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UCLA team discovers how to restrict growth, spread of head and neck cancers

Research on mouse models targets new ‘checkpoint’ that enables cancer stem cells to evade immune system

Researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry have discovered a key molecule that allows cancer stem cells to bypass the body’s natural immune defenses, spurring the growth and spread of head and neck squamous cell cancers. Their study, conducted in mice, also demonstrates that inhibiting this molecule derails cancer progression and helps eliminate these stem cells.  

Meet an Alum: Dr. David Avenetti, Class of 2010

Alumnus Dr. David Avenetti found his calling in public health while he was still an undergraduate at USC. Faced with the inevitable question of what’s next, he applied to both dental schools and master’s degree programs in public health, knowing he eventually wanted to pursue both. When UCLA Dentistry accepted him into their Class of 2010, he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. 

Deactivating cancer cell gene boosts immunotherapy for head and neck cancers

UCLA discovery opens a pathway toward the discovery more effective treatments

By targeting an enzyme that plays a key role in head and neck cancer cells, researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry were able to significantly slow the growth and spread of tumors in mice and enhance the effectiveness of an immunotherapy to which these types of cancers often become resistant.

Meet an Alum: Dr. Malieka Johnson, Class of 2011

Dr. Malieka Johnson, DDS Class of 2011, is a San Diego-based private practice dentist focusing on general and adult special needs dentistry. Prior to UCLA Dentistry, Dr. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC San Diego in 2003. During dental school, she heard the call to specialize in caring for people with special needs. Following the completion of her DDS degree, she completed a general practice residency at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA.

Unlocking The Mystery Behind Skeletal Aging

By identifying the underlying factors leading to bone loss and osteoporosis, UCLA dentist-scientists hope to pave the way to new treatments

Researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry have identified the role a critical enzyme plays in skeletal aging and bone loss, putting them one step closer to understanding the complex biological mechanisms that lead to osteoporosis, the bone disease that afflicts some 200 million people worldwide.

Essay Contest Winners Announced

We are always eager to share positive news of our dental students’ accomplishments and we couldn’t be prouder of the following individuals for winning an essay competition honoring Dr. Clifton O. Dummett, Sr. surrounding diversity in dentistry. The competition honors the late Dr. Dummett, a pioneer in dentistry and dental education. Essays addressed race relations in the profession through the lens of editorials written in the National Dental Association Bulletin from 1953-1975.

Out of the 22 awards across 12 dental schools, five of our UCLA students were award recipients!

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