I am an educator, clinician and researcher currently serving as dean and professor at UC San Francisco School of Dentistry. I am responsible for advancing UCSF Dentistry’s education, patient care and research missions with the fundamental goal of improving oral and craniofacial health worldwide. With the help of 489 paid and volunteer faculty, 512 learners, 453 staff and numerous partner organizations, I work to ensure that the school remains a globally-recognized innovator in healthcare. A periodontist by training, I served as dean of the University of Alabama School of Dentistry for nearly seven years prior to joining UCSF in June 2018.
I believe in the power of teamwork and partnership in solving our most pressing health challenges. Whether it’s using team science to accelerate research, embracing multi-disciplinary models in the delivery of patient care, providing learners with inter-professional training or partnering with community and governmental entities to improve public health, I believe we can achieve more through collaboration. I welcome new collaborations that help improve oral health and advance key priorities of UCSF School of Dentistry:
Expand Along the Research Continuum
UCSF Dentistry has been #1 in NIH funding among dental schools for 25 years. Our vision is to build upon our exceptional work in basic and translational science by investing in clinical research and implementation science.
Integrate Oral Health With Primary Care
We know that oral health is linked to overall health, yet there is little coordination between the delivery of dental care and medical care. To bridge this divide, we must embed oral health care services in our health systems, train dental students in basic primary care and educate the public so they no longer perceive oral health to be disconnected from their overall well-being.
Grow and Continually Improve Clinical Operations
UCSF Dental Center treats more than 48,000 patients annually, delivering general dentistry and specialty care through faculty, resident and student clinics. We aim to expand our clinical operations through new practice models and patient-driven service offerings and use Lean methods to improve quality, efficiency and patient experience.
Create the Most Innovative Predoctoral Curriculum
The school is undergoing its biggest curriculum innovation in 25 years. Technology-enabled instruction will combine with hands-on research experiences to ground students in scientific-thinking. Students will gain clinical competence faster and learn the business and operational aspects of running a high-functioning practice. A central component of the educational experience will be the Health System Clinical Practicum where students learn to care for the whole patient through immersive clinical training conducted in community clinics and hospitals.
Build an Inclusive, Supportive Culture
Sustaining our legacy of excellence requires an environment where all members of our school community – learners, staff and faculty – feel welcomed, respected, supported and empowered to do their best work.
Clinical Experience and Research Interests
My clinical expertise lies in the area of periodontal therapy and dental implants. I have served as an examiner for the American Board of Periodontology, Associate Editor of the Journal of Periodontology and Editor of Clinical Advances in Periodontics.
Research has been central to my clinical practice and approach to teaching. My research interests include regenerative medicine and the interaction of oral health with overall health and disease. I have had NIH funding for more than 25 years and been awarded more than 60 grants as an investigator or co-investigator.