Predoctoral, Resident & Trainee News

Posted on: Wednesday, 08/28/2019

Oral Radiology Resident Promoted to Commander

In a ceremony held in the Mathias Botanical Gardens on Tuesday, September 3, Dr. William Boggess, oral radiology resident and candidate for a PhD in oral biology, was promoted to the rank of a Commander in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Boggess was in private practice for 16 years before joining the navy. We look forward to seeing the incredible things that Dr. Boggess will accomplish in his future endeavors.

William Boggess

Awards and Honors

Victoria Chen

Congratulations to student dentist, Victoria Chen, Class of 2020, on her most recent scholarship award from the Kaiser Permanente Graduate Health Care Scholarship through the eQuality Scholarship Collaborative.

Victoria was one of five health care graduate students to receive a $6,000 scholarship and the only dental student out of the group. She was also one of 31 finalists, out of 6,200 applicants, to be considered for the Point Foundation Scholarship. 


Congratulations to Dr. Samantha Chiang, who received a UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute Core Voucher Award for her proposal titled: “Oral-piRNAs Regulate Re-epithelialization in Oral Wound Healing.”

Dr. Chiang is currently enrolled in her eighth year of the DDS/PhD program under the supervision of Dr. David Wong at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Her training was initially supported by the UCLA T90 institutional training grant and subsequently sustained by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Dual-Degree Fellowship (F30) from NIDCR. Her primary research focus is on characterizing and analyzing the functions of salivary extracellular RNAs, focusing on the interplay of oral-piRNAs and oral wound healing.

Dr. BarrineauCongratulations to Dr. Ashley Barrineau, a second-year UCLA endodontics resident, who was recently awarded the Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award by the American Dental Association. The award, which comes with prize money and a travel stipend, encourages standards-based research and highlights the crucial role of dental informatics standards in improving quality of care. Dr. Barrineau’s project titled; “Systematic Evaluation of Commercially-Available Sensors using Standardized Image Quality Parameters”, was completed under the mentorship of Dr. Sanjay Mallya, associate professor and chair of UCLA’s section of oral and maxillofacial radiology, and in collaboration with the section of endodontics. Dr. Barrineau will have the opportunity to present her work at the Annual ADA meeting in San Francisco. For full article.

Jordan Cheng

Congratulations to Dr. Jordan Cheng, a current PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. David Wong and alumnus of the University of British Columbia-Faculty of Dentistry, who was awarded the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Foreign Study Award to support his research towards his degree at UCLA. He was selected as one of ten award recipients to support research conducted outside of Canada. Dr. Cheng’s research training involves developing the scientific foundation and research expertise in the field of liquid biopsy for early cancer assessment.



Karolina Kaczor-UrbanowiczDr. Karolina E. Kaczor-Urbanowicz, a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. David Wong’s lab, received the prestigious UCLA QCBio Collaboratory Fellowship, which will support her research in computational biology, bioinformatics of RNA-Seq data, and machine learning tools. She will be performing her research in Dr. Matteo Pellegrini's Lab of Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology in collaboration with her host UCLA Dr. David Wong’s laboratory.

Dr. Kaczor-Urbanowicz is also the recipient of an R90 NIH/NIDCR Postdoctoral Dentist-Scientist Scholarship and also an AACR-DDF postdoctoral fellowship.


At the 2019 Special Care in Dentistry Association meeting, Dr. Varun Solanki, a recent AEGD ACT graduate, received 1st place for his poster, titled: “Oral Health and Occlusal Manifestations in Patients with Osteogenesis Imperfecta.” The poster and presentation were a joint effort in working with multiple faculty and residents from the division of Advanced Prosthodontics. Dr. Solanki is now at the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, PA.

Lela Bennett and Emily Saavedra, two high school students enrolled in the UCLA School of Dentistry’s Pre-college Science Education program, received third place for their research project, titled: “The Role of NFAT in Ethanol-Treated Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma” in the Cell and Molecular Biology category. The pair presented their project at the AAAS 100th Annual Meeting and were mentored Dr. Ki-Hyuk Shin and Charlotte Martin, a lab assistant to Dr. Shin.

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