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Dr. Michael Miloro named inaugural Daniel M. Laskin Professor

The first endowed position in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at UIC honors the late Dr. Daniel Laskin, who propelled the reputation of the department with his pioneering research and forward-thinking leadership.

Dr. Michael Miloro

Dr. Michael Miloro, professor and head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the UIC College of Dentistry, has been appointed the college’s inaugural Daniel M. Laskin Professor.

The first endowed position in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – and only the fifth at the UIC College of Dentistry, the Laskin Professorship was established by the estate of Dr. Daniel Laskin, MS Oral Surgery ’52, with additional support from KLS Martin and alumni of the college.

Laskin, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 97, was a nationally and internationally renowned force in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery over a career spanning more than five decades. In particular, Laskin was especially known for his extensive research on the pathology and non-surgical treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Laskin also fueled the rise and reputation of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at UIC. Over a 33-year career in the department (1950-1983), including a decade-long run (1973-1983) as its department head, Laskin co-founded the department’s residency program, helped establish the college’s Temporomandibular Joint and Facial Pain Research Center and trained hundreds of oral and maxillofacial surgeons as well as thousands of dentists.

After departing UIC in 1983, he chaired the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Dentistry for 19 years.

“It’s not an overstatement to call this the greatest honor I’ve received in my career,” Miloro said of the Laskin Professorship. “Dr. Laskin was a true giant in our specialty, someone firmly dedicated to the profession and to the patients for whom we care.”

As the first Laskin Professor, Miloro is certainly an appropriate honoree.

The New York native, whose research interests include areas such as neural regeneration, bone healing, implantology, distraction osteogenesis and orthognathic surgery, has published more than 165 peer-reviewed papers and currently serves as Craniomaxillofacial Deformities/Sleep Disorders/Cosmetic Surgery section editor for the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In addition, he has edited three major textbooks, including Peterson’s Principles of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, long considered the specialty field’s premier didactic training resource. In 2023, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons honored Miloro with its prestigious Donald B. Osbon Award for Outstanding Educator in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

“Dr. Miloro has led our Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for 17 years with an enterprising spirit and unrelenting commitment to training the next generation of oral surgeons and providing new insights to drive patient care, making him a fitting selection as the first Laskin Professor,” UIC College of Dentistry Dean Dr. Susan Rowan said. “He is an accomplished teacher and researcher whose ambitious work builds upon the efforts and legacy of Dr. Laskin.”

The professorship is not the first time Laskin and Miloro have been linked together.

In 2009, Miloro established the annual Daniel M. Laskin Lectureship at UIC to bring accomplished oral and maxillofacial surgeons to campus to honor Laskin with a distinguished lecture. Laskin himself offered the inaugural lecture and regularly attended the event, which is held each June to coincide with the graduation of the department’s residents. Miloro also established the UIC Daniel M. Laskin Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, which includes prior residents who have trained at the college under the continued lineage of Laskin, as well as the Daniel M. Laskin Research Fund to support research in the UIC Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

“Through the lectureship as well as scientific meetings, I developed a close relationship with Dr. Laskin and an even deeper admiration for him,” Miloro said. “The personal ties I have to Dr. Laskin make being the inaugural Laskin Professor that much more special and meaningful to me.”

Miloro said the Laskin Professorship represents an important development for the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – a small, yet prolific department routinely contributing to scientific literature and care in the field.

“Dr. Laskin was so instrumental is designing this department and making it what it is and we are absolutely focused on building upon that legacy of research, training and patient care,” Miloro said.