New Faculty 2019-2020

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

Dane Jensen

Dane Jensen

Dane Jensen is Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Wyoming.

Jensen's research focuses on the study of primary sensory neurons, the first cells in the pathways to pain, itch, and neurogenic inflammation and the cells that they innervate. He has been a part of the research team of Dr. Nigel Bunnett, Professor and Chair of the Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology.

Prior to joining NYU, Jensen was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgical Sciences at Columbia University Medical Center.

Alex Thomsen

Alex Thomsen

Alex Thomsen is Assistant Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology. He received an M.S. in Human Biology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Thomsen’s research interests include mechanistic and structural studies of endosomal G protein signaling using Cryo-EM, the physiological importance of endosomal G protein signaling, and molecular pharmacology.

Prior to joining NYU, Thomsen was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University.

Professors

André Ritter

André Ritter

André V. Ritter is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. He holds a DDS degree and certificate in operative dentistry from the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianópolis, Brazil, a certificate in operative dentistry and an M.S. degree, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MBA degree from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. from Universidade Positivo in Brazil.

Ritter’s research, publications, and teaching philosophy are focused on motivating and highlighting student interests and making evidence-based decisions with evidence-based resources. He served as the lead author of a systematic review of root caries risk predictors and caries management based on risk assessment, “Root caries risk indicators: A systematic review of risk models,” published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, which has been cited in 87 other published articles.

Prior to joining NYU, Ritter served as the executive dean and COO at the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry and held the Thomas P. Hinman Distinguished Professorship in Restorative Dentistry, which recognizes outstanding achievement as a clinician and educator.

Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty

Dalal Alhajji

Dalal Alhajji

Dalal Alhajji is Clinical Instructor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology, & Medicine. She received a DMD from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and an M.S. in Oral Medicine and certificate in Advanced Education General Dentistry from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. She also completed a fellowship in Dental Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Alhajji’s research focuses on determining the radiation threshold associated with spontaneous osteoradionecrosis of the jaws in oral cavity and oropharyngeal patients. In a retrospective chart review, she identified the intra-oral effects on the oral cavity in patients treated with immunotherapy.

This is Alhajji’s first academic appointment.

Victoria Benvenuto

Victoria M. Benvenuto

Victoria Benvenuto is Clinical Instructor of Dental Hygiene. She received a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from NYU, and holds an Ed.M. degree from Rutgers University.

Benvenuto’s scholarly activities include authoring an article on the use of digital dentistry in dental hygiene and presenting invited lectures on oral health education. She is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Prior to her current appointment, Benvenuto was an Adjunct Clinical Instructor of Dental Hygiene at NYU.

Habib Benzian

Habib Benzian

Habib Benzian is Research Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion. He holds a DDS and an M.S. in Oral Surgery, Oral Pathology, and Oral Implantology from the Free University of Berlin, an M.S. in Dental Public Health from King’s College, London, and a Ph.D. in International Health Policy from the Free University of Amsterdam. He holds certificates in Sustainable Financing for Health/Health Systems Reform from the World Bank Institute/Harvard Faculty Public Health, and in Prevention Strategies for Non-communicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-income Countries from the University of Oxford, as well as a certificate in Global Health Diplomacy from the Center for Global Health at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

Benzian’s research interests focus on population-wide approaches to the prevention of dental caries, the healthcare and economic consequences of neglect of oral health, and health policy analysis and advocacy for the inclusion of oral health in universal health coverage. He is Associate Director of Global Health & Policy at the WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-based Dentistry at NYU College of Dentistry and the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and monographs.

Prior to this appointment, Benzian was Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion at NYU Dentistry.

Jalal Bukhari

Jalal Bukhari

Jalal Bukhari is Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine. He received his DDS degree from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and completed an Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology residency program at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.

Bukhari’s research interests include mediocolegal issues in oral and maxillofacial practice. He is also conducting a retrospective study looking at carotid artery calcifications in patients with a history of hypertension.

Prior to joining NYU, Bukhari taught radiology at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.

