Faculty & Resident Profiles

Faculty & Resident Profiles

Graduate Prosthodontics
Program Directors

Heather Conrad 150

Heather J. Conrad, DMD, MS, FACP, FRCD(C)
Associate Professor & Director







Dr. Conrad graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, with a Doctor of Dental Medicine in 1997. While working full time in private practice, she became a Sessional Lecturer and Course Coordinator for the second year Fixed Prosthodontics class at the University of Saskatchewan. After six years, she decided to leave private practice and pursue an academic career by enrolling in post graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. She completed the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics and Master of Science degree in 2006 and accepted an offer for tenure track Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry. She has since completed the American and Canadian specialty examinations to become a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. In April 2012, Dr. Conrad was appointed the Director of the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics and promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure. Dr. Conrad is the Course Director for PROS 7200 Advanced Clinical Prosthodontics, PROS 7210 Advanced Technical Restorative Dentistry, DENT 7111 Current Literature Review Seminar, DENT 7112 Treatment Planning Seminar, DENT 7220 Prosthetically-Driven Implant Surgery and Treatment Planning, and DDS 6496 Predoctoral Prosthodontic Honors Course. She is also a member of the Advanced Education Program Directors Committee, Core Scholastic Standing Committee, and Graduate School Faculty Roster. Nationally, Dr. Conrad was elected to a 4-year term on the administrative board of the ADEA Council for Hospitals and Advanced Education Programs and serves on the ACP Board Preparation Mock Written Exam Subcommittee, the ACP Task Force on Developing New Advanced Prosthodontic Programs, and the ACP Postgraduate Educator Committee.

James Holton 150James Holtan, DDS, FACP
Associate Professor (Retired)






Dr. Holtan arrived at the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry in 1986 after retiring from the Dental Corps of the United States Navy. He is presently an Associate Professor in the School of Dentistry. He has served in a variety of educational and administrative positions at the School of Dentistry including Chair of The Department of Restorative Sciences from 1997-2004. Dr. Holtan has authored a number of scientific abstracts and articles in his area of interest. He is a member of appropriate professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the American College of Prosthodontists, the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics and the International Association for Dental Research. Dr. Holtan is currently Director Emeritus of the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics.


Adarve 150Ranier M. Adarve, DMD, MS, MHPE
Associate Professor






Dr. Adarve is a graduate of University of the Philippines College of Dentistry with a degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) in 1996 and Masters in Health Professions Education (MHPE) in 2002 from the UP-National Teachers Training Center for Health Professions. For five years, he was a part time faculty member of the UP College of Dentistry while working full time in private practice. In 2002, Dr. Adarve pursued further postgraduate programs in University of Minnesota. He completed Advance Education Program in Prosthodontics and Masters of Science Degree in 2005 and also completed Multimedia Design and Development from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the School of Education in the same year. In 2005, Dr. Adarve was appointed Assistant Professor in Oregon Health and Sciences University and became the Director of Fixed Prosthodontics Program. In 2007, he moved back to University of Minnesota to accept an offer to be a member of the faculty of the Department of Restorative Sciences Division of Prosthodontics, where he was appointed to be the Course Director for Pre-Clinical Fixed Prosthodontics. Since then, he held various teaching and service roles for undergraduate dental students, International students, and Graduate Prosthodontic residents. Dr. Adarve is an active member of American Dental Education Association (ADEA) since 2004. He became the President of the Educational Research / Development and Curriculum Section of the ADEA in 2011. Currently, he is the most published author in MedEdPORTAL and in 2012; he received the Teaching Excellence Award by ADEA-Colgate Palmolive Co. in recognition of his scholarship and educational innovation. Dr. Adarve is also a practicing Prosthodontist. He is a consultant of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry for Prosthodontics and also a liaison to Central Regional Dental Testing Center (CRDTS). He lectures locally and internationally and runs a study club for general dentist. 

 Bobby BirdiBobby H.S. Birdi, DMD, MS, Dip Perio, Dip Pros, FRCD(C), FACP
Adjunct Assistant Professor







Dr. Birdi is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta and his DMD with distinction from the University of Saskatchewan in 2006. Dr. Birdi then moved to Minnesota for post-graduate training in Prosthodontics, and then Periodontics (University of Minnesota). He is a Fellow and Examiner of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, a certified specialist in Prosthodontics and Periodontics, a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontists, a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, and a member of the Association of Prosthodontists of Canada. He is also a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the Academy of Osseointegration, International Team for Implantology, and the American Academy of Periodontology. He is a reviewer for the Journal of Oral Implantology and the International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants (IJOMI), and has been appointed to the IJOMI Editorial Review Board. Dr. Birdi is currently in private practice in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. His practice focuses on complex esthetic and prosthodontic treatment and the placement and restoration of dental implants. Dr. Birdi is also teaching part-time in Prosthodontics and Implantology at the University of Minnesota.

Brandon DeWittBrandon DeWitt, DDS, MS, FACP
Adjunct Assistant Professor







Brandon DeWitt graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the School of Dental Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2007. He then attended a one year general practice residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Following this he completed a three year advanced training program in Prosthodontics at the University of Minnesota and obtained a master's degree. In 2011, he joined the staff of Hennepin County Medical Center's Department of Dentistry and was accepted into the National Health Service Corps. He currently enjoys providing compassionate care that truly bridges the various gaps many patients must overcome in order to access dental treatment. The hospital's integrated environment also enables him to coordinate multidisciplinary treatment goals with his medical colleagues. In addition to this, he has responsibility for clinical instruction, presentations, and prosthodontic mentoring to dental residents in the general practice training program. His current role demonstrates the function of Prosthodontics as a primary care dental specialty.

Richard DryerRichard R. Dryer, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor








Dr. Dryer is a recent graduate of the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics at the University of Minnesota. He is from Dearborn, Michigan, and graduated from the University Of Michigan School Of Dentistry in 2002 and completed a general practice residency at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, in 2003. Rich practiced general dentistry in Chicago, Illinois, for two years before entering the Indian Health Service as a Civil Servant where he worked and lived on the Zuni Indian Reservation for five years. Rich enjoys spending time with his family and two unruly dogs at their home in Minneapolis.

Eckert 150Steven E. Eckert, DDS, MS, FACP
Adjunct Professor







Following graduation from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Eckert completed a General Practice Residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago. After his graduate training in Prosthodontics at the Mayo Clinic, he remained there to earn a Master of Science degree. He was then invited to be on staff at this prestigious clinic where he remains Professor Emeritus in Dentistry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Perhaps Dr. Eckert’s greatest achievement was being elected by his peers to be a director/examiner for the American Board of Prosthodontics.
 Dr. Eckert has written extensively about implant dentistry and is currently Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants.

  Kendall JamesKendall James, DMD
Adjunct Assistant Professor







Dr. James is from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In 2006, he graduated from University of Lethbridge, Alberta with a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Neuroscience. During his time in Lethbridge he completed research in Emotional Cognition through the Canadian Center of Behavioral Neuroscience. Dr. James received his dental degree from the University of Sydney, Australia. In his final year of dental school, he was the student body president, and served on several dental committees including the Australian Oral health foundation Committee, the NSW ADA recent graduates committee, the Faculty of Dentistry Academic Committee, and the Dental Alumni Committee. His honors research topic “Quantifying central incisor dimensions using external and internal anatomical landmarks”, received grant funding from the Australian Dental Research Foundation. After completing his education in Sydney, Dr. James worked in private practice in Tropical Queensland, Australia. He returned to North America in 2011 to be closer to his extended family and pursue a residency in Prosthodontics. Dr. James research interests include quantifying the general population’s perception of esthetics and how dental esthetics enhances ones mate value. When Dr. James isn’t in the lab or clinics he can be found spending time with his family, mostly outdoors. His family has added “survived a Minnesota Winter” to their list of accomplishments.

Cary McNeilCary D. McNeil, DDS, MS, FRCD(C), FACP
Adjunct Assistant Professor







Dr. McNeil is originally from New Brunswick, Canada, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 2001. In 2005, he completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next, Dr. McNeil completed his three-year Prosthodontic residency in 2008 at the University of Minnesota, where he also received his Masters of Science in dentistry. Dr. McNeil is a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, and a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists. He is a member of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics. Dr. McNeil is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, and the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. Currently, Dr. McNeil maintains a full-time practice in Roseville, Minnesota.

Wook-Jin SEongWook-Jin Seong, DDS, MS, PhD, FACP
Associate Professor







Dr. Seong is an Associate Professor, a tenured faculty in the Division of Prosthodontics, Department of Restorative Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota. He started his academic career as an Assistant Professor in 1999 and has successfully completed his specialty board certification process from the American Board of Prosthodontics in Feb. of 2000. He is currently responsible for undergraduate implant prosthodontics preclinical and clinical instructions as well as graduate seminar and clinical instructions. Dr. Seong has earned his Master of Science degree in the area of dental implants in 2000. His continued interests in implants made him further pursue his PhD degree in oral biology. He earned his PhD in the area of biomechanics with oral biology major and biomedical engineering minor. His research area covered nano-indentation technique on biologic tissue and materials, implant stability measurements, and healing bone-implant interface characterization. Upon completion of his PhD in 2006, his research expanded to the area of bone stimulation, dental implant bone cement & polymer-CNT bone scaffold developments, and clinical trials and animal studies. Dr. Seong is participating in several subcommittees on research, clinic, and curriculum in an effort of making school-wide strategic planning successful. Dr. Seong also serves public by practicing prosthodontics including dental implants in the faculty practice clinic.

