The UNMC College of Dentistry will continually improve the oral health of the people of Nebraska and beyond through a humanistic approach to education, extraordinary patient care and innovative research.
The UNMC College of Dentistry will transform oral health care in Nebraska by implementing exceptional education, collaborative research, community service and integration with the healthcare team to achieve patient-centered care.
- We value our strong sense of community.
- We are committed to compassionate care, collaborative learning, and the continuous exploration of knowledge.
- We demonstrate integrity, accountability, intellectual curiosity, and passion in everything we do.
- We respect diversity and its contributions to our culture of excellence.
See How We Achieve Our Mission - College Fast Facts.
Gerry Kugel, DMD, MS, PhD
Gerard “Gerry” Kugel, DMD, PhD, was named dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry in 2023. Previously, Dr. Kugel served as associate dean for research and professor of comprehensive care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. He has extensive expertise in clinical research and esthetic dentistry.
Yun Saksena, BDSc, MMSc, DMD
Associate Dean for Education, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Saksena works to help each student fulfill their potential and help the college community become better teachers and learners. She also leads the college's diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Before joining UNMC in 2018, Dr. Saksena served as an associate professor and director of pre-doctoral clinical education at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. Her research interests include student learning, teaching, classroom and clinic dynamics, student life and admissions.
Merlyn Vogt, DDS
Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Admissions and External Relations
Dr. Vogt joined the college in 1996 as a part-time clinical instructor and became an assistant dean in 2005. During his time as assistant dean, Dr. Vogt has advanced the college’s admissions, student affairs, alumni relations and government relations. Under his leadership, each year the college continues to recruit the most outstanding dental students. Additionally, Dr. Vogt plays a key role in student affairs initiatives and serves as a government relations representative for UNMC.
James K. Wahl, III, PhD
Associate Dean for Research
Dr. Wahl was appointed the interim associate dean for research and chair of the department of oral biology in 2020. Under Dr. Wahl’s leadership, the college achieved a 28 percent increase in grants and contracts during the 2021-2022 fiscal year and a near doubling in NIH research funding since 2019. Additionally, the research program has expanded through the recruitment of additional faculty involved in research. Dr. Wahl joined the College of Dentistry in 2001 as a research assistant professor in the department of oral biology and was named a UNMC Distinguished Scientist in 2019.
Amir Farhangpour, DDS
Associate Dean for Clinic Operations
Dr. Farhangpour oversees the college's clinical operations in both Omaha and Lincoln, including managing the clinical staff, supplies and sterilization. He has extensive experience and knowledge of clinical administration. Before joining UNMC in 2019, Dr. Farhangpour served as an associate professor and co-director of the pre-doctoral clinic at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Sarah G. Lowman, DDS, MPH
Assistant Dean for Admissions
Since joining the college in 2020, Dr. Lowman has played a key role in recruitment initiatives, including working with the Summer Health Professions Education Program to help students who are underrepresented in the health professions prepare to apply to dental school. She leads the admissions process, develops strategic recruitment initiatives, and provides academic and career guidance to prospective students.