New Faculty 2021-2022

The NYU College of Dentistry has built a remarkable cadre of faculty devoted to providing students with the full range of clinical and basic science training in order to prepare them for key roles in our nation's healthcare system. College of Dentistry faculty are also making dramatic progress as researchers in a number of areas, including bone biology, engineering artificial muscle, minimizing the devastating effects of oral cancer, revealing novel targets in programmed cell death, designing and testing dental implants, and reducing oral health disparities.

Assistant Professors

Farnaz Shamsi

Farnaz Shamsi

Farnaz Shamsi is Assistant Professor of Molecular Pathobiology. She holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, and an M.S. in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Tehran in Iran.

Shamsi’s laboratory studies the regulation of adipose tissue development and function and its role in systemic metabolism. She is a recipient of the Max Planck Society Scholarship, the American Diabetes Association Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the NIH/NIDDK K01 Career Development Award.

Prior to joining NYU, Shamsi was an Instructor in medicine at the Harvard Medical School Joslin Diabetes Center.

Associate Professors

May Khanna

May Khanna is Associate Professor of Molecular Pathobiology. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Wayne State University, and she completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California Los Angeles and at the University of Toronto.

Khanna’s research focuses on chemical biology tools for neurodegenerative diseases. She has authored 60 peer-reviewed publications in her area. She has been awarded five patents for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Prior to joining NYU, Khanna was an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, and a member of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science and BIO5. She is the cofounder of Regulonix, LLC, an early-stage biotechnology company, where she serves as Vice President and Director of Structural and Biophysical Chemistry. She is also a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Professors

Rajesh Khanna

Rajesh Khanna

Rajesh Khanna is Professor of Molecular Pathobiology and the Director of the NYU Pain Research Center. He earned a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Toronto. He went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Physiology and Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience at the University of California Los Angeles.

Khanna’s scientific investigations have generated new insight into the biologic mechanisms of pain, accelerated the pace of discovery in pain research, and laid the groundwork for the development of a new category of non-opioid pain reliever. His research is supported by over $8 million in NIH, foundation, and private venture funding. In addition to his scientific contributions, he has been awarded five patents for the treatment of pain, and has authored more than 175 peer-reviewed publications.

Prior to joining NYU, Khanna was the associate director of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and a member of the BIO5 Institute.  He also cofounded the company, Regulonix, LLC, and is the Chief Scientific Officer of this early-stage biotechnology company.

Leena Palomo

Leena Palomo

Leena Palomo is Professor and Chair of the Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry. She received her Bachelor’s, Dental, and Master’s in Dentistry (Periodontology) from Case Western Reserve University and a certificate in periodontics, also from CWRU. She earned a certificate in general practice from the St. Elizabeth Health System.
 
Palomo brings over a decade of collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and the Center for Specialized Women’s Health to her new position. Her research interests include women’s health, aesthetics, and quality of life. She has mentored numerous dental and medical postgraduate students who have received accolades and honors for the quality of their theses. Through her collaborations, she played a key role in periodontal research and treatment for the rheumatoid spectrum diseases, speaking at many national and international Sjögren’s and rheumatology meetings and publishing her findings on wellness in multidisciplinary and interprofessional journals.
 
Prior to joining NYU, Palomo was a tenured professor of periodontics at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. She was the first dentist in CWRU’s history to serve as chair of its Faculty Senate. A Diplomate and longtime examiner for the American Board of Periodontology (ABP), Palomo was recently elected ABP Director.

Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty

Andrea Beall

Andrea Beall

Andrea Beall is Clinical Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene. She holds an Ed.D. and an M.A. in Health Education from Columbia University Teachers College and a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from NYU College of Dentistry.

Beall’s research focuses on treating transgender and gender nonconforming patients and exploring dental hygienists’ knowledge, comfort, and attitudes surrounding treating this population. She is also interested in inspiring undergraduate dental hygiene students to pursue research opportunities.

Prior to this appointment, Beall was an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene at NYU Dentistry.

Irene Brandes

Irene Brandes

Irene Brandes is Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. She holds a DDS degree from NYU College of Dentistry and an M.D. degree from Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. She also completed a general practice residency at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center.

Brandes’s research and publications focus on the use of lasers to achieve minimally invasive aesthetic results.

Prior to this appointment, Brandes was an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology & Comprehensive Care at NYU College of Dentistry. She maintains a private practice in New York.

Elena Damiano

Elena Damiano is Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. She received a DDS degree from New York University College of Dentistry and completed a general practice residency at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Damiano has been actively involved in NYU College of Dentistry community outreach programs.

Prior to this appointment, she was an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology & Comprehensive Care at NYU College of Dentistry.

Brian Eng

Brian Eng

Brian Eng is Clinical Instructor in the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. He holds a DDS degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and a Master of Public Health from the State University of New York at Albany.

Eng is interested in improving healthcare delivery to underserved communities.

Prior to joining NYU, Eng worked in a multispecialty group practice in New York.

Rina Nowka

Rina Nowka is Clinical Instructor of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting. She holds an M.A. in Health Education from Montclair State University. 

