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OHSU appoints Ronald Sakaguchi, Ph.D., D.D.S., M.B.A., dental school dean

Widely published dental researcher and leader has been interim dean since October 2020
Ronald Sakaguchi Ph.D. D.D.S. M.B.A - a man wearing a suit, glasses.
Portrait of Ronald Sakaguchi, Ph.D., D.D.S., M.B.A. (OHSU)

Ronald Sakaguchi, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.B.A., has been named dean of Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Dentistry effective today. He assumes the role after serving as the school’s interim dean since October 2020.

“Please join me in welcoming Dr. Sakaguchi as the 10th dean of the OHSU School of Dentistry, and in thanking him for his service as interim dean for the past year,” said David Robinson, Ph.D., interim OHSU executive vice president and provost. “Under Dr. Sakaguchi’s leadership, the School of Dentistry has continued to provide high-quality education to its learners and outstanding oral health care for its patients, and has expanded its research portfolio, despite the uncertainty and complexity of the pandemic, race-related tragedies and environmental disasters. Dr. Sakaguchi has also begun to implement changes that will ensure the continued growth and success of the school. The appointment provides continuity for the school through the next accreditation cycle and expands outreach to our community. I look forward to continuing to work with him as dean.”

Sakaguchi joined the OHSU School of Dentistry in 1994. He has served in a number of dental school leadership roles over the years, including associate dean for research and innovation, during which he was part of a faculty team that supported a panel of Oregon business executives to form the plan for the construction of the School of Dentistry’s new home, which opened on OHSU’s South Waterfront campus in 2014. After completing an M.B.A. in entrepreneurship at Babson College in 2008, he joined the OHSU School of Medicine’s Division of Management, where he created and taught courses for health care administration graduate certificate, M.S. and M.B.A. programs.

Sakaguchi is a widely published dental biomaterials and biomechanics researcher with an extensive history of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and industry. He has served in leadership roles with the International Association for Dental Research and Academy of Dental Materials, where he is also a fellow. He was an associate editor of the scientific journal Dental Materials and was senior editor of Craig’s Restorative Dental Materials 14th edition textbook, which is used globally. He was recently named a fellow of the American College of Dentists.

He received training as a prosthodontist at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, where he became a member of its Department of Oral Sciences faculty and joined its Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics. Sakaguchi earned a Ph.D. in biomaterials and biomechanics from the University of Greenwich (formerly Thames Polytechnic, London), a doctoral degree in dental surgery from Northwestern University Dental School, a master’s degree in prosthodontics from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in cybernetics from UCLA.

“I am confident Dr. Sakaguchi’s leadership will enhance the learning and health care environment in the School of Dentistry by building on existing strengths and forging new and meaningful paths to success across clinical, research and education systems while advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” said OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS.

“I thank President Jacobs and Interim Provost Robinson for this opportunity and am grateful and inspired by the compassion and dedication of our faculty, staff, students and residents for their care of our patients, education of our learners and new research discoveries for our future,” said Sakaguchi. “I am committed to fostering an inclusive environment for learning and health care where everyone can thrive, as well as building an infrastructure that engages our community and partners, and enhances our education, clinical and research excellence.”

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