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How we operate


Current Director: Dr. Pamela DenBesten, DDS, MS.

The Center Director builds an internationally recognized and collaborative research center to advance pediatric oral health by:

  1. Fostering and building interdisciplinary research collaborations and interactions between basic and translational scientists and clinicians
  2. Recruiting faculty, working with the Steering Committee to advance the goals of the center, working with the Dean to decide how funds raised are apportioned among the needs, and providing Steering Committee decisions related to Center scientists
  3. Developing and sustaining resources required to ensure the vitality of the Center
  4. Coordinating fundraising efforts together with the Development Office
  5. Developing membership criteria and confirming members together with the Steering Committee

Steering Committee

Current Steering Committee: Thuan Le DDS, PhD.; Wu Li MD, PhD; Brent Lin, DMD; Yukiko Nakano, DDS, PhD; Rungnapa Warotayanont, DDS, PhD; Yan Zhang, MD, PhD, and Ling Zhan, DDS, PhD.

The Steering Committee, chaired and appointed by the Director, meets regularly to advise the Director on all aspects of the program.


  1. Current members are listed under Our Members.
  2. Members are invited to join the Center and play an active role in achieving its goals, focused on the Center’s goals to promote changes in policy, advances in children’s oral health care and research