Faculty member receives dental research fellowship

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) announced Yong-Hee Chun, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., of UT Health San Antonio as the inaugural recipient of the AADR Anne D. Haffajee Fellowship. She was recognized March 22 at the AADR’s 46th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Dr. Chun is assistant professor of periodontics and cell systems and anatomy at The University of Texas Health Science Center, now called UT Health San Antonio. Chun received her D.D.S. and Dr.Med.Dent. from Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany. She continued her studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she earned her M.S. and Ph.D., and completed her postdoctoral work in oral health sciences.

Her primary research focus is on the protein ameloblastin, and studying the structure and function of ameloblastin in enamel formation. She developed innovative mouse models to analyze amelogenesis imperfecta (a disorder of tooth development) and molar-incisor hypomineralization.

In collaboration with colleagues in pediatric dentistry and a practice-based research network, Dr. Chun conducted a study to determine the prevalence of molar-incisor hypomineralization in South Texas. This is the first report of molar-incisor hypomineralization in the United States.

Dr. Chun’s research builds the foundation for novel strategies to diagnose, prevent and treat molar-incisor hypomineralization and periodontal disease.

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