UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Natasha Flake named to lead Department of Endodontics

Dr. Natasha Flake, Associate Professor of Endodontics at the School of Dentistry, has been appointed  Acting Chair of the Department of Endodontics, Interim Dean James Johnson has announced.

Dr. Flake’s appointment fills a vacancy created last fall when Dr. Johnson, who had been department chair, assumed the deanship.

Natasha FlakeDr. Flake joined the School of Dentistry faculty as Acting Assistant Professor in 2007 after earning her MSD and Certificate in Endodontics at the University of Washington. She also holds a PhD in neuroscience and a DDS from the University of Maryland. She earned her BS in biological sciences and membership in Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Missouri. She was promoted to Associate Professor, tenure track, in 2015, and she is a diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics.

Dr. Flake, who also practices endodontics privately in Seattle, is the first faculty member to hold the Robert J. Oswald and David L. Pitts Endowed Professorship in Endodontics at the school. She has received multiple recognitions for her teaching, including the Bruce R. Rothwell Distinguished Teaching Award, the school’s highest teaching honor. In 2016, she earned the Edward M. Osetek Educator Award from the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). This year, she is completing her one-year term as an American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute Fellow, in a program designed to groom the next generation of leaders in academic dentistry.

“I am so proud of Dr. Flake. She excels in every endeavor. She is a superb clinical provider and a talented researcher and educator,” Dean Johnson said. “It was very special to me when she earned the Edward M. Osetek Educator Award. Dr. Osetek was my mentor, so for Dr. Flake to receive this award was very gratifying, because I hold both in the highest regard.”

Dr. Flake has taken a prominent role in the school’s new curriculum, which was extensively revised over the last few years and includes clerkships, a series of third-year clinical rotations designed to give students a more concentrated, focused exposure to the core skills of general dentistry. She chairs the Clerkship Directors Committee and directs the endodontics clerkship, and also contributed to the curriculum’s formulation, including service on the Curriculum Committee.

She has also played other roles at the school including Chair and Vice Chair of the Faculty Council and Director of Pre-doctoral Endodontics.

She is also an active researcher with interests in pain and outcomes of endodontic treatment.  She has been funded by the AAE Foundation, and has presented her work at national and international meetings.  She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Journal of Endodontics and as an ad hoc reviewer for several additional scientific journals and funding agencies.

Dr. Flake is active in organized dentistry, including AAE leadership roles. She has chaired the Research and Scientific Affairs Committee and Special Committee on Practice Based Research, served on the Educational Affairs Committee, and currently serves on the AAE Board of Directors.