UW School of Dentistry

Once again, school’s commencement has different look

Although substantial progress has been made in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the University of Washington had to rule out live graduation exercises and other large gatherings this month. However, the School of Dentistry, as it did last year, came up with a creative solution.

 
School officials produced a video that included many of the key elements of the traditional Hooding ceremony normally held at the UW’s Meany Hall: a welcome by the dean, a keynote address by a faculty member, and remarks by the graduating class president. The video also included individual messages of appreciation from the students that would customarily be displayed onscreen at Meany Hall when each graduate walked the stage.

In addition to the video, the school held an unofficial graduation recognition event on June 5 at its satellite clinic at Sand Point. During the outdoor event, at which faculty and staff were fully masked regardless of vaccination status, students donned caps and gowns and received their diploma covers and a parting gift bag. Families and friends were on hand to join the faculty in delivering rousing applause and cheers for the graduates.

Down to the wire: Orthodontics students show artistic skills in competition

A smile can be a work of art. So it’s not surprising that orthodontists in training can use their skills and materials to devise other beautiful creations.

Wish Upon a Thousand Cranes by Dr. Lauren Todoki
Wish Upon a Thousand Cranes by Dr. Lauren Todoki
Proposal by Dr. Robert Lee
Proposal by Dr. Robert Lee

Dr. Lauren Todoki, a resident in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Orthodontics, took top honors in the department’s 51st annual wire sculpture competition, the department announced. Dr. Todoki won with a creation titled Wish Upon a Thousand Cranes, depicting a female figure encircled by a flock of twirling cranes. It refers to the Japanese belief that by folding a thousand origami cranes, one can have one’s most desired wish granted.

Runner-up honors went to Dr. Robert Lee for Proposal, a depiction of a marriage proposal. Other entrants were:

  • Sam Finkleman with Inuksuk, a figure made of piled stones commonly used to communicate in Inuit culture
  • Princy Kuriakose with The Hummingbird
  • Adam Skrypczak with Hook ʼEm, a depiction of a longhorn

Held since 1966, the contest is open to first-year orthodontics residents. They are required to use orthodontic materials such as wire, rubber bands and dental acrylic.

Entries are judged by a vote of faculty, staff and students in three categories: most esthetically pleasing, most innovative design, and highest technical competence.

The contest was inspired by the late Dr. Ben Moffett, a department faculty member for three decades. After taking a UW art class in form and function, he thought it would be helpful to have weekly lectures on the subject at the School of Dentistry. Strong interest in the lectures led to the creation of the contest.

Inuksuk by Dr. Sam Finkleman
Inuksuk by Dr. Sam Finkleman
 Hook ’Em by Dr. Adam Skrypczak
Hook ’Em by Dr. Adam Skrypczak
The Hummingbird by Dr. Princy Kuriakose
The Hummingbird by Dr. Princy Kuriakose

Third-year students receive clinical coats

Class of 2018 in white coats
Third-year students enjoy the moment after donning their clinical coats.
Dr. Dolphine Oda
Dr. Dolphine Oda, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, addresses the students.

Sixty-six students from the Class of 2018, including eight new students in the International DDS program, formally received their clinical coats on Saturday in the School of Dentistry’s 12th annual White Coat Ceremony in Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.

The ceremony, which is sponsored by the school’s Dental Alumni Association, signifies the students’ ascension to the role of clinical provider. During their first two years, students observe and assist in the clinic while they focus on classroom studies and practice on dental mannequins in the school’s Simulation Laboratory. They begin to treat patients in third year under close faculty supervision.

Dr. Wataha and Paul Krzeszowski
Paul Krzeszowski, with assistance from faculty member Dr. John Wataha, puts on his clinical coat.

Dr. Dolphine Oda, whose second-year course in oral pathology is often cited by students as the class they enjoy the most, addressed the students at their invitation before the students took a pledge of excellence. The pledge includes commitments to conduct themselves with integrity; to demonstrate compassion and empathy for patients and colleagues; to aspire to leadership; and to maintain a high level of competence.

Jessica Wieder and Dr. Johnson
Jessica Wieker gets a hand with her clinical coat from Dr. Glen Johnson of the faculty.

Students in the International DDS program are licensed dentists from other countries who come to the UW to complete the last two years of the dental curriculum, with a goal of gaining U.S. licensure.

