Dr. Natalie Wolfson received her DMD degree from UMDNJ New Jersey Dental School and her BA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her background in visual arts led her to Prosthodontics, which combines her desire to provide high quality oral health care with exceptional esthetic results. Her interests include implant prosthodontics and maxillofacial prosthetics.
Class of 2016
Dr. Alli Alberts was born and raised in the small town of Smithton, IL. She earned her B.A. degree in Biology and Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. While there, she garnered All-American Honors in both Volleyball and Track and Field. She then completed her D.D.S. degree from University of Illinois-Chicago where she was selected to be a part of the Advanced Pre-doctoral Implant Program as well as the Omicron Kappa Upsilon honor society. She believes that the most rewarding part of dentistry is seeing a patient really smile after you’ve fixed their teeth. Since there is no other specialty that gets to see this more than Prosthodontics, she decided to continue her education at UIC in this challenging and progressive field. In her free time, she enjoys a multitude of sports including volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, and especially football. She is currently wide receiver and safety for the LFL football team, the Chicago Bliss.
Dr. Joanna Basaya was born and raised in the Philippines. She graduated with the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) from the University of the Philippines. There, she was a dental practitioner and received a year of preceptorship training in Removable and Fixed Orthodontics. In 2012, Dr. Basaya graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) through the International Dentist Degree Program. After graduation, she worked as a general practitioner in Chicago. She also taught as part-time faculty at the UIC pre-doctoral program.
Dr. Basaya decided to join the UIC Advanced Prosthodontics Specialty Program because of its prestigious program, the excellent faculty and staff who are highly qualified and very supportive, and the colleagues who are fun and helpful. She is interested in functional and esthetic full mouth rehabilitation and maxillofacial prosthetic reconstruction. Dr. Basaya loves to travel, considers herself a foodie and enjoys the performing arts. She is a member of the American College of Prosthodontists.
Dr. Virginia Hogsett is from Baldwin City, Kansas. She went to William Jewell College, in Liberty, Missouri, where she double majored in Molecular Biology and Mathematics. She received her DMD from Harvard University. She decided to pursue specialty training in prosthodonics at UIC to gain knowledge and experience treating patients with complex needs and high esthetic expectations. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and coffee.
Dr. Adriana Padron was born in Venezuela, and is a fourth generation dentist from both sides of her family. Since she was a child, she always showed interest in dentistry and became one when she graduated first in her class from el Bosque University in 2006 (Bogota, Colombia).
She moved to the USA in 2007 with her family. In 2013 she graduated with honors from the NOVA Southeastern University International Dentist graduate program (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and earned her DMD.
She made the decision to apply to prosthodontics because she enjoys the spending time helping people in a field where she can apply knowledge, art, science and beauty. She loves to see people smile, be happy with the outcome, and express satisfaction when expectations are fulfilled. She is proud to be part of UIC because of the faculty members, its worldwide reputation and it’s location in a beautiful city with awesome people. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family, do yoga, cook, dance flamenco, and travel.
Dr. Charles Palin is originally from Wyomissing, PA. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Studio Arts in 2008. Continuing on at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in Pittsburgh he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2013. Charles' interest in prosthodontics stems from his strong background in the arts and sciences. He came to UIC Advanced Prosthodontics to increase his knowledge and experience in complex prosthodontic care of his patients.
Dr. Daniel Pinkston is from St. Louis, Missouri. There he attended Saint Louis University and received his B.S. in Biology. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Kansas City where he received his D.D.S. degree. Dr. Pinkston was awarded the Outstanding Clinical Performance Award for Excellence in Prosthodontics from UMKC upon graduation. He was also a participant in a Senior Departmental Advanced Studies Program in Restorative Dentistry during his final year of dental school. Becoming a prosthodontist, a master treatment planner, has always been his end goal. His desire to treat a diverse population of patients with complex restorative needs has led him to UIC.
Dr. Lorenzo Prieto is from Midland, Michigan. He earned his bachelors in cellular molecular biology at the University of Michigan. He then completed his doctor of dental medicine degree at the University of Pennsylvania. His return to the Midwest at UIC to pursue his certificate in prosthodontics is driven by the love and the challenge prosthodontics presents. He finds tackling complex patient care and finding the proper treatment for patients to restore their smile to be functionally and esthetically pleasing extremely rewarding. In his spare time Lorenzo likes to be active by playing soccer and mixing electronic music as a DJ.
Dr. Craig Sikora, originally from California, received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He continued his education in the state of Nevada, earning his DMD degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. He chose to specialize in prosthodontics in order to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to manage the most complex esthetic and reconstructive dental situations. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Sikora looks forward to improving the quality of his patients’ lives by providing them with superior care and enduring results. Aside from dentistry, Dr. Sikora enjoys spending time with family and friends, golfing, skiing, and photography.
