Category Archives: News & Events

USC’s advanced program in orofacial pain endowed and named

Drs. Glenn T. Clark and Roseann Mulligan

The investment ensures Ostrow’s first named program, The Dr. Glenn T. Clark Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine Program, continues educating the profession’s finest for years to come.

BY JOHN HOBBS MA ’14

USC’s advanced program in orofacial pain has been provided a significant financial endowment — ensuring its place at USC for years to come — thanks to a generous donation from Drs. Glenn T. Clark and Roseann Mulligan.

The substantial donation will provide long-term funding to Ostrow’s orofacial pain program, which, when it began, was the first of its kind in the nation — a factor that inspired this gift.

In recognition of their generosity, the advanced program in orofacial pain has been named, The Dr. Glenn T. Clark Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine program.

“We, at Ostrow, are honored that Drs. Clark and Mulligan have chosen to invest in this program, which not only prepares some of the nation’s finest practitioners but also grants our DDS students educational benefits by seeing and learning about this important field,” Dean Avishai Sadan said.

Related: Special Patients Clinic endowed, named on 30th anniversary

“Because there are so few programs out there, each one is vital since they only produce a small number of highly trained practitioners in these disciplines,” said Clark, who is the assistant dean of distance education and the director of the orofacial pain program. “Moreover, these programs do not satisfy the demand that patients with various diseases, dysfunctions and disorders of the orofacial and oropharyngeal area have. Clearly, we need more trained practitioners in both disciplines.”

Leading the way

Orofacial pain and oral medicine practitioners treat more than 300 diseases of the mouth and face, including temporomandibular dysfunction, sleep apnea and orofacial pain.

Ostrow established its orofacial pain and oral medicine program in 2004. Since then, it has educated nearly 40 practitioners.

In 2012, Clark expanded the program’s reach even further, launching a visionary hybrid online/on-campus version of the master’s degree and certificate programs in orofacial pain and oral medicine.

The hybrid online/on-campus program uses a combination of weekly live webinar sessions with faculty and other residents, video lectures, quizzes and intensive on-campus boot camps to solidify all the learning that has taken place in cyber space.

“What we’re doing is changing the face of graduate education in dentistry,” Clark said in a 2016 TroDent article. “Traditionally, you had to quit your dental practice to get training. Now you can continue your career, work hard, get advanced training and change the direction of your practice and the mix of patients you see.”

Since their inception, the hybrid master’s degree and certificate programs in orofacial pain and oral medicine have graduated more than 100 highly skilled practitioners.

Pioneering online education

Clark was a biochemistry major at California State University at San Jose, before going on to complete his doctor of dental surgery education at UCLA. He then earned a master’s degree in dental research from the University of Rochester and finished a two-year general practice residency at Eastman Dental Center.

In 2003, he joined Ostrow’s faculty, determined to start the orofacial pain and oral medicine program. In the intervening years, he has not only successfully implemented that advanced program, he also started Ostrow’s distance education enterprise, which currently offers master’s degrees and certificate programs — in orofacial pain and oral medicinepain medicine (collaborating with Keck School of Medicine of USC), geriatric dentistry and in community oral health. There is also a certificate program in oral pathology and radiology.

Clark is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orofacial Pain and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Orofacial Pain and the American Academy of Oral Medicine. In 2006, Clark was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Orofacial Pain.

Not their first investment in USC

Mulligan earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State before going on to pursue her doctor of dental surgery degree from UCLA. Afterward, she furthered her education by earning a master’s degree in gerontology from USC and completing a general practice residency at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital.

Mulligan joined the USC dental school in 1982 as an assistant professor. Today, she is the associate dean for community health programs and hospital affairs and the Charles M. Goldstein Professor of Community Dentistry, overseeing all of the efforts of Ostrow’s Community Oral Health Programs.

Mulligan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Special Care Dentistry. She also sits on the Ostrow Board of Councilors and was recently named the 2020 recipient of the Geis Award for Achievement for Dental Educators for her longtime contributions to dental education.

This is not the first gift that Clark and Mulligan have bestowed on Ostrow. In 2015, on its 30th anniversary, Ostrow’s Special Patients Clinic was endowed and named the Dr. Roseann Mulligan Special Patients Clinic, ensuring its continued operation long into the future.

