugoni has been and still is a role model and mentor. To be recognized for emulating all that Dr. Dugoni stands for is the ultimate recognition,” said Dr. Mito who plans to further the teaching of professionalism and leadership, and will continue to advocate to students the importance of being actively involved in the dental profession.

Dr. Park Receives Honorary Doctorate from Meikai & Asahi Universities

On Thurs., Oct. 20, Dr. No-Hee Park, a distinguished professor and dean emeritus, was recognized with an honorary doctoral degree from Meikai University and Asahi University, our sister universities in Japan.

Dr. Park’s history with the universities date back nearly 15 years when he was invited to Japan to take part in the ongoing cultural exchange program that was established in 1992. Dr. Park went again to Japan in 2005, but this time, he made an exciting announcement. For the first time since its inception, the UCLA School of Dentistry would now be able to send 10 pre-doctoral students and two faculty chaperones to Japan to experience the country’s culture first-hand. Up until that point, the program was limited to Japanese students coming to UCLA.

The two-way exchange was made possible because of a $1 million gift from Dr. Susumu Miyata, an educational entrepreneur and philanthropist. For the past 10 years, the Miyata Endowment for Educational and Cultural Exchange has funded the travel and administrative costs of UCLA dental students and clinical and research faculty members. For the dozens of students who have been lucky enough to participate in the exchange program, their global outlooks will be forever enhanced.

During his degree ceremony, Dr. Park presented his vision of the “Future of Dental Education,” to Meikai University – Asahi University faculty. Congratulations Dr. Park on this great honor.

Dr. Chang Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Ting-Ling Chang, clinical professor and chair of the Section of Prosthodontics, was honored with a Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-Senate Faculty by the UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Teaching. She was one of only three faculty members from a campus-wide pool of nominees to be recognized in the Distinguished Lecturer category. She was chosen for her teaching and outstanding contributions to educational excellence in 2016.

On Thurs., October 20, Dr. Chang was publically recognized for this award at the annual Night to Honor Teaching ceremony, which was held at the Chancellor’s residence. This was the 33rd anniversary of the annual event where Dr. Chang, along with her fellow awardees, was honored by the campus and Chancellor Block. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Prosthodontics, a member of the American Dental Education Association, and a member of the International Association of Dental Research.

See Dr. Chang being interviewed about what motivates her to continue to teach.

Dean Inducted Into the American College of Dentists

Dr. Paul Krebsbach, dean and professor of periodontics, was inducted into the American College of Dentists on Thursday, Oct. 20. The honor was in recognition of Dr. Krebsbach’s services and devotion to the advancement of the science and art of dentistry. He was inducted into the College at the group’s Annual Meeting and Convention in Denver. 

The College was established in 1920 and is the oldest major honorary organization for dentists. Its mission is to advance excellence, ethics, professionalism, and leadership in dentistry. They are regarded to be the “conscience of dentistry.”


National Dental Association Recognizes Dr. Flavia Pirih 

On Fri., July 22, Dr. Flavia Q. Pirih, associate professor of periodontics, received the 2016 Faculty Recognition Award (Research) from the National Dental Association (NDA) Foundation and Colgate-Palmolive. Dr. Pirih was honored during the 103rd NDA Annual Convention in Atlanta. She was selected among several other applicants from all over the United States.

Dr. Pirih’s recognition continues a tradition of the School’s faculty being recognized by the NDA – an organization synonymous with being a “champion of diversity.” She makes us all proud for being recognized in such a prestigious venue. Previous UCLA Dentistry recipients include:

  • Flavia Pirih, Research, 2016

  • Nancy Reifel, Teaching, 2013

  • Francisco Ramos-Gomez, Research, 2011

  • Harold Hargis, Teaching, 2010

  • Bruce Sanders, Service, 2006

  • Edmond Hewlett, Teaching, 2004 

Univision Recognizes Dr. Ramos-Gomez for Hispanic Heritage Month

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), Dr. Francisco Ramos-Gomez, professor of pediatric dentistry, was featured as an inspiring health care provider on the health section of Univision News website. The media outlet featured stories of 23 other Hispanic health care providers across the country about what their culture means to them.

"For me, being Mexican means to have the ability to connect with families and communities, where English is a barrier," said Ramos-Gomez. "It's not only the Spanish language, but the culture, tradition, and family. Hispanic values make me proud of belonging to such a wonderful ethnicity.”

Perio Faculty Advocate for Extending Research Collaborative Abroad

Periodontics faculty members, Drs. Henry Takei, Paulo Camargo, Perry Klokkevold and Jonathan Do, visited the Meikai University School of Dentistry this past September to discuss extending the research collaboration between the two organizations, as well as new joint projects and faculty exchange. For the second year in row, they also presented a four–day educational program in Tokyo, which focused on the role of periodontal therapy in an era of predictable implant dentistry to Japanese and Taiwanese dentists. The same course is already full for 2017.

