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Dr. Joel Berg will become the next dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry, UW Provost Ana Mari Cauce has announced. 
Dr. Berg, who had been Lloyd and Kay Chapman Chair for Oral Health at the School, heading the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, will assume his new post on Aug. 15, subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.
He will succeed Tim DeRouen, who was appointed interim dean for the 2011-2012 academic year after the resignation of Martha Somerman. She had left the deanship after nine years to become director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Dr. Berg, nationally prominent as president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), furthered his reputation as director of the Center for Pediatric Dentistry, a partnership between the UW and Seattle Children’s hospital. The new facility at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, which he planned and brought to fruition with its opening in September 2010, has a mission of pediatric clinical care, dental and parent education, and research. Its major focus lies in early intervention, with an emphasis on dental visits by age 1.
“Joel Berg is one of the nation’s leaders in dental education and research, and we are fortunate to have him here already at the University of Washington to assume this important leadership position in our School of Dentistry,” said Dr. Cauce. Dr. Berg’s selection followed a nationwide search by a UW committee chaired by Thomas Baillie, dean of the School of Pharmacy. 
“I am deeply honored to be named dean at a school and a university renowned for their leadership in health education and research,” Dr. Berg said. “Our School of Dentistry has truly outstanding faculty, staff and students, and I expect us to continue to make a profound impact on oral health care, education and research.”
Since joining the UW in 2003, Dr. Berg has taken on multiple responsibilities. In addition to his duties as department chair, he also serves as Dental Director for Seattle Children’s and Associate Dean for Hospital Affairs at the School of Dentistry, and as a national spokesman for AAPD. 
Dr. Berg received a DDS degree in 1983, a Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry in 1985 and an MS degree in oral biology in 1985, all from the University of Iowa. Before joining the UW, he also served on dental faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas.
He also has private-sector experience as executive vice president for research and clinical affairs for ESPE America, Inc. and vice president for clinical affairs for Philips Oral Healthcare.
Dr. Berg has authored or co-authored more than 100 abstracts, articles and chapters, and is co-editor of a textbook on early childhood oral health. His current research includes innovative new technologies for early caries detection, which has long been one of his major research and academic interests.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists, as well as a board director of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. In 2011, he was named the Washington Dental Service Foundation Distinguished Professor for Dentistry.

Reader Comments (1)

I'm very impressed by the AAPD response to the PBS Frontline program, on problematic issues in dentistry. As President of the AAPD, I'm certain Dr Berg was in the forefront of the response. I contrast this, to the defensive reactions in other segments of organized dentistry.

In fact, in the past, officers & former officers of the AAPD have been involved w/ dental service organizations (DSOs), usually owned by private equity companies, which have placed corporate profits ahead of the interests of disadvantaged children & the taxpayers. I'm very hopeful Dr Joel Berg represents a change in this toxic association.

The public should expect no less than the highest level of integrity from the dental profession. I'm very hopeful Dr Berg is at the vanguard of this change.

Michael W Davis, DDS

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