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School of Dental Medicine

News at One Kneeland: January 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
News from Tufts Univeristy School of Dental Medicine
Tufts Dental 150 collage

150 Reasons Why We Love Tufts Dental School

As we begin our 150th anniversary celebration this year, we’ve highlighted the people, places and things that help define this institution. Read the article.

Celebrating the holidays – Tufts-style! 

Dean Huw Thomas presented the Annual Faculty and Staff Holiday Luncheon on December 15 at the School of Dental Medicine. Staff and faculty enjoyed great food and great company to celebrate the holiday season. See photos from the luncheon.

Dental student shines at global initiative

The Clinton Global Initiative University chose Shawn Kim, D20, as one of the presenters at their annual conference. Kim was one of only 30 students chosen for the program out of thousands of applicants. Kim presented a project he began while a high school student: creating an affordable, mobile HIV diagnostic kit. Read more about Kim and his project.  

Celts honor a dental legend 

The Boston Celtics celebrated a legendary educator, researcher, and dental clinician on December 4 during their game with the Milwaukee Bucks. Athena Papas, J67, J67, A97P, A04P, AG91P, Distinguished Professor of Diagnostic Sciences, the Erling Johansen, D49, Professor of Dental Research, and Head of the Division of Oral Medicine, was named a “Hero Among Us” by the Celtics for her work developing dental programs and research for the elderly, those affected with HIV, and those with Sjogren’s Syndrome. The recognition took place as part of Greek Heritage Day at the TD Garden. The Celtics won against the Bucks, 111 to 100.

Reaching new heights

A dental student and alum made a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tanzania in September to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. Richard Catrambone, D85, DG89, D19P, traveled with his daughter, Karina Catrambone, D19, and his son Christopher Catrambone, an estate-planning attorney in Wellesley, Mass. They reached the summit on September 9, 2017. To prepare for their first and only major climb, the Catrambones trained by climbing up and down a 20-story staircase as well as hiking the Blue Hills on the south shore of Massachusetts. Catrambone described their time on Kilimanjaro as “a most humbling experience.” “The Tanzinian people were very kind and hardworking,” he added. The climb took seven days, with the support of 20 porters, two guides, a cook and a camp manager. “Words cannot adequately express the feeling of gratitude and accomplishment I felt standing at the summit alongside my father and brother,” Karina said. “This is one trip I will never forget”.

Recent losses in the Tufts Dental community

  • Richard Lee Wing, A53, D56, E85P, and former faculty member at the dental school, passed away on November 5. Wing served in a range of faculty roles at the dental school from 1971 to 1990. He was a clinical instructor in social dentistry, an assistant professor in general dentistry, and an adjunct assistant professor in oral health services. He also served as a member of the Tufts Equal Education Opportunity Committee and the dental school’s Admissions Committee. In 1987, he delivered the commencement speech at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Commencement Exercises. Read his obituary.
  • Philip Maloney, D55, J84P, A85P, F87P, D88P, J88P, A93P, F93P, DG93P, and former professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery, passed away on November 16. Read his obituary.
  • William Sellers, A56, D60, J84P, and Trustee Emeritus of Tufts University, passed away on November 19. He was a former Chair of the School of Dental Medicine’s Board of Advisors, and received TUSDM’s Dean’s Medal in 2000 for his exemplary service to the school. His wife, Usha Sellers, is the former director and current faculty liaison for the Travel-Learn Program for Tufts University Advancement. Read his obituary.

Tufts Dental hits the field

About 50 faculty, staff and students from the dental school took to the field on November 12 for the fourth annual Tufts Dental Soccer Tournament. Ala Ali, DI17, DG10, DG11, assistant professor in prosthodontics, organized the event. The faculty team won first place in the tournament, which took place at Lopresti Park in East Boston.

Staff and Faculty Changes

  • Dean Huw Thomas announced on November 20 that Wael Att has been appointed the next chair of prosthodontics. Att is currently the director of the postgraduate prosthodontics program at University of Freiburg in Germany. He is a board-certified prosthodontist from the German Society of Prosthodontics and Biomaterials, and serves as the president of the Prosthodontics Group for the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). Att will begin his tenure as chair on March 1.
  • Karen Culbert joined the Office of Development and Alumni Relations as director of development, overseeing the annual fund and major gifts programs.
  • Sonnya Morales joined the Office of Development and Alumni Relations as the associate director of corporate and foundation relations.
  • Marie Schick joined the Office of Development and Alumni Relations as a part-time project manager to assist with plans supporting the 150th Anniversary.
  • Elouise Perry, patient registration assistant, retired at the end of December. Her last day was December 28.  
  • Vivian Argueta, dental assistant in pediatric dentistry, will leave Tufts on December 22 to pursue her Master’s Degree in Biomedicine at Barry University in Florida.
  • Crystal Gonzalez joined the dental school on December 18 as a patient registration assistant for pediatric dentistry.
  • Kelly Gibson, program administrator for continuing education, left Tufts on December 19 to pursue a new career in high school education.
  • Adrienne Roberts, administrative assistant in admissions and student affairs, left Tufts on January 2 to pursue a new position.

