Leon A. Assael, D.M.D., C.M.M., became dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry August 1.
Dr. Assael brings a reputation for accomplishment in research, surgery, and teaching, as well as experience as a dean. He is a graduate of Columbia University, and earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, as well as a Certificate in Medical Management from the University of Kentucky Gatton School of Business. He completed his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Assael served as dean of the College of Dentistry, University of Kentucky until 2003, when he was appointed professor and chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the School of Dentistry at Oregon Health and Science University.
Dr. Assael is the past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the past chair of the Council on Dental Education and Licensure of the American Dental Association, and a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In 2001, President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Assael the America’s Promise Award for advancements in oral health in Appalachia achieved by the University of Kentucky faculty. In 2010, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons awarded him the Board of Trustees special recognition award. Included among the professional societies in which he serves are the American Dental Assocition and the Hispanic Dental Association. Dr. Assael’s primary clinical interest is in the area of facial injuries, facial pain, and maxillofacial nerve injuries, and he is a nationally know lecturer on a variety of issues.
“The University of Minnesota has one of the highest profile dental programs in the country, attracting the best and brightest students, so I am honored to be appointed to this role,” Dr. Assael said. “Being a part of a comprehensive Academic Health Center offers a unique opportunity for collaboration with other health disciplines. Plans for the new Ambulatory Care Center will allow for innovation around patient care and interprofessional education. I look forward to working with students, alumni, potential donors, faculty, and staff, and to continuing the tradition of excellence established by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.”