OHSU Selects New Chairman of Pediatric Dentistry

02/14/05    Portland, Ore.

New chairman will help prepare pediatric dentistry residency program, oversee construction of state-of-the-art pediatric dentistry clinic

The Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry has selected Prashant Gagneja, D.D.S., M.S., to head its pediatric dentistry department. Gagneja, an assistant professor, has served as interim chairman of pediatric dentistry for the past nine months.

"We are delighted to add Prashant's leadership skills to the Department of Pediatric Dentistry," said Jack Clinton, D.M.D., dean, OHSU School of Dentistry. "Prashant's energy and vision for pediatric dentistry are exactly what we need to move the School of Dentistry to the next level of education for our dental students, and his passion for children's oral health will help us provide the best in dental care for underserved Oregon children."

Gagneja joined OHSU in 2003 and has been active in helping to bring dental care to underserved children in the Portland area. For the past two years, Gagneja has organized the "Give Kids a Smile" one-day event on behalf of OHSU, the American Dental Association and other organizations, which collaborate with university and local dentists to provide free dental education, oral health screenings and comprehensive treatment for young people who do not have access to dental care.

Gagneja has been instrumental in preparing the new residency program in pediatric dentistry, with the first class of four residents reporting July 1, 2005. Along with graduate program director Weston Heringer, D.M.D., Gagneja is overseeing a facility remodel that will house the new state-of-the-art Pediatric Dentistry Clinic in the OHSU School of Dentistry.

Prior to joining OHSU, Gagneja was associate professor and interim chairman of pediatric dentistry and orthodontics at the Sri Guru Ram Dass Institute of Dental Sciences and Research in Amritsar, PB, India. Gagneja also was a visiting professor at the Baba Farid Medical University in Faridkot, India.

Gagneja completed his undergraduate degree in dental surgery at Punjabi University in Patiala, PB, India, and his master's in dental surgery (pediatric and preventive dentistry) at Guru Nanak Deve University, Amritsar, PB, India. He also received a certificate of specialty in pediatric dentistry from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.

Gagneja is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Education Association, and the American Dental Association. He has won numerous awards and is a continuing education speaker for pediatric dentistry.

The 105-year-old School of Dentistry is the only dental school in Oregon and one of two in the Northwest. More than 80 percent of Oregon's dentists graduate from the OHSU School of Dentistry. For more information about the school, visit www.ohsu.edu/sod.