The AAE proudly announces the 2016 recipients of the organization’s highest honors and awards, to be presented at AAE16. These six AAE members represent the specialty’s greatest achievements in leadership, research, education and service to others, and the AAE is proud to recognize their commitment to endodontics.
Edgar D. Coolidge Award
Given to an individual who has displayed leadership and exemplary dedication to dentistry and endodontics.
Mahmoud Torabinejad, D.M.D., M.S.D., Ph.D.
The AAE’s highest award will be presented to Dr. Mahmoud Torabinejad, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to endodontic education, research and organized dentistry.
Dr. Torabinejad completed his endodontic training at the University of Washington School of Dentistry and began his educational career as an endodontic instructor at the school. After teaching and conducting research at Harvard School of Dental Medicine for two years, Dr. Torabinejad joined the faculty at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. He has served as the director of Loma Linda’s advanced specialty education program in endodontics since 1989, and also maintains a private practice in Upland, Calif.
Dr. Torabinejad’s pioneering research has led to some of the most important advancements in endodontics. Most notably, he researched and developed mineral trioxide aggregate, which revolutionized endodontic surgery. He has authored four textbooks, numerous textbook chapters and more than 300 publications – including 16 of the 100 most-cited endodontic articles.
As AAE Foundation president in 1995, his vision and drive transformed the organization, resulting in a significant increase in funds raised to support endodontic research and education. In addition, Dr. Torabinejad has served the specialty as president of the AAE, the California State Association of Endodontists and the Southern California Academy of Endodontists.
“Dr. Torabinejad’s publications, his research, his professional leadership have enshrined his name in the history of our specialty. His CV is a blueprint for what every academician, clinician and researcher should strive to emulate.” – Stephen F. Schwartz, D.D.S., M.S.
Ralph F. Sommer Award
Given to the principal author of a publication of specific significance to the science and art of endodontology.
P.N. Ramachandran Nair, B.V.Sc., D.V.M., Ph.D.
Dr. P.N. Ramachandran Nairis an accomplished endodontic researcher with more than 100 publications to his name. But it his 1990 paper in the Journal of Endodontics – “Intraradicular bacteria and fungi in root-filled, asymptomatic human teeth with therapy-resistant periapical lesions: A long-term light and electron microscopic follow-up study” – that truly stands out.
The paper, of which Dr. Nair is the principal author, was the first to provide a biological explanation for the persistence of apical periodontitis after endodontic treatment, and to highlight the immense challenge that endodontists face in eliminating persistent bacteria. A vital resource on root canal infection, the paper was identified in 2011 as the 14th most-cited endodontic publication.
Dr. Nair is a founding member of the Swiss Society for Endodontology, and recently retired from his role as senior scientist for the Institute of Oral Biology at the University of Zurich. He continues to teach and present lectures and seminars all over the world.
“Every member of the endodontic community I have met since 1990 on, be it postdoctoral residents, clinicians, researchers or educators, has referred to this specific publication by Dr. Nair when they addressed root canal infection and post-treatment persistence of apical periodontitis.” – Shimon Friedman, D.M.D.
I.B. Bender Lifetime Educator Award
Presented to an individual who has been a full-time educator for at least 15 years, whose contributions to endodontics have demonstrated excellence through selfless commitment to full-time educational pursuits and have instilled in his/her students a desire to pursue excellence in their careers.
Daniel B. Green, D.D.S.
For more than 45 years, Dr. Daniel B. Green has been a respected educator and role model for future endodontists. After completing his endodontic training at Albert Einstein Medical Center, under the guidance of Dr. I.B. Bender himself, Dr. Green began his education career as an assistant professor at Temple University School of Dentistry. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Louisville before coming to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1996.
As the chairman of the department of endodontics at Tufts, Dr. Green is known for his ability to inspire critical thinking, his passion for the specialty and his sincere concern for students. Following Dr. Bender’s example, he encourages discussion and debate in his classroom to foster new ideas.
Dr. Green served as the executive director of the American Association of Dental Research and International Association of Dental Research in the late 1970s and his impressive research accomplishments include more than 40 published papers and a dozen research grants. He also is a former editor of the Journal of Endodontics. Currently, Dr. Green advises several student research projects, ensuring that the next generation of endodontists will continue his legacy of pursuing knowledge and creating a stronger specialty.
“Dr. Green treats every resident, faculty and staff as family and strives to create a cohesive, harmonic environment for people to thrive and grow. His passion for endodontics and teaching encouraged me to strive to become the best clinician I could be and to always continue to learn and improve.” – Jennifer M. Fong, D.D.S
Natasha M. Flake, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S.D.