Posted 02202020

Zweig elected vice president of the American Association of Endodontists

stefan zweig portrait
Stefan Zweig DDS ’86, ENDO ’92

BY JILLIAN CARMENATE ’22

Stefan Zweig DDS ’86, ENDO ’92 has been elected vice president of the American Association of Endodontists. The AAE is a global resource for knowledge, research and education for the profession. The Ostrow clinical associate professor will take office as vice president in April 2020 and will automatically become the president in 2022.

As AAE vice president, Zweig hopes to improve endodontics as a specialty and profession. “Our profession, the way we actually practice endodontics, is changing a lot,” he said. ”We have to make sure throughout all those changes that the quality of the work that we do gets better.”

A proud USC alumnus, Zweig said his education at USC prepared him for a career in dentistry and eventually endodontics. Zweig graduated from USC’s dental program in April 1986. Three years later, Zweig decided to return to USC to study endodontics. He graduated with a certificate in advanced endodontics in July 1992. Since 2013, Zweig has been a clinical associate professor in USC’s graduate endodontics program.

Zweig emphasized the importance of making changes within one’s profession. “When you’re involved in organized dentistry, you’re on the inside of that process and you understand not only the changes that need to be made, but also the limitations that we have in order to affect change,” he explained. Zweig has served on multiple professional committees and worked to spearhead change in the specialty of endodontics.

The American Association of Endodontists is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the art and science of endodontics and to promoting the highest standards of patient care. The AAE just celebrated their 75th anniversary this year, and they attribute their success to the work of dedicated volunteer leaders and to a diverse membership.

“It’s very humbling to be able to say that I am coming from USC and serving in this capacity because it hasn’t been done often,” Zweig said. He is only the third USC graduate to hold the position of vice president and eventually president.

Posted 12022019

Oldak named Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science

Portrait of Janet Oldak
Photo by Phil Channing

BY YASMINE PEZESHKPOUR MCM ’19

Professor Janet Oldak has been selected as a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The prestigious honor is bestowed upon members through nominations by their AAAS peers.

Oldak has been selected for her outstanding contributions to molecular mechanisms in biomineralization, assembly and function of inherently disordered matrix proteins for development of biomimetic peptide-mediated strategies for tooth repair.

“It is definitely rewarding that my scientific contributions of more than two decades is recognized by peers and colleagues in the research community,” Oldak said. “I’m honored and thankful to those individuals who have acknowledged the impact of my work and have supported my nomination as an AAAS Fellow.”

She is among 443 members this year to have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Oldak, who has a dual appointment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, was recently awarded multiple grants for the development of a patented hydrogel that can regrow an enamel-like surface on teeth, preventing deep decay by addressing lesions early to rebuild the lost enamel.

In addition to her scientific contributions, Oldak is recognized among her peers for her tireless mentoring and instructional efforts.

“Oldak has contributed to shaping the educational model of small group, student-centered professional education at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and creating a focus for craniofacial engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering,” said Malcolm Snead, professor and chair of the Division of Biomedical Sciences, in his nomination letter.

The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

“Janet is a consummate scholar who has made significant contributions to fundamental research on biological mineralization,” Snead said. “More so, she is adamant to translate here findings into the clinic, where enamel biomimetics may offer a biological solution to restoration of carious destruction of enamel, the most prevalent infectious disease of mankind. She is well-deserving to become a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.”

Oldak will be recognized for her contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum on February 15, 2020 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

“It will be a great time to reflect back and enjoy the outcomes,” Oldak said.

Posted 11.26.2019

Roseann Mulligan earns 2020 Gies Award for Achievement for Dental Educators

BY JOHN HOBBS MA ’14 

Associate Dean of Community Health Programs and Hospital Affairs Roseann Mulligan MS ’87 has been awarded a 2020 Gies Award for Achievement for Dental Educators from the ADEAGeis Foundation.

This prestigious award is meant to pay tribute to individuals who meaningfully advance oral health and dental education.

“We are tremendously proud of ‘Nan’ for this honor,” said Dean Avishai Sadan. “She has long inspired Ostrow faculty, staff and students with her tireless leadership in making sure hundreds of thousands of underserved individuals in Southern and Central California receive the dental care they so desperately need.”  

