Perio Resident Kang Ko Receives AAP Educator Scholarship


Dr. Kang Ko (center) pictured with Dr. Joseph Fiorellini, Director of Penn Dental’s Postdoctoral Periodontics Program, and almnus Dr. Kevin Luan (right), at the AAP Annual Meeting.

Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine periodontics resident Dr. Kang Ko (D’15, GD’20) was selected by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Foundation as a 2018 recipient of the AAP Educator Scholarship. The selection committee presented the award during the AAP Annual Meeting, held October 27-30 in Vancouver, BC.

The competitive AAP Educator Scholarships were created to stimulate the development of periodontal educators and are open to periodontal residents intending to pursue an academic career in periodontology upon graduation. The $25,000 scholarship goes toward financial relief for student loan reduction. All past recipients are teaching within periodontal programs throughout the country as full-time junior faculty members.

In conjunction with his certificate in periodontics and in preparation for an academic path, Dr. Ko is pursuing a DScD degree and has been conducting research in the lab of Dr. Dana Graves, Professor, Department of Periodontics, throughout his time at Penn Dental Medicine. The focus of Dr. Ko’s research is on investigating the mechanism behind diabetic complications on stem cells that participate in hard and soft tissue healing.

“I am extremely fortunate to receive so much support and mentorship while pursuing a career in academic dentistry. My goal is to be part of advancing periodontal education through research and teaching, and to provide resources and advice to future generations of dentists who wish to pursue a career path similar to mine,” says Dr. Ko. “The AAP Scholarship will provide much needed financial relief to lower my student loans, so that I can invest more time and energy on research and career development to eventually emerge as a successful clinician-scientist and educator.”

Dr. Ko was also a recipient of the 2018 Nobel Biocare Student Member Annual Meeting Scholarship, receiving a $500 scholarship toward travel costs associated with attending this year’s AAP annual meeting. He was one of ten selected recipients this cycle.

Also recognized at the AAP Annual Meeting was Dr. Kevin Luan (GD’17), an alumnus of the Penn Dental Medicine periodontics program, who received an AAP Foundation Fellowship to the Institute for Teaching and Learning. It provides new dental school faculty with teaching and academic skills development in the context of career planning. Dr. Luan is presently teaching full-time as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago.