School News

Allie Deneen

Allie Deneen believes she has been destined for a career in dentistry since fourth grade when she wrote ‘tooth doctor’ in answer to a question about her future. Her mother held onto that school project. Today, Deneen says her fourth-grade fascination with teeth is what drove her to initially look into careers in dentistry. But it is the impact dental hygiene can have on people that has held her interest.

Deneen will graduate in August with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

Mark Herzberg, DDS, PhD

School of Dentistry Professor Mark Herzberg, DDS, PhD, became president of the American Association for Dental Research this spring. The AADR has more than 3,100 members in the United States united by their interest in advancing dental, oral and craniofacial research to improve health.

Herzberg has been active in AADR for more than three decades, serving as chief editor of the organization’s journal, the Journal of Dental Research, for 11 years. 

Gary Anderson, DDS, MS

Dean Gary C. Anderson, DDS, MS, will step down from his role as dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry this month after three and a half years. He was named interim dean in November of 2016 and permanent dean in March of 2018. 

Soraya Beiraghi, DDS, MSD, MS, MSD

Soraya Beiraghi, DDS, MSD, MS, MSD, was named University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Century Club Professor of the Year in May 2020.

Beiragh is director of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the School of Dentistry and has served an important role in craniofacial programs at the University of Minnesota since joining the school more than 25 years ago. Her research focus in the area of craniofacial anomalies, including her study of genotype-phenotype correlation and underlying molecular mechanisms, has earned her respect and recognition in the field.

Carmen Boren and family

Carmen Boren entered dental school knowing more than most about what to expect. Having worked as a dental hygienist for 11 years, she had seen first-hand the expanded role dentists can play in their patients’ lives.

“One day, the dentist I worked for said to me, ‘Carmen, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but you really should go to dental school,'” she said. “That is when the seed was planted. I was 25 years old, married to a deployed soldier, and we had a baby when I set out to tackle the pre-requisites."

Priscilla Flynn

School of Dentistry Associate Professor Priscilla Flynn, DrPH, MPH, RDH received the Community-Engaged Scholar Award from the University of Minnesota this month. This award recognizes faculty or staff for their exemplary publicly-engaged scholarship.

Elmi Ibrahim

For young Elmi Ibrahim, the sprawling refugee camp in the Kenyan desert where he spent eight years of his childhood was his entire world. After his father was killed in the civil war in their home country of Somalia, his mother fled to Kenya with Ibrahim and his four siblings.

3M Key Opinion Leaders

Past and present visiting scholars from Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Spain, Malaysia and Turkey were brought together virtually by the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB) this month.

“We are all eager to be back in the lab, but in the meantime, there is value in virtual connection,” said Professor Alex Fok, PhD, director of the MDRCBB. “Our best work is built on collaboration and partnerships with people and organizations around the world.”

Rachel Uppgaard, DDS

Rachel Uppgaard, DDS, is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and teaching faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. When the Governor order the suspension of all dental procedures across Minnesota except emergencies, she volunteered to be part of a team of faculty and residents handling dental emergencies for a growing number of patients. We recently talked with Dr. Uppgaard about how she is addressing these unique challenges.