Nowka has been a reviewer for multiple textbooks and an invited lecturer at numerous professional conferences on dental hygiene and allied dental health programs. 

Prior to assuming her present position, she was an Adjunct Clinical Instructor in the Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting. 

 

Klenise Paranhos

Klenise Paranhos

Klenise Paranhos is Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. She received a B.S. in General Dentistry from the Unievangélica Centro Universiátrio João Prudente Odontology School in Brazil and an M.S. in Dental Sciences and a certificate in Advanced Education General Dentistry, both from the University of Rochester Eastman Institute of Oral Health. She received certificates in Aesthetic Dentistry, Periodontics, and Implant Dentistry from NYU College of Dentistry, and she completed a general practice residency at Montefiore Hospital, part of New York Medical College (now Albert Einstein College of Medicine) in New York.

Paranhos’s research has focused on the Schneiderian Membrane during maxillary sinus augmentations, specifically on the quality of the membrane and on membrane perforations. She has also sought to understand the effect of occlusal splits and therapeutic exercises on the balance of patients with symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder.

Prior to this appointment, Paranhos was an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Periodontology & Implant at NYU College of Dentistry.

Geri Robin

Geri Robin

Geri Robin is Clinical Instructor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. She holds a DMD degree from Temple University School of Dentistry.

Robin is a fellow of the American Academy of General Dentistry and is an active member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the First District Dental Society.

Prior to this appointment, Robin was an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology & Comprehensive Care at NYU College of Dentistry.

Todd Ross

Todd Ross is Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. He received a DDS degree from Northwestern University Dental School and completed a general practice residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Ross has been an active participant in student mentorship at NYU College of Dentistry, serving as a peer-assessment facilitator and a self-assessment mentor. He has received the Student Council Faculty of the Month award on multiple occasions. Since 2017, he has represented the adjunct faculty as a Part-time Faculty Council Representative.

Prior to this appointment, Ross was an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology & Comprehensive Care at NYU College of Dentistry.

Ye Shi

Ye Shi

Ye Shi is Clinical Assistant Professor of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry. She received a dental degree from Nanjing Medical University College of Dentistry in Nanjing, China, and an M.S. in Prosthodontics from Peking Union Medical College in Beijing. She holds certificates in Periodontics and in Implant Dentistry from NYU College of Dentistry.

Shi’s research has focused on digitally guided implant placement and digitally guided ridge augmentation. She is a recipient of the 2018 Nobel Biocare Student Member Annual Meeting Scholarship and she won first place in the 2018 Northeastern Society of Periodontists Tannenbaum/Schoor Memorial School Competition. She is Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

Prior to this appointment, Shi was an Adjunct Instructor in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry at NYU College of Dentistry.

Berkey T. Suer

Berkey Suer is Clinical Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine. He holds a DDS from NYU College of Dentistry, an Ms.D. from Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, and a Ph.D. from the Gulhane Military Medical Academy in Ankara, Turkey.

Suer is an oral surgeon with expertise in diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases, injuries, and malformations of the oral and maxillofacial regions. Dr. Suer is proficient in pre-implant bone augmentation techniques and comprehensive dental implant therapy, including pre-prosthetic bone augmentation techniques.

Prior to joining NYU, Suer was clinical associate professor of Oral Surgery at the University of Health Sciences School of Dentistry in Istanbul, Turkey.

Richard Valachovic

Richard Valachovic

Richard Valachovic is Clinical Professor of Dentistry. He holds a B.S. from St. Lawrence University, a DMD from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, an M.S. in Public Health and an M.S. in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed a residency in pediatric dentistry at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston. Valachovic also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Valachovic is an author of more than 120 articles, book chapters, and monographs. At NYU Dentistry, he serves as the founding director of the NYU Dentistry Center for Oral Health Policy and Management. The center has among its aims to develop and promote a national agenda for oral health policy and management that recognizes the fundamental relationship between oral health and overall health and the responsibilities that the dental professions have for the overall well-being of the public, and to develop the next generation of character-based, policy-oriented leaders for the dental and related healthcare professions through creating new leadership programming and courses.

Prior to joining NYU, Valachovic served for 20-plus years as president and CEO of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA)—a period during which he completely redefined ADEA’s core values, strategic direction, policy statements, and member services, as well as the membership itself.

Spencer Wade

Spencer Wade

Spencer Wade is Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He received his DDS degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, where he also completed his residency and a Master’s in dental anesthesiology.

Wade is a Board certified dental anesthesiologist who focuses on providing safe and effective sedation techniques for patients in the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities.

Prior to joining NYU, Wade was a dental anesthesiologist in a private practice.

Pierre Wohlgemuth

Pierre Wohlgemuth

Pierre Wohlgemuth is Clinical Assistant Professor of Endodontics. He received a DDS from the University of Lorraine Nancy Dental School in Lorraine, France, and holds a certificate in endodontics from NYU College of Dentistry.

Wohlgemuth’s scholarly activities include presentations on the aesthetic outcomes of endodontic surgery. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics.

Prior to this appointment, Wohlgemuth was an Adjunct Instructor in Endodontics at NYU Dentistry.