Dr. Alec Zurek is a local resident, being raised and living the majority of his life in the suburbs of Chicago. Alec earned his B.A. in Biology at Illinois Wesleyan University, and graduated from UIC's College of Dentistry where he received his D.D.S. degree. His decision to entire the field of Prosthodontics reflects his desire to be exceptional at restorative dentistry. This includes being proficient in providing specialty treatment to patients with the most compromised of situations, but also to be a master in restoring esthetics and function for less involved cases. Upon graduation, he intends on using his education to work alongside his father who has been practicing in Naperville for over 20 years.
Dr. Seung Woo Choi grew up in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Choi received his DDS degree from South Korea in 2004. He subsequently completed 3 years of military service in his country. After his service, he worked in private practice for one year before coming to the United States in 2008. He completed the implant fellowship program at UIC in 2009. He continued his specialty program at University of Illinois at Chicago and completed the 3-year Advanced Program in Prosthodontics residency in 2012.
Dr. Choi is teaching at University of Illinois at Chicago as a clinical instructor and practicing prosthodontics and implant dentistry. He is planning dental hospital named 'Chicago SNC dental hospital' in Songdo International Business District, Korea with Dr. Byung Kwen Song who graduated same program in 2009.
Dr. Choi's research interests are cement selection and retention of implant restoration and enhancing patient satisfaction with aesthetic outcome.
Dr. Joshua Kristiansen was raised in Maine, where he attended Bowdoin College as an undergraduate. He then received his DMD from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 2009. Dr. Kristiansen continued his professional training at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he completed the Advanced Program in Prosthodontics residency. After completing his specialty training, he joined the Harvard School of Dental Medicine faculty in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences.
Dr. Kristiansen has published peer-reviewed journal articles in the field of color science in dentistry. He practices prosthodontics and implant dentistry in the Harvard Dental Center.
Dr. Kristiansen's research interests include the application of color science in dentistry, outcomes of dental implant therapy, and dental education.
Dr. Maiko Sakai completed specialty training in prosthodontics with advanced graduate certificate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry in 2012. During her prosthodontic training, she served as a chief resident and was involved with predoctoral education. She also received her Master's degree in oral science at UIC, with her thesis on the optical properties of zirconia, all-ceramic and cement dental materials. She has published articles on translational and clinical research in color science of dental restorative materials.
Dr. Maiko Sakai received her DMD degree from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
During her training, she also conducted research on dental pulp stem cells at NIDCR, National Institute of Health, in the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch. Upon graduation, she was presented with several awards for her achievements, including Dr. Norman B. Nesbett Award for clinical excellence, the Certificate of Recognition from American Academy of Implant Dentistry, "Best of the Best" Hanau Excellence in Prosthodontics Award from Whip Mix, the Quintessence Award, and Special Student Undergraduate Certificate of Merit from Pierre Fauchard Academy.
Dr. Sakai is a full-time faculty member and instructor in the Department of Biomaterial Science and Restorative Dentistry at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
She is dedicated to clinical dentistry, research and education. She strongly values education as a lifelong learning experience and hopes to facilitate an encouraging and warm learning environment at HSDM.
Dr. Sakai's clinical interest is in restorative and implant dentistry. She has diverse training and experience with advanced dental restorative materials and implant systems. She focuses on providing comprehensive care tailored toward an individual's specific needs and goals and good communication with patients.
Dr. Sakai's research interests are translational and clinical research in color science in dentistry, dental educational research, and implant dentistry and related areas.
Dr. Anne Fabricius is a resident in the Advanced Prosthodontics Program at UIC. Prior to joining the program, Dr. Fabricius received her DMD from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and her BA in biological sciences, cum laude, from Northwestern University. Dr. Fabricius is a member of the American College of Prosthodontics and the American Dental Association.
Dr. Philip Hedger was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and grew up in Palm Harbor, Florida. He went to the University of Florida and earned his B.S. majoring in Food Science and Human Nutrition. He also went to the University of Florida to earn his DMD degree. He entered a Prosthodontic Specialty at UIC to gain further knowledge about complex treatment planning and care.
Dr. Michelle Howard was raised in Dallas, Texas and earned a B.S. with a major in Biology from Austin College in 2006. She earned her DMD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 2010. She chose to come to UIC for her prosthodontic residency because of the department’s outstanding reputation and progressive philosophy on the specialty. She enjoys the field of prosthodontics because of the challenges it presents and the transformations that are possible.
Dr. Emily Taylor grew up in West Hartford, CT and earned her bachelors at Bowdoin College in Maine. She returned to CT for dental school at the University of Connecticut (DMD). Following dental school, she completed a one-year General Practice Residency at the Manhattan Veterans Hospital in NYC. She came to UIC to pursue the prosthodontic specialty in order to broaden her knowledge base and experience. UIC represents a modern approach within the specialty, while still maintaining the high standards of classic prosthodontic principles.
Dr. Michael Yang received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS) from the New York University College of Dentistry in 2010. Prior to receiving his DDS degree, he graduated with a Hon BSc in Microbiology from the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Yang entered the specialty of Prosthodontics at UIC because of the institution’s progressive principles regarding prosthetic-driven comprehensive rehabilitation to improve patient esthetics and function. Dr. Yang has a keen interest in providing complex therapy using 3D digital technology for surgical planning and restoration of a wide variety of implant supported dental prostheses.