At the 117th Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), the UNC School of Dentistry Department of Orthodontics was well-represented among award winners. In total, the department garnered five prestigious awards.
Dr. William Proffit, Emeritus Professor in the department, received the inaugural AAO Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the science related to orthodontics over their lifetime. Proffit, a long-time former chair of the department, is the author of two major orthodontic textbooks Contemporary Orthodontics and Surgical-Orthodontic Treatment, has published more than 200 scientific papers and 60 book chapters in his career. He was the principal investigator on the NIH funded investigation on the stability of orthognathic surgery, which was continuously funded for an astonishing 25 years. Proffit won the 1994 American Dental Association Norton Ross Award for excellence in clinical research.
Dr. Sheldon Peck, an adjunct professor with the department and a 1966 graduate of the school’s DDS program, received the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award. The award is presented to a recipient who has made notable contributions to the science and art of orthodontics. In addition to his contributions to orthodontics, Peck has been a strong supporter of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2012, he donated 163 rare books to the UNC Health Sciences Library, establishing the Sheldon Peck Collection on the History of Orthodontics and Dental Medicine, and in 2017 he and his wife donated $25 million of art and endowments to the Ackland Art Museum.
Dr. Jerry Clark, a member of the DDS Class of 1969, was honored with the AAO Humanitarian Award. Among his many charitable contributions, Clark most notably founded the Make-a-Wish Foundation of North Carolina. The foundation has granted the wishes of more than 5,000 North Carolina children with life-threatening illnesses. He is a recognized philanthropic leader in his local community, and also participates in mission trips to Mexico, Hungary, Ireland and Nicaragua, among others, to provide oral care and assist with local community construction projects.
Additionally, two current residents were recognized for their research at AAO.
Dr. Christina Jackson, third-year orthodontics resident, received the first place Charley Schultz Resident Scholar Award in Clinical Science. Jackson’s winning study develops a custom-based orthodontic bracket using 3D laser sintered metal printing technology. This technology will streamline the manufacturing of brackets and allow more personalized patient care.
Dr. Ying Wan, third-year orthodontics resident, won second place in the AAO Table Clinic competition. Wan’s research assesses the accuracy of the condylar position in orthognathic surgery cases treated with virtual surgical planning.
“We are incredibly proud of our faculty, alumni and residents on all their accomplishments that have enabled them to be recognized at these high levels. They are incredible representatives of the UNC Department of Orthodontics,” said Dr. Lorne Koroluk, chair of the Department of Orthodontics.