Carol Gomez Summerhays, 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient
Earlier this spring, Carol Gomez Summerhays DDS ’78 was awarded the prestigious 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for her exceptional contributions to our nation. Summerhays joins an elite group of highly successful individuals to have earned such a distinction, including six past U.S. presidents, the first female presidential candidate representing a major political party Hillary Clinton and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. The medal is meant to honor individuals who embody fundamental American ideals, including patriotism, tolerance and compassion. Summerhays has served as past president of both the California Dental Association and the American Dental Association as well as a Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve. She delivered Ostrow’s 2016 commencement address, during which she recounted the story of her own dental school entrance interview, where she promised admissions officers to always make USC dentistry proud.
Malcolm Snead earns University of Oslo honorary degree
Professor Malcolm Snead has been awarded a doctor philosophiae causa by the University of Oslo for his contributions leading to a better understanding of tooth development. The University of Oslo often recognizes researchers around the world for their significant contributions to the advancement of science. Snead is a formidable front figure within the fields of tooth development, the molecular biology of enamel formation and biomineralization, molecular self-assembly and bioengineering and regeneration of hard tissues. Snead joined the Ostrow faculty in 1984 as a research assistant professor. He has been the chair of the division of biomedical sciences since 2012. The degree will be officially conferred upon Snead at an academic ceremony in Oslo in September.
Pascal Magne earns two prestigious awards
It’s been a good spring for Associate Professor Pascal Magne, who has earned two prestigious awards for his work in the field of dental morphology, function and esthetics. Most notably, Magne earned the 2017 Loader-Brenes Spinach Award — a biennial world prize meant to be the “Nobel Prize” for dentistry — by the Pierre Fauchard Academy. This international award came on the heels of an Outstanding Innovation in Cosmetic Dentistry Award, which he received from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The esthetic dentistry expert teaches Ostrow’s first-year DDS students the fundamentals of biomimetic restorative dentistry using a revolutionary “2D-3D-4D” approach, in which students learn to restore the form, function and esthetics of natural teeth by completing drawings, wax-ups and finally layering exercises. He joined the Ostrow faculty in 2004.
Michael Paine named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
In late 2016, Professor Michael Paine PERIO ’99 was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to the field of biomineralization, for identifying protein-to-protein self assembly and for linking systemic disease of solute transport to enamel formation. The distinction places Paine in an esteemed group of individuals — including Yang Chai PhD ’91, DS ’96; Michael Melnick, Harold Slavkin ’61, DDS ’65 and Malcolm Snead — “whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” Paine joined Ostrow as a research associate in 1994, earning his periodontology specialty certificate in 1999. He is currently the director of the craniofacial biology graduate program.
Ostrow assistant professor develops novel drug compound to treat bone infection
Earlier this year, Ostrow Assistant Professor Parish Sedghizadeh DDS ’96 was featured on the cover of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry for his work in developing a drug compound to fight bone infection. In the article, titled “Design, synthesis, and antimicrobial evaluation of a novel bone-targeting bisphosphonate-ciprofloxacin conjugate for the treatment of osteomyelitis biofilms,” Sedghizadeh shared his findings that one dose of an antibiotic-bisphosphonate drug compound was an order of magnitude more deadly than an antibiotic alone. “Our hope is to get the drug through the FDA process and approval to be able to test this in humans for clinical use to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with bone infections,” said Sedghizadeh, who joined the Ostrow faculty in 2004. The Journal of Medicinal Chemistry has an impact factor of 5.589.
Ostrow expands distance learning roster
This year, Ostrow will add three new distance learning programs to its roster, rolling out a certificate program in oral pathology and radiology as well as a master’s degree and a certificate program in pain medicine. The certificate program in oral pathology and radiology is a 12-and-a-half-month online/on-site program teaching students the clinical and didactic skills necessary to evaluate and manage patients with oral disease. The master’s and certificate programs in pain medicine are a collaborative effort between Ostrow and the Keck School of Medicine of USC focused on the neuroscience, psychology, assessment, classification and legal issues surrounding pain management. The master’s program will take students 37 months to complete; the certificate program takes 12 and a half months. With the additions, Ostrow now offers distance learners the ability to pursue three online/on-site master’s degrees and four online/on-site certificate programs.
These news briefs originally appeared in the TroDent, the official publication for the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. Read more stories like this in our Summer 2017 issue.