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U-M Regents approve professorships for faculty members Hera Kim-Berman and Noriaki Ono5 min read

February 19, 2021

U-M Regents approve professorships for faculty members Hera Kim-Berman and Noriaki Ono5 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., Feb. 19, 2021 – Two School of Dentistry faculty members – Drs. Hera Kim-Berman and Noriaki Ono – have received named professorships, approved Thursday by the University of Michigan Board of Regents.

Dr. Kim-Berman, Graduate Orthodontic Program Director and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, was named the Robert W. Browne Professor of Dentistry in Orthodontics.

Dr. Ono, Associate Professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, was named the James E. Harris Collegiate Professor of Dentistry.

Both appointments are renewable five-year terms through Dec. 31, 2025. Dean Laurie McCauley, with the support of the School of Dentistry Executive Committee, recommended the professorships to the Board of Regents.

Dr. Nan Hatch, the Lysle E. Johnston. Jr., Collegiate Professor of Orthodontics and Chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, said the two faculty members from the department are well-deserving of the prestigious professorships. “Dr. Hera Kim-Berman is exceptional in her dedication to excellence in patient care and clinical education as our Graduate Orthodontic Program Director. Her creative approach to teaching is well-evidenced by her scholarly work to develop novel, virtual reality-based methods to improve dental and orthodontic education,” Hatch said. “Dr. Noriaki Ono is a scientific star who uses advanced techniques to enhance our knowledge on sources and functions of skeletal stem cells in development. Both of these faculty are excellent examples of how creativity and commitment in combination lead to highly innovative ideas and outcomes.”

Hera Kim-Berman

Professor Kim-Berman is leading educational activities across the school in virtual reality and digital dental technology. She has collaborated with the College of Engineering, external enterprises and faculty colleagues to create an educational tool based on a virtual reality patient for corrective jaw surgery, as well as a virtual dental library of human teeth. She is an emerging global leader in the use of virtual reality and 3-D printing for dental education. Since joining the U-M dental school in 2014, she has received two university grants and four private industry grants to investigate the use of these technologies and their effect on student learning. She has been invited to give numerous research seminars and lectures at the national and international levels on dental topics using virtual reality approaches. Her teaching responsibilities involve orthodontic and pediatric graduate residents, with a particular focus on the treatment of cleft lip and palate and craniofacial anomalies. She has presented continuing education courses relating to dental orthodontics, cleft lip, and palate treatment at the state, national and international levels.

The Robert W. Browne Professorship of Dentistry in Orthodontics was established in 2002 when funds from an earlier gift from Dr. Browne that established the first Browne Professorship had grown to exceed $4.4 million. The initial gift of $1 million was received in 1985. An alumnus and long-time supporter of the dental school, Dr. Browne received three degrees from U-M – an A.B. in 1948 and his DDS and M.S. from the School of Dentistry in 1952 and 1959, respectively.

Noriaki Ono

Professor Ono’s research focuses on the fundamental characteristics of skeletal stem cells that play important roles in bone growth, maintenance, and repair, with the ultimate goal of having an impact on bone regeneration. He has been awarded $2.8 million in federal funding since joining the U-M School of Dentistry in 2014. He has 36 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals such as Bone, Nature Cell Biology, Cell Stem Cell and Journal of Clinical Investigation. He has eight book chapters, 64 abstracts and has been invited to speak at 16 national and international professional meetings, including the 9th International Orthodontic Congress, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meetings, and the European Calcified Tissue Society Annual Congress. He is on the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research editorial board, is a manuscript reviewer for numerous journals, and a grant reviewer for numerous national and international associations, institutes and agencies. He teaches in the pediatric dentistry orthodontic clinic, the pre-doctoral orthodontic clinic and the PhD programs. He is the course director of four graduate didactic courses and an instructor in three other graduate and PhD didactic courses.

The James E. Harris Collegiate Professorship in Orthodontics was established in 2008 with support of alumni, staff, organizations and faculty. James E. Harris had a strong association with U-M stretching over six decades as a student, faculty member, chair and alumnus. He earned his AB in anthropology in 1950, his DDS in 1954, an MS in human genetics in 1960 and an MS in orthodontics in 1963, after which he became an assistant professor at the School of Dentistry. He rose quickly through the ranks to professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics in 1968, a position he held for 14 years. His research on craniofacial variations in growth and development included pioneering studies of Egyptian mummies.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.