University of Washington Recognizes Dr. Avina Paranjpe

Our own Dr. Avina Paranjpe has received the highest faculty recognition at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Dr. Paranjpe, an associate professor of endodontics at the school, received the Bruce R. Rothwell Distinguished Teaching Award. Two other faculty members received Rothwell Teaching Awards, which are bestowed annually. One was for lifetime achievement, while the other was for outstanding service.

Dr. Paranjpe, who had been nominated several times previously, joined the school’s faculty as assistant professor after earning her MSD and endodontics certification at the UW in 2009. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from India’s Mumbai University and an MS and PhD in oral biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics.

Dr. Paranjpe was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2015. Earlier in 2018, Dr. Paranjpe received a fellowship to attend the 2018-19 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute, which is designed to groom dental faculty members as future leaders in dental and higher education. She was also selected as the 2018 ADEA/AAE Foundation Scholar for the Leadership Institute. She will join the American Board of Endodontics as a director this April.

An accomplished researcher, Dr. Paranjpe has studied dental materials, immunology and regenerative endodontics, and has published papers on pulpal regeneration and revascularization, immunology, and compatibility of biomaterials.

One letter supporting her nomination for the Rothwell Award included this: “Dr. Paranjpe is held in high regard by her students in the most profound ways. Her organization is renowned among students and residents alike, and her ability to simplify the most arduous of concepts makes her a fantastic mentor. … Dr. Paranjpe maintains incredibly high standards for her students, but year after year they strive to meet them – not for grades, but for respect of their instructor and their goal to demonstrate what they’ve learned from her.”

The Rothwell Awards commemorate the late Dr. Bruce R. Rothwell, who chaired the Department of  Restorative Dentistry at the UW from 1993 until his death from kidney cancer in 2000 at the age of 52. Renowned as a forensic dentist, he served as a consultant to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office and in the 1980s worked with UW colleague Dr. Tom Morton to identify victims in the Green River serial murder case. He was posthumously honored by the American Society of Forensic Odontology.

Dr. Rothwell also directed the School of Dentistry’s General Practice Residency program and was noted for his expertise in teaching, research, and care of medically compromised patients. He devised Rothwell’s Solution, a painkilling mouthwash still in use to help patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for mouth cancers.

The teaching awards were presented at a December faculty retreat by Dr. Patricia Rothwell, who was Dr. Rothwell’s wife, and Dr. Mark Drangsholt, chair of the school’s Department of Oral Medicine and chair of the award selection committee.