Since 1999, Drs. Takei, Camargo, Klokkevold and Do have travelled to the Continuing Education Center, set up by Dr. Susumu Miyata, to hold courses over four day periods. In all, over 330 Japanese dentists have attended the courses.

In Memoriam - Dr. Steven Graff Radford

Dr. Steven Graff-Radford, an adjunct professor in the Section of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain, died Saturday, October 15 from cancer. Dr. Graff-Radford’s contributions to UCLA and the dental field are profound. He came to UCLA in 1978 as a young dental school graduate from South Africa. He had been accepted to UCLA’s Oral Surgery Residency program and was exploring educational opportunities in the dental school prior to beginning his program.

In 1982, Dr. Graff-Radford was offered a fellowship in pain management, which became his life’s focus. After completing the program, he began teaching and treating patient at the PMC and eventually became the education director. In 1990, Dr. Graff-Radford helped create an Orofacial Pain Residency program at UCLA, the first residents were accepted that same year. This program was the first residency program in orofacial pain in the world, and became a model for similar programs throughout the world. Later in his career, Dr. Graff-Radford became the director of the Headache, Orofacial Pain and Sleep Apnea Program at the Cedars-Sinai Pain Center and also held an appointment as a clinical professor at the U.S.C. School of Dentistry. 

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Graff-Radford was the first dentist to become a board member for the American Headache Society. He was instrumental in creating the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific and was its first president. Dr. Graff-Radford is world-renowned in the headache community and he helped to change the perception of dentistry in the medical community as it relates TMD. He elevated the stature of UCLA in the world community of pain because of his vision of what orofacial pain should be. We will forever be in his debt.

In Memoriam - Dr. Bart Johnson

Dr. Bart Johnson, a former lecturer in the Section of Hospital Dentistry, passed away after a battle with cancer in July. Bart earned his D.D.S. with the Class of 1985, a GPR certificate in 1986, and an M.S. in Oral Biology in 1989, all from UCLA. Bart served on our faculty as lecturer from 1986 to 1991.

In 1991, Dr. Johnson was recruited to the University of Washington to serve as Director of their GPR program. He served as a Program Director and Associate Professor with tenure until 2007. In 2008, he co-founded Seattle Special Care Dentistry and concurrently established the Swedish Medical Center Hospital Dental Residency Program – the first private practice-based GPR in the nation. He remained the Program Director of the Swedish Dental Residency program until his death in June 30, 2016. Dr. Johnson is survived by his daughter, Chelsea of Seattle; son, Nikai of Boston; mother Betty, sister and brother-in-law Julie and Mark Messersmith of Florida; and former wife, Kristen Johnson.

In Memoriam - Dr. Heddie Sedano

Dr. Heddie Sedano, a lecturer in the Section of Pediatric Dentistry and formerly in the Section of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, passed away on Monday, October 24.

Dr. Sedano received his Dr. of Odontology degree (equivalent to a D.D.S.) from the University of Litoral School of Dentistry in Argentina. After receiving his degree, he became an instructor of oral surgery, oral diagnosis, and oral and general pathology at the University of Litoral. In 1962, he came to the U.S. to pursue post-graduate training in Oral Pathology and Genetics at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Following his passion for teaching, he was hired as an assistant professor of oral pathology at Minnesota and would spend the majority of his career there with his close colleague, Dr. Robert Gorlin. He became a professor emeritus in 1994. During his tenure at Minnesota, he received multiple awards, including the Michael Loupe Memorial Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Sedano’s UCLA career started in 1994 when he was hired as a lecturer where he taught Oral Pathology and Pediatric Dentistry. He would teach here for the next 16 years, retiring in 2010. He was a beloved teacher to many UCLA alumni, particularly pediatric residents, students, and everyone at the UCLA Craniofacial Clinic. He received an Outstanding Lecturer Award from UCLA in 1997. He will be remembered as a man of vast knowledge and perpetual good humor who instantly brought smiles to everyone he came across. At professional meetings he was always surrounded by people because he was fun to be around. His scientific presentations were scheduled early because they always attracted large audiences. 

Dr. Sedano will be missed by those lucky enough to be one of his students, including Dean Paul Krebsbach. We won’t forget you, Heddie; you were well loved.

Academic Personnel Actions - July 1 through Dec. 16

New Hires





PIN HA ORTHODONTICS Visiting Asst. Project Scientist
LIXIA JU ORAL BIOLOGY       Visiting Asst. Project Scientist
BOK JOO KIM ORAL SURGERY       Visiting Asst. Project Scientist
DONG GEUN LEE ORTHODONTICS                   Visiting Asst. Project Scientist
ELISEO SABAL ORAL BIOLOGY Assoc. Proejct Scientist
MIN WANG ORTHODONTICS Visiting Asst. Project Scientist
CHUN YANG ORAL BIO Visiting Assoc. Professor


 XUESONG  HE  ORAL BIO & MED  Adjunct Associate Professor


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