Two Dentistry students in first group of “Husky 100”

Two School of Dentistry students, Dr. Wenjie Li and Dr. David Ludwig, were among those named to the first “Husky 100” cohort announced on May 2 by the University of Washington.

Headshot of Dr. Wenjie Li
Wenjie Li

The new recognition of 100 undergraduate and graduate students spotlights those who are making the most of their UW experience and embody the university’s ideals. “The Husky 100 know that education happens inside and outside of the classroom, and they are making a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future,” the Husky 100 website says.

Students were selected for recognition based on criteria including their spirit of discovery, a commitment to inclusiveness, and capacity for leadership. Nominations were sought from all UW campuses, including Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma.

Dr. Li, who was trained as a dentist in his native China, is studying for a master’s degree in oral biology in the Department of Oral Health Sciences.  Dr. Ludwig, who received his undergraduate and DDS degrees from the UW, is a first-year resident in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Headshot of Dr. David Ludwig
David Ludwig

Members of the Husky 100 will be further recognized at a celebration at the Husky Union Building on May 16. In addition, they will receive opportunities to network with other UW students, alumni, faculty, staff, and business leaders.

“The Husky 100 truly reflect the students across our campuses,” wrote UW Interim Provost Gerald Baldasty in a message to UW faculty, staff and students  on Monday. “They have founded start-ups, conducted undergraduate research and advocated for social justice. They work on campus and in our communities. They are leaders and innovators.”

Dr. Shatha Bamashmous named UW Magnuson Scholar

Dr. Shatha Bamashmous, a PhD candidate in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Health Sciences, has been named a 2016-17 University of Washington Magnuson Scholar, the UW has announced.

Shatha BamashmousDr. Bamashmous, who already holds a bachelor’s degree in Dental Medicine and Surgery from King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was one of six recipients selected for the $30,000 award, which is one of the UW’s highest. In 2013, she received her specialty certification in periodontology from the UW and is now a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.

The recipients, one from each of the UW’s Health Sciences schools, are selected for their academic performance and potential contributions to research in the health sciences.

Since 2014, Dr. Bamashmous has been an instructor in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontics, where she teaches pre-doctoral students. From 2008 to 2009, she was also a clinical instructor in periodontics at King Abdul-Aziz University, where she ranked first in her dental graduating class.

Her previous honors include the 2012 Richard Kao Basic Science Research Award from the California Society of Periodontists, and she was finalist in the 2013 Volpe International Periodontal Competition of Periodontists and in the Research Forum Poster session at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Academy of Periodontology.

Dr. Bamashmous’ current research focuses on the migration of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that makes up a key component of the immune system. Understanding this key host protective mechanism in healthy gum tissue can translate into clinical applications by providing gum health diagnostic tests, she said.

“My long-term goal is to be a leader in the field of periodontics, and I believe the knowledge and research experience I gained during my training at the University of Washington will help me achieve my goal,” she said. After she obtains her PhD, she said, she will join the dental school’s periodontics faculty at King Abdul-Aziz University.

“Working in an academic environment will give me the opportunity to make a difference by conducting meaningful research, teaching in a dynamic atmosphere and serving community needs through providing excellent clinical care,” she said.

“I’m extremely gratified that the Magnuson Scholars selection committee has chosen such a deserving candidate,” said Dean Joel Berg of the School of Dentistry. “These awards give a valuable boost to the young researchers like Dr. Bamashmous who will be making transformative breakthroughs in oral health science in the years ahead.”

The Magnuson Scholars program honors the late Sen. Warren G. Magnuson of Washington, a leading advocate of biomedical research who played a key role in establishing the National Institutes of Health, Medicare and Medicaid. He is also the namesake of the UW’s Magnuson Health Sciences Center.

UW’s Sohaib Soliman elected national student dental president

Sohaib Soliman, a third-year student at the UW School of Dentistry, was elected president of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) at the organization’s annual meeting in Dallas on March 2-5.

Sohaib Soliman at podium
Sohaib Soliman prepares to speak at an American Student Dental Association district meeting at the UW’s Husky Union Building in January.

Soliman has held other ASDA positions including district trustee, district legislative chair and UW community service chair.

A native of Socorro, N.M., Soliman received a bachelor’s degree in biology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 2013. As a dental student, he launched a partnership between the local ASDA chapter and the Washington Oral Health Foundation in 2014 to provide drug and oral health education to at-risk youth in the Seattle area.