Awards and honors

  • The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) Foundation awarded a grant to Yumi Ogata, DI15, DG11, DG11, assistant professor in periodontology in November. The $20,000 grant will support her studies of the alveolar bone remodeling around implants placed in native or grafted bone sites.
  • Morton Rosenberg, D74 and professor emeritus of oral and maxillofacial surgery, was appointed to the editorial board of Mosby’s Dental Dictionary in November.
  • Saam Bozorg, D19, as well as his teammates Daniel Weinstein, E18, Camila Menard, E18, and Noah Hill, E20, received several awards for their development of an intraoral biosensor. The team won first place in the Paul and Elizabeth Montle Prize for Entrepreneurial Achievement at the Tufts Gordon Institute on December 1. They were awarded $15,000 for their project. The team also won first place at the Tufts Tamid Start-Up Technology Fair on October 23, winning a 30-day trip to Israel. The biosensor measures the pH levels in the oral cavity.
  • A team from Tufts Dental won second place in a national contest “Nuestros Ninos” to address oral health care issues with Hispanic children under six years old. The team from the Tufts Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) was led by Krysten Herrero, D18, and Elizabeth Betances, D18, and received guidance from Martha Forero, clinical instructor in pediatric dentistry. The team members included Ann-Marie Vu, D19, Brandon Wong, D18, Isamary Bernet, D18, Yusleisy Camacho, D18, Rocio Saavedra, clinical instructor in pediatric dentistry, and Leopoldo Correa, DG11, associate professor in diagnostic sciences and fellowship program director in dental sleep medicine. The team developed an educational tool called “Sonrisas Sanas Son Salud,” a comic strip that educates parents and children on oral health.

Welcome to the DIS Class of 2020

The international student class of 2020 (DIS 2020) started their first day at Tufts School of Dental Medicine on January 2. The class includes students from 16 nations.

Publications and presentations

  • The cover story for the Fall 2017 issue of the Massachusetts Dental Society Journal was “Marijuana and Dentistry,” a special report on what dentists need to know about marijuana medical and recreational use. The report was written by Jesse Feuerstein, D19, Nathaniel Reimers, D18, Mark Lerman, A97, D02, associate professor in diagnostic sciences and division director of oral pathology, and Morton Rosenberg, D74 and professor emeritus of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  • The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations presented a lecture and reception honoring Richard Sorbera, DG65, former clinical professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery, who passed away in 2014. Sameer Hate, DG07, DG14, presented the lecture “Office Anesthesia” on November 17.
  • Morton Rosenberg, D74 and professor emeritus of oral and maxillofacial surgery, presented an all-day continuing education program to members of the Rhode Island Dental Society at the Quindnessest Country Club in North Kingston, Rhode Island on November 8.  The morning consisted of a review of the diagnosis, treatment and preparation of medical emergencies in dental practice. The afternoon program centered on a review of sedation and pain control issues for the general dentist.
  • Irina Dragan, DG15, assistant professor in periodontology, published “Clinical outcomes of comparing soft tissue alternatives to free gingival graft: A systematic review and meta-analysis" in the 2017 December issue of Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice. Co-authors included Lucrezia Paterno Hotlzman, DG16, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore; Nadeem Karimbux, professor of periodontology and associate dean of academic affairs; Rebecca Morin, associate librarian at Hirsh Health Sciences Library; and Seyed Hossein Bassir from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Tufts Dental reaches out on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, which takes place annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, was a huge success for fundraising for Tufts University and the School of Dental Medicine. With help from our alumni, faculty, staff and students, the Dental School exceeded its goal of 150 gifts on Giving Tuesday. The 150 gifts unlocked an additional $10,000, donated by Mark Gonthier, executive associate dean, Kanchan Ganda, J00P, M04P, professor of comprehensive care and head of the division of medicine, and her husband Om Ganda. The School eventually received 256 gifts, and raised nearly $150,000 for our programs and scholarships.

Finding our culture

The Culture of Care Action Learning Team at the Dental School, and the Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation released a report summarizing the results of a survey of the school’s community regarding institutional culture. The findings will be used to plan and implement changes that address the strengths of the school’s culture and provides opportunities for growth and improvement.

Tufts Dental employees honored for service

Nearly two dozen employees from the School of Dental Medicine were recognized for their service to the school and the university at the Employee Recognition Awards this past fall. The Awards luncheons took place on the Tufts Medford/Somerville Campus on October 25, October 31 and November 7.