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Joel Berg named dean of University of Washington School of Dentistry

March 12, 2012

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

Dr. Berg

Seattle—On March 8, the University of Washington named Dr. Joel Berg dean of its School of Dentistry, effective Aug. 15.

He is the Lloyd and Kay Chapman Chair for Oral Health at the School and chair of the school’s pediatric dentistry department.

“I am deeply honored to be named dean at a school and a university renowned for their leadership in health education and research,” Dr. Berg said. “Our School of Dentistry has truly outstanding faculty, staff and students, and I expect us to continue to make a profound impact on oral health care, education and research.”

Dr. Berg succeeds Dr. Tim DeRouen, who was appointed interim dean for the 2011-12 academic year after the resignation of Dr. Martha Somerman, now director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Dr. Berg is the president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and director of the Center for Pediatric Dentistry, a partnership between the UW and Seattle Children’s hospital that launched in 2010. The new facility at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, which Dr. Berg planned and brought to fruition, has a mission of pediatric clinical care, dental and parent education, and research. Its major focus lies in early intervention with an emphasis on dental visits by age 1.

“Joel Berg is one of the nation’s leaders in dental education and research, and we are fortunate to have him here already at the University of Washington to assume this important leadership position in our School of Dentistry,” said UW Provost Ana Mari Cauce.

Dr. Berg’s selection followed a nationwide search. Since joining the UW in 2003, the university said that Dr. Berg has taken on multiple responsibilities. In addition to his duties as department chair, he also serves as dental director for Seattle Children’s, associate dean for hospital affairs at the School of Dentistry and as a national spokesman for AAPD.

“We were very impressed with Dr. Berg’s vision and how he plans to take the school to the next level and beyond,” said Dr. Rod Wentworth, president of the Washington State Dental Association. “We look forward to partnering with Dr. Berg, the School of Dentistry and its alumni to develop a school with facilities, education and research that will be the envy of the rest of the nation.”

Dr. Berg earned his dental degree (1983) and completed his training in pediatric dentistry (1985) at the University of Iowa. Before joining the UW, he served on the dental faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas.

Dr. Berg also brings private-sector experience to his academic career. He was executive vice president for research and clinical affairs for ESPE America Inc. and vice president for clinical affairs for Philips Oral Healthcare.

Dr. Berg has authored or co-authored more than 100 abstracts, articles and chapters, and is co-editor of a textbook on early childhood oral health. His current research includes innovative new technologies for early caries detection, which has long been one of his major research and academic interests.

He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists, as well as a board director of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. In 2011, he was named the Washington Dental Service Foundation Distinguished Professor for Dentistry.