Penn Dental Medicine

Departments & Faculty

Anh D. Le, DDS, PhD

Chair and Norman Vine Endowed Professor of Oral Rehabilitation
Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology

Education

  • Ph.D., Oral Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1998
  • Certificate in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, 1998
  • D.D.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1992
  • Graduate Training, Department of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, 1984-1986
  • B.A., Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University of California, San Diego, 1982

Honors/Credentials

  • Tenured Professor, Career Academic, Division of Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics, Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, 2011-2012
  • Tenured Associate Professor, Career Academic, Division of Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics, Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, 2005-2011
  • Visiting Professor, Division of Surgical, Therapeutics, and Bioengineering Sciences, Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, 2004-2005
  • Tenured Associate Professor, Career Academic, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, 2003-2004
  • Assistant Professor, In-Residence, Division of Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry, 2002-2003
  • Assistant Professor, tenure-track, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, 2000-2003
  • Staff Research Dentist, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry, 1998-1999
  • Diplomate, American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, 2003
  • James H. Zumberge Faculty Research and Innovation Award, Universityof Southern California, 2009
  • Fellow, International Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2008
  • Fellow, American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2004
  • Fellow, California Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2004
  • Clinical Investigator Award K08, National Institute of Dental Research/National Institute of Health, 1996-2001
  • Elected Woman of the Year in Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry, 1992

Research Interests

Dr. Le’s research focuses on investigating mesenchymal stem cells from adult oral tissues. Together with collaborators, she isolated and characterized adult stem cells from gingival tissue—a discovery she patented while at USC. Studying those stem cells further, Dr. Le proposed a new mechanism by which they might aid in wound healing; they proposed that the stem cells may modify the environment of the wound. This new concept, that stem cells are the conductors rather than the musicians in the orchestra of wound repair, earned Dr. Le and her colleagues NIH funding and a wealth of new avenues of research to explore, all aimed at regenerating missing craniofacial tissue.

Those threads of research connect to another area of investigation for Dr. Le —the study of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw, or BRONJ. It is a condition involving degeneration of the mandible that can arise after taking certain bisphosphonate-based drugs to treat cancer or prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis.

Research by Dr. Le and collaborators in mice has identified biomarkers that put individuals at a higher risk of developing ONJ. They have found that an infusion of mesenchymal stem cells can cure the condition in mice—a promising breakthrough for patients with this debilitating and painful disease.

Penn
The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030