Class of 2014 Alumni
Dr. Suzie Ahn received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and subsequently her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS) from the University of Iowa. Her interest in esthetic dentistry has led her to pursue the specialty of prosthodontics in order to provide long-term complex restorative care that is not only visually appealing but also highly functional. Her philosophy is that the key to successful dental treatment begins with educating patients on their current oral condition and then helping them to make the necessary changes to improve and maintain health after treatment is complete. As a dentist, what she finds most gratifying is seeing the increase in confidence a new smile can give a patient. In her free time she enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Dr. Michael Christian graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT with a B.A. in music and psychology. He continued his education at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine receiving his D.M.D. degree in 2011 along with several awards in the field of prosthodontics. Dr. Christian chose to pursue postgraduate education in the specialty of prosthodontics at UIC because of his interest in complex dental treatment and treatment planning, the progressive nature of the program, and the strong emphasis on the clinician providing comprehensive care. A native of Connecticut, Dr. Christian enjoys skiing, traveling, playing the saxophone, and enjoying life!
Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Aram Kim is a graduate from U.C. Berkeley with a B.S. in Bioengineering. Her love for intricate hands-on work and strong devotion to helping others led her to pursue a career in dentistry, and she gained her D.M.D. at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She then decided to specialize in Prosthodontics, so that she can use her skills to make a lasting and substantial improvement to other people’s quality of life. Dr. Kim takes a great deal of pride and satisfaction in the quality of her work and strives to show a high level of professionalism and care to her patients. In her spare time Dr. Kim enjoys traveling and camping.
Dr. Jiyeon Kim was raised in both Korea and in the Midwest. After receiving a bachelor’s in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University, she completed her DMD at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She decided to pursue specialty training in Prosthodontics to be able to provide the best treatment and because it is the specialty that includes comprehensive care for patients and will provide a wide range of future career opportunities. She was drawn to UIC due to its diverse patient population and learning/training opportunities, but most of all, the wonderful instructors, staff and colleagues make it the best place to be! Her interests include global/public health, social injustice issues, yoga, culture/languages and traveling.
Dr. Graham Meng was born and raised in Missoula, Montana. He attended college at Montana State University majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience. He then attained his D.D.S. from the University of Washington in Seattle. He was drawn to Chicago for the expansive and diverse patient population. His main interests are the placement and restoration of dental implants. In his free time he enjoys running, skiing, triathlon, hunting, kayaking, mountain biking, and cooking.
Dr. Alexandra Polus is from Crown Point, Indiana. She earned her B.A. in Biology at DePauw University. She graduated from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine where she received her D.M.D degree. Her desire to work hands-on with patients to help them achieve their oral health goals led her into the field of prosthodontics. She is very happy to be back in the Midwest at UIC. She cannot help but feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with such great faculty and staff.
Dr. Goth Siu is from Toronto and received his Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from McMaster University. He then completed his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Siu enjoyed restorative procedures in dental school and decided to pursue a specialty that would allow him to treat patients requiring complex prosthodontic care. He believes prosthodontics is both challenging and rewarding because it encompasses almost all aspects of dentistry. Dr. Siu decided to pursue prosthodontics at UIC because of the people at the school. He felt the staff was nice, the residents were welcoming, the faculty were supportive and knowledgeable and the patients were willing to receive complex care. Dr. Siu feels he is getting a great education and is enjoying the program.
Dr. Kristen Vlagos graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011, where she was named to the Omicron Kappa Upsilon honor society. Dr. Vlagos entered the prosthodontic specialty because she is interested in implant dentistry and complex restorative care. Her greatest pleasure as a dentist is helping her patients achieve a high level of oral health. She is a native of Downers Grove, Illinois and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Class of 2013 Alumni
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.
Class of 2012 Alumni
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.