Nigel Bunnett

Nigel Bunnett

Nigel W. Bunnett is Professor and Chair of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology. He holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

Bunnett’s research focuses on primary sensory neurons, the first cells in the pathways to pain, itch, and neurogenic inflammation and the cells that they innervate. These include second order spinal neurons, which integrate information about pain and itch and transmit signals centrally, and cells in the periphery that mediate neurogenic inflammation. He seeks to understand the normal mechanisms of pain, itch, and inflammation to determine why they can become dysregulated during disease and to discover new approaches for therapeutic intervention. His contributions have been recognized by numerous awards, including the Australia Fellowship, the NIH MERIT Award, the Novartis Neurogastroenterology Award, the Jansen Award for Basic Research in Gastroenterology, and the Victor Mutt Award for Research in Regulatory Peptides.

Prior to joining NYU, he served as the Gerald and Janet Carrus Professor of Surgical Sciences, Vice Chair of research in surgery, and professor of surgery and pharmacology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Nancy Dougherty

Nancy Dougherty

Nancy J. Dougherty is Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry. She holds a DMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and an MPH in Public Health Practice from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Dougherty’s scholarly activities include publications that focus on patient-centered care for children with special needs and ethical decision-making in special care dentistry. She is currently providing care for children with special needs at the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities.

Prior to her current appointment, Dougherty was an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and the director of the Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry at NYU.

Aikaterini Georgantza

Aikaterini Georgantza

Aikaterini Georgantza is Clinical Assistant Professor of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry. She holds certificates in Periodontics and in Implant Dentistry from NYU College of Dentistry. She received her dental degree from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Georgantza’s research focuses on the effects of bone quality on marginal bone around bone level implants. She has published on the uses of 3D printing in dental implant education and implant placement. She is a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

Prior to her current appointment, she was a Research Assistant in the Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry at NYU Dentistry.

Peter Gershenson

Peter Gershenson is Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care. He holds a DDS degree from New York University College of Dentistry and completed a general practice residency and an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency at Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Gershenson focuses on general and cosmetic dentistry. He is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Special Care Dentistry Association, and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Prior to joining NYU, Gershenson served as director of the general practice residency program and director of continuing dental education at Jacobi Medical Center.

Pakshan Ghaderi

Pakshan Ghaderi

Pakhshan Ghaderi is Clinical Assistant Professor of Prosthodontics. She holds a DDS from Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, where she also completed prosthodontics specialty training and a dental implant fellowship. She holds a certificate in Advanced Education General Dentistry from Eastman Institute for Oral Health in Rochester, New York, and completed a general practice residency at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Ghaderi’s research and publications include comparing the dental chief complaint of a geriatric population to a young population, and assessing the accuracy of an open-tray implant impression technique with three splinting materials: an in vitro study.

Prior to joining NYU, Ghaderi was an instructor in prosthodontics at Columbia University.

Olga Gnatovych

Olga Gnatovych

Olga Gnatovych is Clinical Instructor in Dental Hygiene. She holds an AAS degree in Dental Hygiene from NYU College of Dentistry and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from City University of New York-Hunter College.

An experienced dental hygienist, Gnatovych is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the American Dental Education Association. She has received both the Dental Hygiene Professionalism Award for Exemplary Ethics and the Excellence in Student Table Clinic Award.

Prior to this appointment, Gnatovych was Adjunct Clinical Instructor in Dental Hygiene at NYU College of Dentistry.

Annette Huynh

Annette Huynh

Annette Huynh is Clinical Instructor of Dental Hygiene. She holds an AAS degree in dental hygiene from NYU College of Dentistry and a B.S. degree in Health Sciences from James Madison University.

Huynh’s scholarly and professional activities include developing educational materials about oral hygiene instruction and healthy food options. She also provides brushing demonstrations for students in local schools as part of the PCORI Caried Away program, and at several schools abroad as part of the NYU Dentistry-Henry Schein Cares Global Student Outreach Program.

Prior to this appointment, Huynh was Adjunct Clinical Instructor in Dental Hygiene at NYU College of Dentistry.