A career dedicated to the underserved

Mulligan first became interested in providing treatment to the underserved as a UCLA dental student, who traveled with her school’s mobile dental clinics, providing treatment to the children of migrant farm workers in California’s agricultural heartland. 

In 1982, she joined Ostrow’s faculty, hoping to share this same passion with USC dental students. “My interest in working with the underserved and special needs communities blossomed when I was in school,” she said. “My goal was to provide those same opportunities to our students.”

Just three years later, Mulligan helped found USC’s Special Patients Clinic, which was the first of its kind in the nation — providing treatment to those least likely to be treated elsewhere (developmentally delayed and physically disabled patients, the frail elderly and patients living with HIV/AIDS).

In 2000, Mulligan took the reins of Ostrow’s Community Oral Health Programs. As the program’s leader, she managed to expand the school’s many community-based programs to include more service locations and demographics, including school-aged children, foster children, migrant workers, Skid Row residents and elderly and abused adults. Today, as a result of these efforts, Ostrow provides treatment to more than 75,000 underserved patients every year. 

Expanding patient populations

Under her leadership, USC established an eight-chair dental clinic at Union Rescue Mission in 2000 that caters to homeless and underserved populations. In 2010, a second seven-chair dental clinic was established across the street at John Wesley Community Health Institute. Since 2011, Ostrow students and residents have provided treatment to nearly 20,000 individuals on Skid Row. 

“She has long inspired Ostrow faculty, staff and students with her tireless efforts to make sure hundreds of thousands of underserved individuals in Southern California receive the dental care they so desperately need.”

–Avishai Sadan, Dean

In 2015, on what was the 30th anniversary of the Special Patients Clinic, Mulligan and her husband, Assistant Dean for Distance Education Glenn Clark, endowed and named the Dr. Roseann Mulligan Special Patients Clinic, ensuring its continued existence long into the future.

“I believe these patients deserve the very best oral health care we can provide,” Mulligan said in 2015 news article about the gift. “They often have so many other conditions going on that can be impacted by poor oral health care.” 

The largest civilian mobile dental clinic fleet

Under Mulligan’s leadership, the USC dental school — long known for its mobile dental clinic program — managed to amass the largest civilian mobile dental clinic fleet in the nation. In 2016, she oversaw the acquisition and deployment of the world’s then-largest mobile dental clinic, thanks to a $3-million gift from the Hutto Patterson Charitable Foundation. Mulligan also helped establish a partnership with QueensCare, a nonprofit health provider for low-income Angelenos. The collaboration led to the establishment of the first QueensCare mobile clinic, which provides free comprehensive dental care to low-income elementary school children. Since then, the USC/QueensCare Mobile Dental Program has grown to include several mobile dental clinics, providing treatment at two different schools simultaneously.

Mulligan also manages relationships with more than 200 sites, including public schools; federally funded health and nutrition programs for women, infants and children; community health clinics; and retirement communities to further expand Ostrow’s reach into underserved communities.

Effecting policy change

In addition to providing care to underserved populations, Mulligan’s research publications have led the public to better understand the link between school absenteeism and poor oral health and the ensuing costs to public school systems. Her research has effected policy change to bring greater financial resources to underserved communities through public and private support.

All of these efforts throughout the years have been the result of more than $70 million in private and public funding sources Mulligan has helped raise throughout her career. 

Mulligan has a joint appointment with the USC Davis School of Gerontology. She is the chair of the Division of Public Health & Pediatric Dentistry and the Charles M. Goldstein Professor of Community Dentistry.  

She will officially receive the award at the annual Gies Awards taking place in National Harbor, Md., on March 16, 2020. Click here for ticket information

Posted 11072019

Six faculty members honored with chair, professorship appointments

Such appointments are the highest honor a university can bestow.

BY JOHN HOBBS MA ’14

Six Ostrow faculty members are slated to be inducted into chair and endowed professorships at an official ceremony taking place in early 2020.

“Endowed faculty positions represent one of the most prestigious and permanent investments that philanthropic partners can make in any university,” said Dean Avishai Sadan in a schoolwide announcement sent out in early November. “We are delighted to celebrate each of these individuals and their impact on our USC Dentistry community.”

