Focus on Faculty: Dr. Kathryn Preston
Interview with Dr. Kathryn Preston, Assistant Professor of Orthodontics
Dean Krebsbach - What are your primary responsibilities at the dental school?
Dr. Preston - I am director of the pre-doctoral orthodontics' curriculum. I am also the lead orthodontist for the UCLA Craniofacial Team. My expertise is in treating cleft patients and those affected by craniofacial differences.
Dean Krebsbach - What other medical or dental specialists participate in the craniofacial team?
Dr. Preston - It’s a very diverse team of experts – we meet at least weekly and oftentimes communicate even more regularly to coordinate patient care. Other specialists include pediatricians, pediatric dentists, plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists/head and neck surgeons, speech pathologists, audiologists, social workers, nurse coordinators, and genetic counselors, among others.
Dean Krebsbach - Tell us something about your clinical training.
Dr. Preston - I am a UCLA Dentistry alumna from the Class of 2014. I subsequently completed an orthodontics residency program and received a master's degree in Oral Biology from Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry, now called Texas A&M University College of Dentistry. After my residency, I taught at UCLA and USC for a time and then completed a craniofacial fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital – which is home to the largest craniofacial center in the country.
Dean Krebsbach - What changes have you noticed at the school since you graduated in 2014?
Dr. Preston - Well, we have a new dean…and I've also seen changes in the structure of the pre-doctoral curriculum, and new technology used in teaching. It’s great to be back and to be able to view things from a different perspective.
Dean Krebsbach - What do you enjoy most about your job?
Dr. Preston - I enjoy the challenges of working with the craniofacial team and advocating for our patients – it is a very unique group of providers and patients and I am privileged to take part. I also truly enjoy teaching the pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral residents. With my background in craniofacial orthodontics, I have been able to take part in the resident education across multiple disciplines and appreciate the diversity that this role brings. I’m also appreciative of our staff and my faculty colleagues in our orthodontics program. I’m proud of my commitment to teaching and happy to be back at UCLA.
In the first year of my deanship, I found myself surrounded by faculty, students, staff, and fellow academic leaders wanting to introduce me to the beauty of this campus, this city, and this outstanding dental school – UCLA Dentistry. I have been warmly welcomed by the entire community to what has now become my home.
Making Saliva a Serious Business
“Most people are surprised when I tell them that saliva can reveal as much, if not more, than blood or urine can. We have made it our mission to make saliva testing a clinical reality to detect for serious diseases. And we’re getting very, very close.”
Decoding Oral Health: Diana Wang, Class of 2017
“I believe there’s a little bit of pathologist in all of us,” said Diana Wang, Class of 2017. “Patients always want to know why something happened to them, and pathology helps answer those difficult questions.”