His other volunteer activities have included helping provide dental screenings for migrant farm workers at Seattle’s Casa Latina clinic, providing dental services to clients at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission clinic, and working with the Teeth and Toes program, which enlists UW health sciences students to provide foot exams and dental screenings to Union Gospel Mission shelter residents.

“We’re all enormously proud of Sohaib, who had already established himself as an outstanding leader even before this,” said School of Dentistry Dean Joel Berg. “Sohaib really exemplifies the values we hope that all of our students will share, and I know that he’ll continue this record of achievement as ASDA president.”

ASDA, founded in 1971, maintains chapters at each of the United States’ 65 dental schools, with membership encompassing nearly 90 percent of all students. Beyond its advocacy for dental student concerns, the organization also lobbies legislators on issues such as funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and legislation including the Protect Medical Innovation Act and the Meth Mouth Prevention and Community Recovery Act.

Dr. Sepideh Torkan wins wire sculpture contest

Wire Sculpture Dancers
Dr. Sepideh Torkan/Dancers

Dr. Sepideh Torkan, a student in the Department of Orthodontics at the School of Dentistry, has won the department’s annual wire sculpture contest with a creation titled Dancers.

Second place went to Dr. Sherwin Habibi for his Phoenix sculpture, while other finalists included Dr.  Yelena Akselrod, Dr. Neal Bastian and Dr. Veronica Toro.

The contest, which is open to first-year orthodontics residents, requires entrants to use orthodontic materials such as wire, rubber bands and dental acrylic.

Entries are judged by a vote of faculty, staff and students in three categories: most esthetically pleasing, most innovative design, and highest technical competence (quality of welding and soldering, for example).

Wire Sculpture-Phoenix
Dr. Sherwin Habibi/Phoenix

Previous contestants have submitted creations including an aquarium with wire decorations and live fish, the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, a winged dragon and the head of the ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti.

The contest, which began in 1966, was inspired by the late Dr. Ben Moffett, a department faculty member for three decades. After taking a UW art class in form and function, he thought it would be helpful to have someone give weekly lectures on the subject at the School of Dentistry. The lectures drew strong interest, which led to the creation of the contest.

Wire Sculpture - Flower and Candle
Dr. Veronica Toro/ Flower and Candle
Wire Sculpture - Man Spinning the Wheel of Life
Dr. Yelena Akselrod/ Man Spinning the Wheel of Life
Wire Sculpture of Boeing 787
Dr. Neal Bastian/ Boeing 787

Dentistry, Medicine team on new program for underrepresented students

The School of Dentistry is teaming with the UW School of Medicine on an initiative to draw more  undergraduate students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds into careers in the  health sciences.

SOD studentsThe new Health Professions Academy,  a collaboration of the two schools and the Office for Minority Affairs and Diversity, is funded by a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. Between 30 and 40 students are expected to be enrolled in the first year for pre-medical and pre-dental programs, with a goal of expanding the program to the other health sciences at the UW: pharmacy, social work, nursing and public health. Organizers also hope to offer the program to students at the UW’s campuses in Tacoma and Bothell.

Read more about the Health Professions Academy here.

Student Nataliia Garibov wins top honors at Research Day presentations

Nataliia Garibov
Nataliia Garibov

Second-year dental student Nataliia Garibov received the 2015 American Dental Association (ADA)  Clinician Scholar Award for her research project during the School of Dentistry’s annual Research Day on Sept. 25.

Garibov, whose project was titled “Quantitative Sensory Testing Reliability and Sensory Loss After Third Molar Surgery,” will now represent the University of Washington in the National Student Research Competition at next year’s ADA annual meetings, which take place in Denver in October.

Her project, which was mentored by Dr. Mark Drangsholt and co-authored by L. Angkanawaraphan and A. Szajman, was selected for the award by the school’s Research Advisory Committee and the UW Student Research Group.

Second- and third-place awards went to two other members of the dental Class of 2018. The second-place award went to Karen Wang, whose project was “Longevity of Ceramic Veneers: A Retrospective Cohort Study.” It was mentored by Drs. Yen-Wei Chen and Joana Cunha-Cruz.

