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School of Dental Medicine

News at One Kneeland: October 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
News from Tufts Univeristy School of Dental Medicine
Dental White Coat Ceremony
The class of D2021 at the White Coat Ceremony

Joining the Profession

The class of D2021 received their white coats and were welcomed to the dental profession in a ceremony on September 16. See photos from the event.

A dental school in Nantucket

Nantucket Mini Med School

Faculty members from Tufts, as well as the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, traveled to Cyrus Pierce Middle School on the island of Nantucket in July to host the first “Mini Medical/Dental School” on the island. The program, which took place on July 28, allowed 22 children ages 10 – 14 on the island to learn about medicine and dentistry. The program included lessons on anatomy, teeth, dental forensics, suturing, CPR, casting broken bones, and information about ticks and Lyme disease.  The event was planned and coordinated by Melissa Ing, D89, associate professor in comprehensive care. Dr. Ing attended, along with Shubha Nanda, DI96, assistant clinical professor in comprehensive care; Britta Magnuson, D08, assistant professor in research administration; Massachusetts Dental Society representative, Jeff Lowenstein, D85, D20P; Colgate Palmolive representative, Diane Peterson; Mike Goupil, associate dean emeritus from the University of Connecticut, and eight student volunteers.

Next stage for PCORI grant awards

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) approved a Tier III funding award to John Morgan, professor of public health and community service, to support his work on improving oral health for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The award advances previous work completed in the Tier I and Tier II Pipeline to Proposal program. The award of $49,995 will be used to move towards submitting a research proposal to PCORI and other funders. Morgan is working in collaboration with the Seven Hills Foundation on the project. The Tier III award started August 1.

Honoring an alum’s contributions

Louis A. Fiore D62

The dental school held a ceremony on June 30 honoring Louis A. Fiore, D62, and his wife, Jean H. Fiore, for their contributions and service to the school. During the event, Louis dedicated both their Dean’s Medals in honor of Louis Fiore’s mother Rachel Valvo Fiore, D62P, and unveiled their installation in Rachel’s Amphitheater. Dean Huw Thomas and Lonnie Norris, dean and professor emeritus, read the original citations for Dean’s Medals. Tufts President Anthony Monaco also attended. “We certainly appreciate how much you have contributed over the years,” President Monaco said. “And we admire the way you’ve honored your mother.”

Researcher made society chair

The Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) held their annual conference June 10 through June 14 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Addy Alt-Holland, assistant professor in endodontics, was the program chair for the conference. Alt-Holland also moderated a student and postdoc oral presentation competition, convened an “Expert’s Corner” sesion, and co-convened a session of single cell analysis and multiplexed screening assays of cell cultures. She was also a member of the Local Committee, and previously received the Young Scientist Award from the SIVB in 2013. 

Bridging Differences with Tufts University Provost

Tufts Provost and Senior Vice President David Harris recently announced the Bridging Differences Initiative, which will develop a strategy for positioning Tufts to lead in supporting ways for students, faculty, and staff to engage constructively across differences. A task force of students, faculty and staff will launch this fall, and the Provost’s office has asked for suggestions from the Tufts community. Read more about the initiative.

Promoting oral health at Fenway

The dental fraternity Alpha Omega participated in the annual Tooth Day at Fenway on July 18. Tufts Dental students and faculty members promoted oral health awareness and performed cancer screenings to fans during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays. See photos from the event.

Faculty emeritus lectures on anesthesiology

The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Dental Anesthesiology announced that their Dental Anesthesiology Legacy Lecture Series will take place on October 6 and 7. The keynote speaker will be Morton Rosenberg, D74, A09P, professor emeritus of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Awards and honors:

  • Kanchan Ganda, J00P, M04P, professor of comprehensive care and head of the division of medicine, was selected as a co-chair for the 2017 Silk Road Gala, set to take place on October 28. The Silk Road Gala is the biggest fundraising event for the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK). Ganda has been involved with ATASK since 1992, when she worked with the group, as well as the Boston Public Health Commission’s Office of Domestic Violence, to develop a didactic program for third year students on domestic and intimate partner violence. The program is now part of the introduction to the dental patient course. They also worked with Ganda in developing the Dental Outreach to Trauma Survivors (DOTS) program, which provides care to survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence. Dean Huw Thomas will be in attendance at the gala, and has secured a table for several members of the dental school.
  • Beth Estel
    Beth Estel, materials manager in clinical materials, qualified to swim in the World Masters competition in Budapest, Hungary in August. She competed in five different swimming events, placing first or second in each of them.

ALTs present recommendations

As part of the work by the Design Team for Creating a Culture to Achieve Patient Care Excellence (DT), four Action Learning Teams (ALTs) made up of faculty members, staff, students, and administrators have met over the past six months to gather information, research data, propose recommendations, and communicate on new approaches to complex and critical challenges in clinical care. The groups presented on their findings on July 18 and 20. They discussed challenges in the retention of current patients and reclaiming former patients for hygiene and recare; suggested many clinical operations enhancements; created and disseminated a survey to track the current organizational culture in the school; and advised on how to create a better new patient encounter.

Staff and Faculty Changes

  • Nicolette Kafasis started at the dental school as a research affairs specialist on August 1. Kafasis will be assisting all TUSDM researchers with IRB, including initial submissions, continuing reviews, and amendments.
  • Kathleen Corcoran, assistant director of corporate foundation relations in development and alumni relations, left the dental school on August 21 to pursue an opportunity at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.
  • Cate McLaughlin, director of the dental fund in development and alumni relations, left the dental school on August 25 to pursue an opportunity at Simmons College.
  • Shannon Balletto, infection control administrator, stepped down after 43 years at the dental school.
  • Doris Kuhn, executive assistant to the dean, left the dental school on July 21. Jill Ross is currently the interim executive assistant to the dean.
  • Christopher Maloney started in early July as a practice manager in clinical affairs.
  • Charlene Mazetis started at the end of July as a dental assistant in public health and community service.

Presentations and publications

  • Aikaterini Papathanasiou, DI16, DG97, assistant professor in prosthodontics and program director of postgraduate education in aesthetics and operative dentistry, presented at the International Tooth Whitening Congress in Haarlem, Holland in June. She was the lone lecturer from the United States, and presented “Tooth Whitening in the US: In Office vs. Take Home Treatment.”
  • Irina Dragan, DG15, DG15, assistant professor of periodontology, collaborated with Eugene Anderson of Anderson Policy Consulting, to create a survey and report of European dental education for the Association for Dental Education in Europe. The aim of the survey was to assess and gain understanding of ADEE member schools, the programs they deliver, their national context, and other key data. The data was released in July.
  • Alex Eidelman, D18, and Thomas Whitmer, D18, published “Is the Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) the metric needed to assist with postgraduate admissions? Two viewpoints” in the June 2017 Journal of Dental Education.

Emerging Faculty Leaders return from summer program

Five faculty members from Tufts Dental took part in this year’s American Dental Education Association Summer Program for Emerging Faculty Leaders. The program took place from July 11-14 in Freeport, Maine. Participants included Olympia Karacosta, DI07, DG99, assistant professor in comprehensive care; Stephany Cordero Andujar, DG12, instructor in comprehensive care; Elaina Kazes, D14, DG15, DG16, instructor in public health and community service; Robert Gyurko, associate professor in periodontology; and Guzin Uzel, assistant professor in periodontology. Following the meeting, the fellows will work with peer groups throughout the next year to develop research projects that highlight emerging trends and initiatives in academic dentistry. “It's a very well organized and taught program,” Uzel said. “I would highly recommended anyone who is in academics and interested in improving their skills.”