May 31, 2017

Dr. Jonathan An named UW Magnuson Scholar

Dr. Jonathan An, who earned his DDS degree from the University of Washington School of Dentistry in 2016 and is now pursuing a PhD in oral biology at the school, has been named a UW Magnuson Scholar for 2017-18, the university has announced.

Dr. An was one of six annual recipients – one from each of the university’s Health Sciences schools – selected for the $30,000 award, which is one of the UW’s highest. Recipients are chosen for their academic performance and potential contributions to research in the health sciences.

Jon An in the labThe award is the latest in a series of honors for Dr. An, on whom the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) bestowed the Hatton Award, its highest recognition for a dental student, in 2012. Earlier that year, he also won the Hatton Award from the American Association for Dental Research, and he was one of the five initial winners of the IADR’s Haraeus Travel Award in 2010. That award is given to young investigators who study new and innovative testing methods for dental materials, along with ways to develop and improve those materials. In 2013, he won the American Dental Association’s Student Clinician Scholar Award. In 2015, he received one of the first two ARCS Foundation Fellowships awarded at the School of Dentistry.

“To be named a Magnuson Scholar is a great privilege and honor,” said Dr. An, who is currently studying the mechanistic and molecular basis of periodontal disease in the context of aging. He has won a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Award Fellowship Grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to pursue his studies.

“My long-term goal has always been to remain part of the academic environment,” Dr. An said. “As a dentist-scientist, I hope to bridge the ties between chair-side observations and bench science. The training I receive at the University of Washington will prepare me to become an academic clinician and researcher, and be more equipped to make a positive difference in others’ lives.”

Dr. An, a native of Puyallup, Wash., received his BS in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the UW in 2009. He then joined the School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Health Science as a researcher while also working as a dental assistant in a private clinic.  As a student in the school’s DDS-PhD program, he embarked on his PhD studies after receiving his DDS. He has already contributed to several articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. An is also an active volunteer in the community, working with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. He has also volunteered with the UW’s Geriatric Mobile Clinic and Elder Health Northwest, Global Dental Brigades, and Ronald McDonald House.

“Dr. An’s combination of clinical skill and research excellence typifies the ideals of the UW School of Dentistry,” said Dr. Sara Gordon, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. “We aim to create dentists who use their intelligence and creativity to perform research that will solve the important health problems of today and tomorrow. We are so proud of Dr. An.”

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