UW School of Dentistry

Meet our Staff


Tar Chee Aw, DDS, MS, Dentist, Clinic Director

Dr. AwDr. Aw is an Associate Professor in the Division of Operative Dentistry in the Department of Restorative Dentistry, with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Oral Health Sciences. He received a BSc degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Bristol, a DDS degree and an AEGD certificate in General Dentistry, both from Northwestern University, a GPR certificate in Hospital Dentistry from Cornell University, and a MS degree in Restorative Dentistry from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Aw was an attending dentist at Harborview Medical Center’s outpatient dental clinic for 5 years before becoming an attending dentist at the Dental Fears Clinic in 2002. He was appointed as the Director of the DRFC in 2005. He brings his clinical restorative expertise to the treatment of fearful and phobic patients and shares his skill in the management of dental anxiety when teaching restorative techniques and principles to dental students. His teaching obligations include preclinical and clinical restorative dentistry courses and he is the Director of the Advanced Esthetic Dentistry course.

Dr. Aw’s research focus is primarily in the laboratory evaluation and clinical trials of new restorative materials and techniques. His areas of interest include Esthetics, Implants, Biomaterials, and High-technology. He has authored numerous scientific research and clinical articles in various peer-reviewed journals.

For more information about Dr. Aw, see: Dr. Aw

Peter Milgrom, DDS, Dentist, Director Emeritus and Co-Founder

Dr. MilgromDr. Peter Milgrom is Professor of Oral Health Sciences and Pediatric Dentistry in the School of Dentistry and also Adjunct Professor of Health Services in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington.  He received his DDS from the University of California, San Francisco in 1972. In 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bergen in recognition of his lifetime of work in Dentistry and previously received many other international and national awards.  He directs the Northwest Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities at the University of Washington. Dr. Milgrom maintains a dental practice limited to the care of fearful patients.   Dr. Milgrom is author or co-author of 5 books and over 265 scientific articles.


Philip Weinstein, PhD, Chief Clinic Psychologist and Co-Founder

Dr. WeinsteinDr. Philip Weinstein is a Professor of Oral Health Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and Psychology at the University of Washington. He received his undergraduate training at Queens College in New York and his graduate training in psychology at the University of Kentucky, receiving his PhD in 1971.   He is the Director of the Dental Behavioral Science Research Program at the University of Washington and co-Director of the Dental Fears Research clinic, where he maintains a private practice.  Dr. Weinstein’s past research has studied dental fear and pain, but his present focus is the prevention and control of caries in children.  His current sponsored research includes a large randomized clinical trial of massive doses of fluoride varnish and a recent groundbreaking study of motivational techniques to prevent caries.  As a result of his research and clinical experiences, Dr. Weinstein wrote Motivate Your Dental Patients in 2002

Lisa Heaton, PhD, Clinic Psychologist

Dr. HeatonDr. Heaton is an Acting Assistant Professor of Oral Health Sciences and a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington State. She earned a BA in psychology (1996) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and her Master’s of Science (2002) and PhD in Clinical Psychology (2005) from the University of Kentucky both focused on dental fear and anxiety. She completed a pre-doctoral internship in clinical health psychology at the University of Florida before completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Heaton has treated patients in the Dental Fears Research Clinic as a psychologist since 2005, and teaches students in the 3rd and 4th years of dental school about working with individuals who are fearful of dental treatment.

Trilby Coolidge, PhD, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Dr. Trilby Coolidge has been working with patients in DFRC since 2004. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington, and is an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences. In addition to working with patients, she teaches dental students and conducts research in dental fear, decision making, and behavior change theory.

Dental Hygienists

Marilynn Rothen, RDH, MS, Dental Hygienist

Marilynn RothenMarilynn graduated with a degree in dental hygiene from the University of Washington and has practiced in the Dental Fears Research Clinic for over 20 years. When she is not seeing patients in the Clinic, she works with faculty members on their various research projects and manages the Regional Clinical Dental Research Center (RCDRC). Recently she completed her Masters in Oral Biology.

Kristin Ericson, RDH, Dental Hygienist

Kristin Ericson is a practicing Dental Hygienist with the Dental Fears Research Clinic. She received her degree of Dental Hygiene from Yakima Community College in 1992. She has practiced since then in both the public health and the private sector. Kristin has provided care for a diverse population including: pre-transplant, immune compromised, trauma patients and special needs while working in a hospital setting. Her focus is on quality preventive care.

Dental Assistants

Valerie King-Scott, CDA
Dental Assistant

Mary K. Hagstrom, CDS
Dental Assistant

Administrative and Billing Staff

Patient Care Coordinator
Susan Hovis, BA

Patient Biller
Colleen King