Abigail Mazon
Abigail Mazon
Karen Wang
Karen Wang

Third place went to Abigail Mazon for her project on “Dental Treatment under General Anesthesia: A Three-Year Retrospective Cohort Study.”  Her work is mentored by Dr. Cunha-Cruz, with Dr. Travis Nelson and Dr. Christy McKinney serving as co-authors.

The day’s keynote speaker was Dr. Buddy Ratner, Professor in the UW Department of Bioengineering and Department of Chemical Engineering and director of UW Engineered Biomaterials, whose subject was “Think Regenerative for Dental and Craniofacial Reconstruction – It’s Coming!”

Other speakers were:

  • Jeffrey McLean, Acting Associate Professor of Periodontics, who spoke on “Disrupting Microbial Social Networking: #Epic_Oral_Fail.”
  • Whasun “Sun” Oh Chung, Research Professor of Oral Health Sciences and director of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program at the School of Dentistry, who spoke on “Titanate-Metal Complex: A Novel Antimicrobial Compound in the Age of Increasing Bacterial Resistance.”
  • Donald Chi, Associate Professor of Oral Health Sciences, who spoke on “Xylitol and Dental Caries Prevention in Children: Non-Linearity of the T1-T4 Translational Research Process.”

Research Day was sponsored by the School of Dentistry’s Office of Research and co-sponsored by the Seattle Section of the American Association for Dental Research and the UW chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the dental honorary society.

Down to the wire: Dr. Mina Katchooi wins Orthodontics sculpture contest

The Water Lily, by Dr. Mina Katchooi
The Water Lily, by Dr. Mina Katchooi

Dr. Mina Katchooi, who fashioned an elegant tableau featuring a water lily and hovering dragonfly, has won top honors in the School of Dentistry’s annual Department of Orthodontics wire sculpture contest for first-year residents.

Dr. Derek Hou came in second in the popular vote by faculty, staff and students with his entry depicting Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Other finalists were Drs. Fedora Katz, Sheah Han Soh and Kelly Weikert.

“Rising above the water to extract energy from the sun, the water lily is a reminder that perseverance will lead to reawakening,” read a small metal plaque accompanying Dr. Katchooi’s entry.

Rudolph’s Big Day, by Dr. Derek Hou
Rudolph’s Big Day, by Dr. Derek Hou

For the contest, which began in 1966, entrants must use predominantly orthodontic materials, such as wire, rubber bands and dental acrylic. Sculptures are judged for esthetic quality, innovative design and technical competence.

Previous contestants have submitted creations including an aquarium with wire decorations and live fish, the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, a winged dragon and the head of the ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti.

The contest was inspired by the late Dr. Ben Moffett, who spent three decades as a department faculty member. After taking a UW art class in form and function, he thought it would be helpful to have someone give weekly lectures on the subject at the School of Dentistry. Strong interest in the topic eventually led to the creation of the contest.

Take Me to the Sea, by Dr. Fedora Katz The Tree of Hope, by Dr. Sheah Han SohWild Mustang, by Dr. Kelly Weikert

Take Me to the Sea, by Dr. Fedora Katz, The Tree of Hope, by Dr. Sheah Han Soh, and Wild Mustang, by Dr. Kelly Weikert

Class of 2016 marks start of careers as clinicians

Sixty-seven members of the Class of 2016, including five in the International DDS program, received their official clinical coats on Saturday in the School of Dentistry’s 10th annual White Coat Ceremony.

The event, held before the start of their third year in school, signifies the students’ taking on the role of clinician during their last two years of pre-doctoral training. It is sponsored by the UW Dental Alumni Association.

Dr. WatahaKeynote speaker Dr. John Wataha, Associate Dean for Information Management and Quality Improvement, imparted four key lessons to the students. He framed his ethics-laden message against the experiences of his late father, an accountant and small-town Wyoming mayor.

“In clinic, you learn a lot about people, and you have to be careful not to judge them too quickly,” he said. Dr. Wataha recalled how allegations of lawlessness and corruption led to his father being interviewed on the 60 Minutes television program, along with investigations by the IRS, the FBI and state authorities.

None of the charges were ever substantiated and no prosecutions ever resulted, but the whole business led to painfully fractured relationships between his father and townspeople who had lodged accusations, with trust irreparably broken.

“From my father, I learned the importance of friendship and trust,” Dr. Wataha said. “Your job is to facilitate help, not judge. You have to look out for your patients’ best interests.”

