Anonymous Donor Gives UCSF School of Dentistry $10 Million

Dentistry Today


An anonymous alumnus of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry has given the school $10 million, which is the largest gift in its history. The funding will establish an endowment to provide a steady and lasting source of income that, in turn, will be used to develop a modern curriculum, recruit and retain world-class faculty, and provide professional development and mentorship programs for junior faculty.

“We are grateful to the alumnus for this significant contribution in furthering the school’s growth and development,” said UCSF School of Dentistry dean Michael Reddy, DMD, DMSc. “This gift will enable us to prepare the school for a new era in dental health and medicine and support our vision for many years to come.”

Reddy sees the role of dentists changing as the symbiotic relationship between oral and overall health is increasingly recognized. During the next 20 years, Reddy said, oral health is expected to become fully integrated into general healthcare, with the greatest growth in pediatrics, geriatrics, and oncology. Also, he said, patient care will emphasize prevention and oral self-care, rather than dental treatment and repair.

That shift is likely to drive significant changes in how and where dentistry is practices, from the current private practice structure to group practices, hospitals, and academic health centers, where dentists work as part of a team with physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, Reddy said.

Reddy aims to educate dental students and residents in patient-centered delivery settings such as health clinics and hospitals where faculty practices in teams with students, trainees, and other health professionals. Closer integration with the UCSF schools of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy through cross-disciplinary research centers also will strengthen and leverage discoveries and elevate the oral health sciences, Reddy said.

For junior faculty, the school plans to move beyond traditional mentorship models and develop a formal mentorship and coaching program that will expose young educators to a wide variety of relevant skill sets and nurture each individual’s unique potential, Reddy said.

“The UCSF School of Dentistry is not just a building or a facility. We’re a community of scholars. We need the best and brightest scientists and clinicians to drive the changes we want to see in healthcare,” Reddy said. “We need oral healthcare specialists conducting research and patient care at the highest level to ensure that UCSF maintains its standing as an exceptional community partner, a leader in oral healthcare and research, and a top provider of the highest quality patient care.”

With approximately 170 faculty members and 435 students, the UCSF School of Dentistry has been the top recipient of dentistry funding from the National Institutes of Health for 26 of the past 27 years. The school offers DDS, PhD, and master’s degree programs in oral and craniofacial sciences and a postbaccalaureate program that helps prepare disadvantaged students for admission into US dental schools.

“The way dental care is delivered and practiced in the future will demand a different type of provider and new approaches to dental education,” said Reddy. “This gift significantly enhances our ability to educate the future leaders in dentistry, not just for the next generation but also for many generations to come.”