Faculty Mentors

Oral Cancer and Cancer Biology

The UCLA School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute have developed strong research programs in oral cancer and cancer biology during the past two decades. Together with the mentors from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, participating faculty mentors are pioneers in the area of the signaling pathway NFkB for clinical and translational research. Their research spearheads the basic sciences of cancer and senescence. They pioneer studies into the virology and cancer particularly the role of RNA viruses. Their research significantly broaden the scope of oral cancer research to include the substantial molecular and translation portfolio of NFkB pathway, wnt signaling, apoptosis and dental stem cell biology.

Genhong Cheng, Ph.D.

Professor, UCLA Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of Research: Carcinogenesis/Apoptosis
gcheng@mednet.ucla.edu

Mo Kang, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Dr. Jack A. Weichman Chair, Section of Endodontics, Division of Associated Clinical Sciences, UCLA School of Dentistry
Dental Research Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of Research: Cancer and senescence, stem cell
mkang@dentistry.ucla.edu

Reuben Kim, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Division of Restorative Dentistry, & Member, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer and Stem Cell Biology
Area of Research: Molecular mechanisms of oral cancer development
rkim@dentistry.ucla.edu

Vivek Shetty, D.D.S., Dr.Med.Dent.

Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, Division of Diagnostic & Surgical Sciences. Assistant Vice Chancellor for ResearchUniversity of California, Los Angeles.
Area of Research: Orofacial injury, Salivary Biomarkers of Stress response, Salivary biosensors for point-of-use screening of psychopathology.
vshetty@dentistry.ucla.edu

Ren Sun, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Associate Vice Provost, International Institute
Co-Chair, Research Education, Training, and Career Development Program (CTSI-ED), Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of Research: Kaposi’s sarcoma, HIV
rsun@mednet.ucla.edu

Cun-Yu Wang, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Professor and No-Hee Park Endowed Chair, Division of Oral Biology, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies,  UCLA School of Dentistry
Dental Research Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of Research: Cell signaling, cancer biology
cwang@dentistry.ucla.edu

David T. Wong, D.M.D., D.M.Sc.

Felix & Mildred Yip Endowed Professor, Division of Oral Biology
Associate Dean of Research, UCLA School of Dentistry, Director, Dental Research Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of Research: Cell cycle, salivary diagnostics
dtww@ucla.edu

Bone Biology & Bioengineering

Bioengineering applies engineering principles to develop novel materials, models, and technologies toward the improvement of disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and to advance fundamental understanding of biological systems by establishing and validating rigorous mathematical models of biological phenomenon. This broad definition covers efforts ranging from the design of self-assembling peptides, to the engineering of MRI imaging machines, to the prediction of drug efficacy based on thermodynamic calculations of binding events.

John Adams, M.D.

Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director, Orthopedic Hospital Research Center
Professor, Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
Area of Research: Bone Biology
jsadams@mednet.ucla.edu

Tara Aghaloo, D.D.S., M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Division of Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, UCLA School of Dentistry
Area of Research: Bone Biology
taghaloo@dentistry.ucla.edu

Min Lee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Dentistry, Engineering Bioengineering, UCLA School of Dentistry and UCLA Engineering
Area of Research: Bioengineering
leemin@ucla.edu

Karen Lyons, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery & Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
Area of Research: Vertebrate development
klyons@mednet.ucla.edu
 

Chia Soo, M.D.

Adjunct Professor Medicine Bone biology, UCLA Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Area of Research: Bone biology
bsoo@ucla.edu

Sotirios Tetradis, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Section of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Division of Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, UCLA School of Dentistry
Area of Research: Bone biology
stetradis@dentistry.ucla.edu

Benjamin Wu, D.M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Biomedical Engineering Nanotechnology, Tissue Engineering Chair, Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, UCLA School of Dentistry
Area of Research: Nanotechnology, Tissue engineering
benwu@dentistry.ucla.edu

Grace Xiao, PhD

Professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, UCLA School of Engineering
Area of Research: Computational and systems biology of gene expression
xxiao@ucla.edu

Microbiology and Immunity

UCLA’s Department of Microbiology Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) is one of the top-10 ranked programs in the country. There is a T90 training grant for microbial pathogenesis as well as immunology, thus providing good integration for joint training programs and joint seminars. Scientists at the UCLA School of Dentistry have strong track record in clinical and translational research such as dental caries and periodontitis.

Renate Lux, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Section of Periodontics, UCLA School of Dentistry
Area of Research: Microbiology, Molecular Biology
rlux@dentistry.ucla.edu

Wenyuan Shi, Ph.D.

Professor & Chair, Section of Oral Biology, Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, UCLA School of Dentistry
Area of research: Microbiology, Wound Healing
wshi@dentistry.ucla.edu

Ren Sun, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Associate Vice Provost – International Studies, Co-Chair, Research Education, Training, and Career Development Program (CTSI-ED), Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of research: Cancer/Kaposi’s sarcoma, HIV
rsun@mednet.ucla.edu

Jerome Zack, Ph.D.

Professor, Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, Director, UCLA Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), Associate Director, UCLA AIDS Institute
Area of research: HIV/AIDS stem cell
jzack@ucla.edu

Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine

The UCLA Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine is a multi-disciplinary, campus-wide, integrated, collaboration of scientific, academic, and medical disciplines. One of its chief programs is in the understanding of cancer stem cells and their role in cancer formation, progression and metastasis. The ISCBM will work closely with the JCCC and IMED to develop methods to detect cancer stem cells in patients and to find new approaches to targeting this population of cells that play a key role in the recurrence of cancer.

Amander T. Clark, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Molecular, Cell & Development Biology - Stem Cell Institute
Area of research: Stem cell, developmental biology
clarka@ucla.edu

Mo Kang, DDS, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Dr. Jack A. Weichman Chair, Section of Endodontics, Division of Associated Clinical Sciences, UCLA School of Dentistry, Dental Research Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of Research: Cancer and senescence, stem cell
mkang@dentistry.ucla.edu

Yong Kim, Ph.D.

Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, UCLA School of Dentistry, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of research: Stem cell, epigenetics
ykim@dentistry.ucla.edu

Igor Spigelman Ph.D., M.S.

Professor - Oral Biology, Oral Biology & Medicine, Biomedical Engineering
Area of Research: Relief of chronic pain, oral cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced neuropathies. alcohol abuse, seizures and other neurodegenerative  conditions.
ispigelman@dentistry.ucla.edu

Cun-Yu Wang, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Professor and No-Hee Park Endowed Chair, Division of Oral Biology, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies,  UCLA School of Dentistry, Dental Research Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Area of Research: Cell signaling, cancer biology and stem cell
cwang@dentistry.ucla.edu

Jerome Zack, Ph.D.

Professor, Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, Director, UCLA Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), Associate Director, UCLA AIDS Institute
Area of research: HIV/AIDS stem cell
jzack@ucla.edu