Dr. Michel Koo Named to 2016 Penn Fellows Cohort


Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo

Philadelphia — Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo, Professor, Department of Orthodontics and Divisions of Pediatric Dentistry & Community Oral Health, at Penn Dental Medicine has been named to the 2016 cohort of Penn Fellows, one of eight outstanding mid-career faculty members within Penn selected for this honor this year.

The Penn Fellows program, run out of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, is designed to provide a select group of developing campus leaders with an opportunity over the course of two years to build University-wide networks, think strategically about higher education, and learn more about Penn and its programs by interacting with members of the University’s executive team. Candidates are nominated by Penn’s deans, department chairs, and Faculty Senate leaders.

“Dr. Koo is an outstanding example of academic excellence, faculty dedication, and service,” said Penn Dental Medicine Dean Denis Kinane when nominating Dr. Koo. “His presence among the Fellows and contributions to the cohort would undoubtedly strengthen the fabric of the University’s community of educators and scholars.”

Dr. Koo joined the School’s faculty in September 2013, coming to Penn Dental Medicine from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he had been part of the faculty since 2001, most recently serving as Associate Professor in the Department of Dentistry, the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, and the Center for Oral Biology. He also served as a visiting scientist with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health (2011-2012).

An accomplished researcher, his lab focuses on one of the most prevalent biofilm-dependent oral infectious diseases – dental caries, particularly in early childhood. His research is aimed at enhancing our understanding on how pathogenic biofilms build up and developing effective therapeutics against them. His lab is particularly interested in finding new anti-biofilm agents from plant-derived and organic waste products as well as developing novel drug-delivery approaches using nanoengineering.

“I am honored to be selected for the Penn Fellows program and grateful for Dean Kinane’s nomination for this exciting opportunity,” says Dr. Koo. “I look forward to expanding my interactions and connecting Penn Dental with other Schools across the Penn community.”

The program started last week with a dinner for the Penn Fellows hosted by Penn President Amy Gutmann. “It was great to learn more about her leadership skills and vision for the University and the importance of being an active Penn citizen both locally and abroad,” noted Dr. Koo.