Font resize Email Print

Sunil Kapila to Chair Orthodontics Division

February 29, 2016

Sunil Kapila

Sunil Kapila, BDS, MS, PhD

Sunil Kapila, BDS, MS, PhD, returns to UCSF as chair of the Division of Orthodontics, in the Department of Orofacial Sciences. Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, has been interim chair; he steps down April 1, 2016, to take the position of chief of the Division of Genetics, Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine. Dr. Kapila also will assist Dean Featherstone in administering special projects related to the implementation of our new strategic plan.

Dr. Kapila currently is the Thomas M. and Doris Graber Endowed Professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Michigan. He obtained his dental degree at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, an MS in orthodontics at University of Oklahoma as a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar, and a PhD in oral biology from UCSF. He served as the first Eugene E. West Endowed Chair of Orthodontics at UCSF prior to being recruited to the University of Michigan to chair the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry. 

As department chair at Michigan, Dr. Kapila built an academically strong and balanced department through strategic recruitment of faculty with diverse backgrounds. Through hands-on mentorship he achieved a high level of faculty and student success including fostering faculty towards becoming NIH-funded investigators, and the awarding of numerous national and international awards to faculty and students. He also built interdepartmental and intercampus collaborations including establishing research collaborations with faculty at UM’s School of Engineering and recruiting mentors from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Public Health and the College of Literature, Sciences and Arts for an NIH Institutional Career Development (K12) Award. Dr. Kapila has a proven ability to run efficient clinical operations with reinvestment of reserves toward enhancing institutional and programmatic goals. He has had exceptional success in fund raising that has been instrumental in creating endowments for professorships, student scholarships and for a new interprofessional CODA-accredited craniofacial and special care orthodontics Fellowship program.

Dr. Kapila has a history of consistent NIH funding on the hormonal basis for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) degeneration and on periodontal bone biology. He is the principal director of an NIH Institutional Career Development (K12) Award, the focus of which is to enhance research capacity in TMJ disorders and orofacial pain. He has published many peer-reviewed papers, chapters and proceedings on the regulation of cartilage and bone extracellular matrix remodeling, orthodontic biomaterials, biomechanics and 3-D imaging. Dr. Kapila has published two top-rated textbooks: “Current Therapy in Orthodontics” and “Cone Beam Computed Tomography in Orthodontics.” He serves on the editorial board or as a reviewer of several journals and has served as a member of several NIH grant review panels. 

Dr. Kapila has held or holds national leadership positions, including serving as president of the Craniofacial Biology Group of the International Association for Dental Research and chair of the American Association of Orthodontist Foundation’s Planning and Awards Review Committee. He has initiated and co-directed inter-institutional consortia for technology transfer and faculty mentorship initiatives. His research awards include the American Association for Dental Research’s Hatton Award, the American Association of Orthodontists' Milo Hellman Award, and the AAOF’s B.F. Dewel Research Award. He also has been recognized by the AAO for his contributions to the profession by being honored to present the prestigious Jacob A. Salzmann Lecture at the association's annual meeting in 2013. His achievements have been acknowledged by his alma mater through UCSF’s 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Orthodontics.

Dr. Kapila is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and fellow of the International College of Dentists.