Charles StendahlCharles G. Stendahl, DDS, MS, FACP
Adjunct Professor







Dr. Stendahl is a 1971 graduate of Northwestern University Dental School and received his Master of Science in dentistry from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 1981. He was certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics in 1982. Dr. Stendahl was employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1978 to 2007 when he retired. During this period, he served as Staff Prosthodontist, Director of the General Practice Residency Program, Assistant Chief and Acting Chief of the Dental Service. Since 1980, Dr. Stendahl has been a part time faculty member at the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry and is currently an adjunct professor in the Graduate Prosthodontic Program. Dr. Stendahl’s professional interests are in the areas of complete and removable partial prosthodontics.


Michael LassleMichael Lassle, DMD
Chief Resident








Dr. Lassle was born and raised in Glendive, MT. He earned a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. He completed his Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Louisville in 2012. While in dental school, Dr. Lassle was awarded the Outstanding Dental Student in Implant Dentistry Award for 2012 from the Academy of Osseointegration. He also is a volunteer for Special Olympics and Remote Area Medical (RAM), which provides dental care to underserved people of rural and isolated communities. Dr. Lassle enjoys spending time with his wife, hunting, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities.

John KeyesJohn Keyes, DMD
3rd Year Resident








Dr. Keyes was raised in Victoria, BC, Canada. He graduated with a BSc. degree in biology from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, in 2007, where he focused on ecology and evolution and spent two years researching the calling characteristics of male field crickets. He also spent four months studying at BYU in Hawaii and one year studying at BYU in Utah before attending the University of Lethbridge. In 2012, he earned his DMD degree from Boston University School of Dental Medicine. During his time at Boston University, he enjoyed serving in the community and abroad, the highlight being a dental mission trip to Teacapan, Mexico. When Dr. Keyes has spare time, he enjoys spending it with his family. He also likes aquatic activities like SCUBA diving, sailing and fishing. His hobbies include woodworking, model building and keeping aquariums. After completing his program, Dr. Keyes plans to return with his family to British Columbia.


  Fouad BadrFouad Badr, DMD
2nd Year Resident








Canada and the United States of America have always been hospitable countries. It is important to thank them by educating ourselves to better serve society. In 1989, Dr. Badr’s family left Lebanon, in direction of Montreal, Canada, where Fouad grew up in a humble and loving family. Twenty years later, the University of Montreal provided him with a DMD degree. Prior to becoming a resident at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Badr spent four years in private practice at the Adam Dental Clinic, in Yellowknife, NWT, in the Great North of Canada. He remains grateful to all the instructors and mentors, in both Montreal and Yellowknife, for inspiring him to pursue a career in the most exciting field of dentistry. He considers himself privileged to have to opportunity to learn something new every day while building relationships with some of the most interesting people in the world. When reviewing his actions, Dr. Badr wishes to answer positively to the following fundamental question: “Are we doing more than what is possible in order to contribute to improve dentistry and exceed our patient’s expectation of care?”

Saad BassasSaad Bassas, DDS
2nd Year Resident








Dr. Bassas was born in Aleppo, Syria, and grew up in Germany and Syria. He graduated from Aleppo University in Syria with a DDS degree, ranking first in his class. Being ambitious in his field, he then completed a hospital-based Oral Surgery Residency at Damascus University, where he also served as Chief of Residents and received his Specialty Certificate. During these studies, he developed a deep interest in implants and esthetic dentistry, which was a motivation for him to move to the USA. He then completed the Maxicourse Program in Oral Implantology at NYU in addition to his Postgraduate Program in Esthetic Dentistry at the University of Minnesota, further deepening his knowledge in the implantology field, the latest bone grafting techniques, and earning his license in oral and intravenous sedation. Dr. Bassas has been awarded multiple titles such as Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology, Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and Master of the College of Sedation. Dr. Bassas lived and practiced in St. Cloud, MN for 10 years, where he also opened his private practice in 2006. When he is not working or traveling due to continuing education, he enjoys spending time with his family in the Minnesotan outdoors. According to his wife and friend, nobody can beat his kebabs and barbecues.

