Faculty News

Posted on: Monday, 11/20/2017

Faculty Recognized by AAAS for Work on Craniofacial Diseases

Ichiro NishimuraDr. Ichiro Nishimura, professor of prosthodontics and a founding member of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, was selected as a 2017 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is among 396 members awarded this honor by the AAAS for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Dr. Nishimura is being recognized for his contributions in the field of oral and craniofacial disease processes, particularly the study of rare diseases of the craniofacial complex.

New fellows will be recognized on February 17, 2018, at the association’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas. The mission of the AAAS, founded in 1848, is to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs and science education. Read full story.

Honoring a Longtime Faculty Member with Two Namesake Awards

The Section of Restorative Dentistry recently established two faculty awards to further raise the profile of education and educators and to honor a faculty member who has contributed immeasurably to the success of the Section, the School, and thousands of DDS graduates. The new awards will be named in honor of Dr. Donald Fisher, a longtime lecturer in the section and one of the original UCLA Dentistry faculty members. He was hired in 1965 as an assistant professor.

The first award, Dr. Donald Fisher Award for Excellence in Clinical Education in Restorative Dentistry, will be given to either a faculty member who has had the most meaningful impact in their clinical education in restorative dentistry.

The second award, Dr. Donald Fisher Award for Excellence in Pre-clinical Education in Restorative Dentistry, will be given to a faculty member who has had the most meaningful impact in their pre-clinical education in restorative dentistry.

 CDA Recognizes Faculty's Scholarly Contribution

Diana MessadiDr. Diana Messadi, chair and professor of oral medicine and orofacial pain and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, has been recognized by the International College of Dentists (ICD) with the 2017 Golden Pen Division 1 Award as guest editor of the California Dental Association Journal (CDA): “Oral Cancer: Novel Concepts for the Oral Health Care Practitioner” published in the CDA February 2016 special issue.

The Golden Pen is presented annually by the ICD to the editor of a publication that contains an article or series of articles of current importance to the dental profession. Contributors to this issue included Drs. Fariba Younai, Eric Sung, Reuben Kim and Dean Ho from UCLA School of Dentistry and Dr. Anh Le from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

Faculty Member to Represent Dentistry at UC-Sponsored Program

Dr. Flavia Pirih, associate professor and director of the pre-doctoral program in the Section of Periodontics, was selected to represent UCLA as a participant in the 2018 UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development. She will be joining a select group of mid-career women made up of staff and faculty/academic personnel from across the UC system.  

The professional development program is designed to elevate women in leadership at the university and is sponsored by the UC President's Office and the Systemwide Advisory Committee on the Status of Women.

“I am honored to represent the UCLA School of Dentistry in the UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development. I am excited to network and learn from some of UC’s top leaders and be able to share the invaluable insight I am bound to gain with other women in my profession.”

Foundation Commemorates 20 Years of Service

Dr. Tara Aghaloo, professor in the Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the assistant dean for clinical research, received an award from Thousand Smiles for twenty years of service to the organization. The 1,000 Smiles Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on care of children in Mexico from financially challenged families who suffer from lack of dental care and from maxillofacial deformities such as cleft palate.


Former Dean Dixon Passes At 91

Dr. Andrew D. Dixon, former dean and professor, passed away from cancer on September 28, at the age of 91. Dr. Dixon held the deanship position from 1973 until 1980, as the third dean of the school, and he retired from UCLA in 1992. He came to Los Angeles from the University of North Carolina, where he had been director of the Dental Research Institute. He was a member of the National Academy of Medicine, co-edited a book on craniofacial growth, and authored intriguing publications about the development of the palate.

During his time as dean, Dr. Dixon made innovation a priority, while placing the same importance on fulfilling the mission of the school, which was to train dentists to provide quality dental care in California and beyond. Dr. Dixon is survived by his wife, Mary Dixon. The University flag will be at half-mast in his honor on December 7.

Andrew Dixon