Nathan Bushman
With help from Dr. Ricardo Schwedhelm, Nathan Bushman dons his clinical coat.

Dr. Wataha also urged students to learn from their inevitable errors and conduct honest self-evaluations. He added: “Avoid the pitfall of convincing yourself that the most expensive treatment is the best thing for the patient.”

“Time and life are short,” he said. “Be a good person and clinician, starting today. You might not get a chance tomorrow. … You are being given a chance to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s a marvelous gift.”

Dean Joel Berg welcomed families and friends of the students to the ceremony. He told students that they’d be in for many surprises in the next two years and well beyond and urged them, “Don’t ever think you’ve seen it all or done it all. Don’t ever lose that capacity to be surprised. And when that surprise jumps out at you, don’t waste it. Use it as a learning moment.”

Class President Christine Melch led the students in reciting the traditional pledge of excellence, integrity and empathy.

Class of 2014 receives degrees at graduation

Sixty-six members of the Class of 2014 received their doctoral hoods on June 7 during the School of Dentistry’s annual graduation ceremony at Meany Hall on the UW campus.

Dr. John Townsend
Dr. John Townsend

The graduates included eight students in the Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program. Five graduates came from the school’s International DDS program, in which foreign students already holding a DDS or its equivalent take the last two years of dental school at the UW as a prelude to U.S. certification. During the proceedings, the school also recognized four recipients of master’s degrees in oral biology.

Special guests included several members of the school’s Class of 1964 and their spouses.

Faculty member Dr. John Townsend, invited by the students to deliver the keynote speech, urged the graduates to be appreciative of the help and support they had received from family, friends, faculty and teachers before dental school, and asked them to think about ways in which they could repay this help.

Dean Joel Berg
Dean Joel Berg
Dr. Eric Olendorf
Dr. Eric Olendorf

He told them to take any anxiety about their future in stride, saying: “Take each step at a time, just the way you did during your dental education.”

Dr. Townsend also stressed the continuity of dental education. “The dental degree is a license to keep learning,” he said. “It’s a continuing challenge to maintain your knowledge and skill level in your profession.” He also spoke of the personal qualities they would need.

“With patients, the challenge is to be confident without being overconfident,” he said, adding: “We’ve emphasized the biomechanical and mechanical aspects [of dentistry] these four years, but honesty and integrity trump skill.”

Opening the ceremony, Dean Joel Berg told the graduates: “I hope you look at these four years as just the start of a lifetime of dental education. I hope you’ll practice and support evidence-based dentistry. I hope you’ll understand the value of research in everything we do as dentists. And I hope you continue to uphold the highest ideals of integrity and professional ethics.”

Christman_Christman
A special moment: Faculty marshal Dr. Gary Christman drapes a doctoral hood on his daughter, Dr. Rachel Christman.

Also speaking was Class of 2014 president Dr. Eric Olendorf, who acknowledged a debt of gratitude to faculty members such as Dr. Townsend. He added a lighthearted twist with a list of things he had learned from his classmates (“I learned that some people still actually consider paintball a sport”).

Dental students join health sciences exercise

When UW medical student Jory Wasserburger served a rotation in a Wyoming family physician’s office last year, the doctor wondered about the high number of child patients with untreated tooth decay. So he asked Wasserburger to look into the problem and brainstorm some community strategies.

At South Campus Center, RIDE dental student Christian Okafor and pharmacy students Sandra Carroll (center) and Traci Mo discuss community pediatric oral health strategies.
At South Campus Center, RIDE dental student Christian Okafor and pharmacy students Sandra Carroll (center) and Traci Mo discuss community pediatric oral health strategies.

On Tuesday, Wasserburger got a little help – from more than 600 fellow UW health sciences students, including a contingent from the School of Dentistry.

The students, guided by more than 50 faculty members, met at six sites around campus in the fifth exercise of the new Foundations of Interprofessional Practice curriculum. The six-session, year-long series, which began last fall, gathers students for problem-solving exercises designed to improve health-care delivery through better collaboration among various disciplines. It reflects a growing UW emphasis  on interprofessional health sciences education (IPE), which began in the late 1990s.

Students break into small groups with representatives from the different health sciences schools: medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, public health and social work. They tackle a real-life health scenario and develop team-based approaches to patient care and public health.