Divya Khera

Divya Khera

Diyva Khera is Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry. She holds a DDS degree from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Khera’s research and publications focus on parental oral health knowledge as a barrier to children’s tooth brushing behaviors and the incidence of dental caries after aggressive surgical treatment under general anesthesia.

Prior to this appointment, Khera was Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at NYU College of Dentistry.

Young Kim

Young Kim

Young Kim is Clinical Assistant Professor of Prosthodontics. He received his DMD from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and a D.M.Sc. in Oral Biology and certificate in Prosthodontics, both from Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Kim’s research and publications focus on injectable bioactive gelatin-hyaluronan-calcium phosphate and its osteogenic potential for flapless guided bone regeneration.

This is Kim’s first academic appointment.

Richard Kosofsky

Richard Kosofsky

Richard Kosofsky is Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology & Comprehensive Care. He holds a DDS degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and completed a general practice residency at John F. Kennedy Medical Center.

Kosofsky has been an active mentor for the D-1 clinical mentorship program, the peer assessment advisory and mentorship program, the freshman student mentorship program, and the teaching assistant mentorship program. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Dental Education Association.

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

B. Jason Kyles

B. Jason Kyles

B. Jason Kyles is Clinical Instructor in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine. He holds a DDS degree from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and completed an Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology residency at New York Presbyterian hospital in Queens.

His research interests include granular cell traumatic neuroma and benign fibrous histiocytoma of the jawbones. He recently coauthored a 33-year retrospective analysis of metastatic tumors in the oral and maxillofacial region.

This is his first academic appointment.

Marie Mora-Moreno

Marie Mora-Moreno

Marie Mora-Moreno is Clinical Assistant Professor of Endodontics. She received her DDS degree from University of Zulia College of Dentistry in Venezuela and holds certificates in endodontics from Central University of Venezuela College of Dentistry and NYU College of Dentistry.

Mora’s research interests include outcomes of endodontic treatment in children with immature permanent teeth and the effectiveness of the GentleWave System in the management of teeth with pulp canal obliteration.

This is her first academic appointment.

Michael O'Connor

Michael O'Connor

Michael P. O’Connor is Clinical Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Executive Vice Dean for Administration, Development, Finance, Clinical and Student Services. He holds an MPA degree from City University of New York, a certificate in collective bargaining, arbitration, and labor law from Cornell University, a certificate in executive management in higher education from the Harvard University School of Education and Kennedy School of Government, and M.A. and Ed.D. degrees in higher education organization and leadership from Columbia University.

O'Connor's areas of professional interest include health policy, employment law, organizational development, contract negotiations, conflict resolution, not-for-profit finance and administration, leadership, mentoring, and academic health center management. He also served as co-principal investigator on a $2.5 million Macy’s Foundation grant to study the integration of medical practice and public health; principal investigator on an $800,000 HRSA grant to increase minority enrollment in the health professions; principal investigator on an $800,000 Carequest grant toward development of an interactive health education network; and principal investigator on a $500,000 joint project between IBM and the Columbia School of Public Health toward the design and development of a model management information system to improve higher education management.

Prior to his current appointment, O’Connor joined the NYU College of Dentistry in 2007 following nearly 30 years at Columbia University, where his positions included Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Organizational Management and Planning.

Vivian Santiago

Vivian Santiago

Vivian Santiago is Research Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine. She received an MPH, M.Phil., and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, all from Columbia University. She completed a psychiatric epidemiology training program at Columbia University and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Santiago’s research interests include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), ADHD persistence into adulthood, and measuring chronic pain over time in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Prior to joining NYU, Santiago was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the City University of New York and a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University.

Santvana Vyas

Santvana Vyas

Santvana Vyas is Clinical Assistant Professor of Prosthodontics. She received a DDS degree and a certificate in Prosthodontics from NYU College of Dentistry.

Vyas’s scholarly activities include presentations on medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw and on management of obstructive sleep apnea in patients with edentulous ridges.

Prior to joining NYU, Vyas was a clinical instructor in dentistry at Sri Aurobindo College of Dentistry in Indore, India.