The faculty members are:

Sillas Duarte portrait
Sillas Duarte

Sillas Duarte

Associate Professor of Dentistry Sillas Duarte has been inducted into the Rex Ingraham Chair in Restorative Dentistry. “I am profoundly honored,” said Duarte, who referenced Ingraham’s contributions to restorative dentistry for inspiring him in his own career. “Our focus on tooth preservation through minimally invasive dentistry, adhesion and cutting-edge digital technologies has provided our students a unique experience to develop their knowledge and skills that can only be found at USC.” Duarte earned his doctor of dental surgery degree in Brazil before going on to pursue  a fellowship in operative dentistry and a master’s and PhD in restorative dentistry. He joined Ostrow in 2011 and has served as chair of the Division of Restorative Sciences since 2012. He is also the director of the advanced program in operative and adhesive dentistry.

Portrait of Sunny Fereshteh
Sunny Fereshteh

Sanaz “Sunny” Fereshteh DDS ’09

Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry Sunny Fereshteh has been inducted into the USC Associates Assistant Professorship of Dentistry. “I cannot tell you how much this accolade has touched my heart,” Fereshteh said. “I will work extremely hard to be deserving of this endowment and represent this incredible institution for the coming years.” Fereshteh earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. She went on to earn her DDS from USC in 2009. Afterward, she began working in Ostrow’s externship community clinics, teaching dental students to provide the best quality dental treatment to underserved populations. In 2015, she became director of the USC Mobile Clinic program.

diane melrose portrait
Diane Melrose

Diane Melrose MA ’11

Professor of Clinical Dentistry Diane Melrose has been inducted into the inaugural Violet S. Bonney Professorship in Dental Hygiene. “I’m extremely honored,” Melrose said. “My heart is warmed knowing my husband [the late Professor Emeritus Raymond Melrose] would be so happy and proud of me.” Melrose earned her bachelor’s degree and a certificate in dental hygiene from the University of Iowa. She joined Ostrow in 1976 as an assistant clinical professor in the dental hygiene department and steadily worked her way up the ranks. In 2006, she was named director of the dental hygiene department. While working at USC, she earned a master of arts degree in gerontology from the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Cheryl park portrait
Cheryl Park

Cheryl Park ’07, DDS ’13, PROS ’16

Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry Cheryl Park has been named the inaugural Carl Rieder Professor of Restorative Dentistry. “This moment gave me a chance to reflect on what it means to have a career in academics,” Park said. “ I feel tremendously grateful for all the guidance and support that I’ve received, and I feel lucky that I can be part of students’ building blocks in their lifelong careers.” Park is a triple Trojan graduate, having completed her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, her doctor of dental surgery and her advanced residency in prosthodontics at USC. She joined USC as a faculty member in 2017 and currently directs the DDS and ASPID modules in fixed prosthodontics. (116 words)

Gelareh Ronaghi Portrait
Gelareh Ronaghi

Gelareh Ronaghi PROS ’14

Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry Gelareh Ronaghi is the inaugural holder of the Robert K. Avakian Endowed Professorship of Restorative Dentistry. “This is a real honor,” Ronaghi said. “It also brings with it in an immense sense of responsibility to achieve the highest results and pave the way for the next leaders in our field.” Ronaghi earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of British Columbia, followed by a bachelor’s degree of dental surgery from the University of Sydney. In 2014, she received a prosthodontics certificate from Ostrow. She is the the director of the integrated restorative dentistry preclinical module. 

Doug Solow portrait
Doug Solow

Doug Solow

Professor of Clinical Dentistry Doug Solow has been inducted into the G. Donald Montgomery Professorship of Dentistry. “Dr. Montgomery contributed immeasurably to the dental profession and the development of the USC School of Dentistry,” Solow said. “I am honored to become associated with someone who has been so impactful on the history of our school.” Solow earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from New York University, going on to earn a doctor of dental surgery from Stony Brook University and a master’s of business administration from Duke University. He joined the Trojan Dental Family in 2014 as the associate dean of clinical affairs. The G. Donald Montgomery Professorship of Dentistry was formerly held by Sigmund Abelson.

Posted 11.19.2019