Jason KiangsoontraJason Kiangsoontra, DDS
2nd Year Resident








Dr. Kiangsoontra was born in Fremont, California, and grew up in Los Altos, California, and Bangkok, Thailand. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Rangsit University School of Dental Medicine in 2012, where he served as class president and graduated with first class honors and the second highest ranking in his class. After completion of his dental degree, he worked as a general dentist in multiple private practices and the Central Chest Institute of Thailand, a cardiothoracic hospital. During his time at the hospital, he provided dental care for patients with various cardiovascular disorders prior to receiving heart surgery, performed dental treatment for patients in the Intensive Care Unit, and served as a supervising faculty instructor for senior dental students on rotation at the hospital. After completing his Prosthodontics residency at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kiangsoontra plans to work in private practice and academics. His hobbies include photography, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends.

Sae-Eun SchlottkeSae-Eun Schlottke, DDS
2nd Year Resident








Dr. Sae-Eun Schlottke is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry, Class of 2013, and decided to pursue her studies in Graduate Prosthodontics. She was awarded an Undergraduate Achievement Award from the American College of Prosthodontists and is also a member of the National Honor Dental Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon. She served as a student ambassador during her senior year in dental school and promoted careers in dentistry to students with a disadvantaged background throughout Minnesota. Her education background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education in 2004 from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea, and studies in microbiology at the University of Minnesota. She enjoys spending time with her family. Dr. Schlottke is also serving in the United States Air Force as a Captain and plans to practice as an Air Force prosthodontist after she completes her residency program.

Samuel Hickman, DMDSamuel Hickman, DMD
1st Year Resident








Born in Ottawa, Canada, Sam has spent the last eight years studying, working and traveling in Australia. Dr. Samuel Hickman graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Science before heading off to sunny Sydney to study Dentistry. Sam studied at the University of Sydney, and upon completion of his degree wasn’t ready for his Australian adventure to end. Sam found a modern dental practice in Darwin and dove into this truly ‘Aussie’ opportunity. There he experienced the realities of dentistry in the outback, overcoming challenges of both time and distance. It was in this isolated place where specialists were in short supply that Sam had his skills as a general dentist tested. Ultimately, it was also these experiences that led to his decision to pursue a specialty in prosthodontics. Once Sam has completed his specialist studies at the University of Minnesota, he plans to return home to Canada and join his Orthodontist father in opening a specialist dental care clinic.

Joseph Lucero, DDSJoseph Lucero, DDS
1st Year Resident








Dr. Lucero grew up in Brighton Colorado. In 2009 he earned a B.S. Degree in Chemistry with emphasis in ACS certified Biochemistry and a minor in Biology. The distinguished professors, Dr. Schreck, Dr. Galovich, and Dr. Burns, mentored him while he earned this degree at the University of Northern Colorado, in the town of Greeley Colorado. In 2014, Dr. Lucero received a D.D.S. degree from Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska. He received acknowledgments for his dedication to Creighton’s ‘One World’ community health program and for helping teach sophomore partial denture prosthodontics laboratory. Creighton University is very well known for producing highly skilled clinical dentist, and upon commencement Dr. Lucero was awarded the “Whip Mix Best of the Best Award for Excellence in Prosthodontics”. Dr. Lucero enjoys being outdoors in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. He also greatly values every moment he spends with his parents, brothers, and grandparents.


  Jessica AndersenJessica Andersen, BSc
Executive Office and Administrative Assistant








Jessica was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in New Brighton, Minnesota. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota and her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bemidji State University. She has worked at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry since 2006. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her daughters and husband, traveling, and gardening.

LuAnn ProppLuAnn Propp, CDA
Dental Assistant







LuAnn grew up in Alexandria, MN. After graduating from Brainerd Vocational Technical Institute in 1978 as a licensed and certified dental assistant, she worked for her hometown dentist. Fargo Clinic Meritcare in Fargo ND had a job ad for an assistant for a Prosthodontist. What is a Prosthodontist?! Well, she soon found out. After several years working in Fargo, opportunity called again and LuAnn moved to St. Paul, MN. For 27 years, LuAnn worked for a father/son prosthodontic practice. Recently, the Faculty Practice Clinic at the U of M was her home until a move to the Graduate Prosthodontic Clinic. LuAnn lives in Maplewood with her boyfriend and has one son. She likes to read and motorcycle. Why does LuAnn like Prosthodontics so much? The prosthodontic field can cause dramatic changes to a patient’s life and self-esteem. It is so rewarding to play a small part in this. 

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  • Last modified on July 30, 2015