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Endodontics organization honors two UW faculty members

Two School of Dentistry faculty members have received some of the highest recognition bestowed by their related professional association at the annual meeting of the American Association of Endodontists (AAE).

At the meeting in Montreal this month, Dr. James Johnson received the I.B. Bender Lifetime Educator award, while Dr. Avina Paranjpe received the Edward M. Osetek Educator award.

Dr. James Johnson

Dr. Johnson, who is chair and program director of the UW Department of Endodontics, was honored for his contributions to endodontics in the field of education. Award recipients must have demonstrated excellence through selfless commitment to full-time educational pursuits, and must have instilled in their students the desire to pursue excellence in their careers.

Dr. Avina Paranjpe, an associate professor of endodontics, was recognized for her qualities as an outstanding educator, as demonstrated by the esteem of students and faculty associates; the quality of former and current students and their impact on endodontics; and by her invitations to present endodontic seminars, lectures, or workshops at other educational institutions.

Dr. Johnson, who has chaired the department since 2003, also served as interim dean of the School of Dentistry for several months starting in October 2017 before returning to lead his department. Before coming to the UW, he served in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps, where he retired with the rank of captain. He chaired the Endodontics Department and directed the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Endodontics at the Naval Postgraduate Dental School, whose Research Department he also chaired. He also served as Specialty Leader for Endodontics in the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

He received his DDS degree from Northwestern University Dental School before serving as a dental officer in the U.S. Air Force, then practiced privately in Colorado before returning to Northwestern to earn a Certificate in Endodontics and an MS degree in 1985. He then returned to active duty in the Navy.

He has been an active researcher who has published a number of scientific papers and has lectured in the United States and Europe. He also has served as a consultant for endodontics for the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation, and on the board of the Washington State Association of Endodontists. He is a Fellow in the International College of Dentists and a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontists.

Dr. ParanjpeDr. Paranjpe joined the School of Dentistry’s faculty after completing an endodontics residency and earning an MSD in the specialty at the UW in 2009. She received a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from India’s Mumbai University in 2000 and practiced privately in Mumbai until 2002. She then earned an MS in oral biology in 2004 and a PhD in immunology in 2007 from the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 2018, she was named a Fellow for the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute, a yearlong program designed to groom dental faculty members as future leaders in dental and higher education. She was also named ADEA/AAE Foundation Scholar for the Leadership Institute. Last year, she also received the Rothwell Distinguished Teaching Award, the School of Dentistry’s highest faculty recognition.

Dr. Paranjpe, who has also chaired the school’s Faculty Council, holds the Department of Endodontics’ first endowed faculty fellowship. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, and has conducted research on dental materials and regenerative endodontics. She has numerous research publications on subjects including pulpal regeneration and revascularization, immunology, and compatibility of biomaterials.