Dr. Natasha M. Flake showed a clear interest in endodontic education early on, receiving the AAE Foundation’s Endodontic Educator Fellowship while earning her dental degree and Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Maryland. Dr. Flake completed her endodontic training at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in 2007 and joined the school’s faculty as an assistant professor the same year. Since then, she also has taken on the roles of director of predoctoral endodontics, director of the endodontic clerkship and chair of the Clerkship Committee. In 2014, Dr. Flake became the youngest recipient of the Bruce R. Rothwell Distinguished Teaching Award, the University of Washington’s highest teaching honor. She is revered by her students, as evidenced by her selection as a reader at their hooding ceremonies for several years.
Dr. Flake also has established a reputation as a skilled endodontic researcher. A former chair of the AAE’s Research and Scientific Affairs Committee and the Special Committee on Practice-Based Research Networks, Dr. Flake has published 15 papers and recently was awarded part of the AAE Foundation’s multi-center grant in regenerative endodontics. She continues to work in private practice one day per week and was named one of Seattle Met magazine’s “Top Dentists” in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“Throughout my professional education, I have had many professors, teachers and instructors. Dr. Flake stands out among all of them because of her compassion, professionalism, skillful teaching methods and her genuine, consistent interest in my professional development.” – Randy L. Ball, D.M.D., M.S.D.
Part-Time Educator Award
Presented to a part-time educator for at least 20 years whose contributions to endodontics have demonstrated dedication to the specialty and have instilled in his/her students a desire to pursue excellence in their careers.
George T. Goodis, D.D.S.
As a part-time faculty member for the past 35 years, Dr. George T. Goodis has made a profound impact on the students at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. He teaches at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels while maintaining a private practice in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. A trusted source for both clinical and practice management advice, Dr. Goodis has been called the “pied piper of endodontics” due to the numerous students – and one of his former dental assistants – he has inspired to enter the specialty. Students continue to turn to him for mentorship and guidance long after they have begun their careers.
In 2009, Dr. Goodis was instrumental in planning “SaveA-Tooth” Day at UDM, enlisting more than 20 Michigan endodontists to perform root canal treatment on underserved patients in the Detroit area. He also brought in local general dentists and laboratories to provide core build-ups and crowns. His leadership in organized dentistry is remarkable as well. He has chaired the Michigan Association of Endodontists’ biennial summer conference since its inception in 1999, and has served as president of the MAE, College of Diplomates, Michigan Dental Association and Detroit District Dental Society, as well as secretary and District IV director of the AAE.
“George inspired me through his attention to detail, devotion to technology and desire for perfection. He took the time to not only teach me about endodontics, but also about compassionate patient interactions and professionalism.” – Tiffeny Chimelak, D.D.S.
Spirit of Service New Practitioner Award
Presented to an individual with less than 10 years in practice who has demonstrated the true spirit of leadership by creating effective partnerships in the dental community, impacting dental organizations and benefiting patients by volunteering his or her time and expertise in treating the underserved.
Jeffrey S. Albert, D.M.D.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Albert has dedicated much of his dental career to helping underserved populations, both in the U.S. and abroad. After earning his dental degree at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine and practicing as a general dentist in West Palm Beach, Fla., Dr. Albert traveled to three different countries to aid individuals in need of dental treatment. He provided emergency dental care in Cambodia and Vietnam and volunteered in India with an oral maxillofacial surgeon to help restore cleft lip and palate deformities.
In 2007, Dr. Albert began working for the Palm Beach County Health Department, where he co-founded the organization’s “Save a Molar” program that provides local underprivileged children with free root canal treatment. Dr. Albert’s commitment to service continued as he completed his endodontic training at the New York University College of Dentistry. As a volunteer with the NYU Dental Outreach Program, he instructed and supervised dental students on service trips to Alaska and Maine. Now back in West Palm Beach, where he is in private practice, Dr. Albert is once again involved with the “Save a Molar” program, but as a participating endodontist.
“Dr. Albert prides himself on excellent patient care, communication and compassion. His primary goal has been to provide patients with the highest standard of endodontic treatment, while giving back to the community and the profession.” – Rory E. Mortman, D.D.S.
This year’s award recipients will be recognized at the Edgar D. Coolidge Awards Luncheon on April 8, 2016, in San Francisco, as part of AAE16. For more information about the annual meeting or the awards ceremony, visit the AAE16 meeting website.