“The goal is to give them the chance to work together,” said Sarah Shannon, associate professor of biobehavioral nursing and health systems at the School of Nursing, who led the two-hour session at South Campus Center.

“Yes, they learn content. Yes, they learn skills. But the most important thing is that they learn how to work as teams on important health problems.”

The School of Medicine, for example, has been integrating oral health into its curriculum, while the School of Dentistry’s RIDE program lets dental students spend their first year studying alongside dental hygiene students and medical students.

Dental student Nguyen Tung describes how fluoride varnish is applied as medical student Kaitlyn Mulhern listens.
Dental student Nguyen Tung describes how fluoride varnish is applied as medical student Kaitlyn Mulhern listens.

During Tuesday’s exercise, students analyzed the Wyoming scenario, then identified contributing factors. They devised community-based approaches to pediatric tooth decay and even learned how to apply fluoride varnish, a sticky but effective anti-cavity treatment.

Some of their strategies were  truly novel: “Fluoridate all the Coca-Cola,” one group suggested with tongue in cheek.  Other recommendations, however, were carefully thought out:

  • Add dental screenings to well-child exams by pediatricians.
  • Add oral health to general medical histories and charts.
  • Remove high-sugar snacks from school vending machines and enlist school nurses to apply fluoride varnish.
  • Put warning labels on milk and juice boxes about how those drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay.

During lively discussions in the individual groups, students applied their own experience to solving the problem. Nursing student Elizabeth Rodgers, who has helped teach good health habits at Boys and Girls Clubs, talked about effective ways to reach children with messages.

“Keep it short,” she told her group partners at South Campus Center. “Have fun. Play games. Make it as hands-on as possible. They like pictures, too.”

At a different table, physician assistant student Michael Fleming raised another problem:  “The problem with kids – you can educate them until you’re blue in the face, but then Mom goes to the grocery store and puts junk in the cart. What are you going to do?”

In another group, members peppered dental student Eric Nelson with questions, and he shared insights about everything from temporary crowns to proper brushing technique.

“After brushing, you want to avoid hot foods or food like chips that scrape off fluoride. You want the fluoride to sit on the teeth,” he said.

In addition to the group discussions, students also watched brief video presentations from Dean Joel Berg of the School of Dentistry and Noel Chrisman, professor of psychosocial and community health in the School of Nursing. Dr. Berg, who is past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,  discussed pediatric oral health, while Chrisman talked about successful community-based approaches in the Seattle area, including dental screenings for kindergartners.

The Foundations series is part of the UW’s Interprofessional Education Initiative: Vision for a Collaborative Future, a team-based approach to teaching and delivering health care, which began in 2012. The program seeks to advance the “triple aim” promoted by the non-profit Institute for Healthcare Improvement:

  • Improving the patient experience of care
  • Improving the health of populations
  • Reducing the cost of health care

The academic year’s final FIP exercise, in early spring, will tackle post-deployment care for veterans.

Dr. Niousha Saghafi wins wire sculpture contest

Creating an intricately woven wire tree adorned with a swing and a bench, Dr. Niousha Saghafi won the annual Department of Orthodontics wire sculpture contest for first-year residents.

Wire Sculpture by Niousha Saghafi
Wire Sculpture by Niousha Saghafi

Dr. Mariana Muguerza came in second in the popular vote by faculty, staff and students in December. Her delicately fashioned butterfly perched on its base via a single strand of wire, fluttering at a breath of air.

Dr. Roozbeh Khosravi, Dr. Keyvan Sohrabi and Dr. Matthew Stout also contributed entries to the contest, which has been staged since 1966. Entrants must use predominantly orthodontic materials, such as wire, rubber bands and dental acrylic, and their work is judged for esthetic quality, innovative design and technical competence.

Previous contests have included a geisha figure, a model town, the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, a strand of DNA and the Lion King.

The contest was inspired by Dr. Ben Moffett, a School of Dentistry professor emeritus of orthodontics who passed away in 2008 after serving as a faculty member for three decades. In the 1960s, he took a UW art class in form and function, and was inspired to bring a lecturer on the subject to the School of Dentistry for weekly talks. Continuing interest in the subject soon led to the creation of the contest.

Mariana MuguerzaKeyvan SohrabiRoozbeh KhosraviMatthew Stout