Five new faculty join OMFS, BMSP and POM departments4 min read

New Faculty Updates are published twice annually to introduce full-time faculty who have joined the School of Dentistry.

Ann Arbor, Mich., Feb. 7, 2022 – The five new full-time faculty members who joined the School of Dentistry since Aug. 1, 2021, specialize in residency program management, periodontology, oral medicine, and biologic and materials sciences.

Here are brief biographies of their backgrounds and professional interests:

• Natalie Heaivilin joined the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry as a clinical assistant professor on Nov. 15, 2021. Dr. Heaivilin received her DDS from the University of California San Francisco, followed by a general practice residency at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California. She joins U-M from Neighborhood Health in Alexandria, Virginia, where she was the dental director. At U-M, she serves as the Program Director for the Hospital Dentistry General Practice Residency, which allows her to work as a clinician, educator and administrator. She has authored five peer-reviewed publications.

From left: Natalie Heaivilin, Josh Emrick, Junying Li

• Josh Emrick joined the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics as assistant professor on Nov. 15, 2021. A Michigan native, Dr. Emrick earned his DDS and PhD in oral and craniofacial biology from the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry, completing his dissertation with Dr. David Julius (Nobel Prize, 2021). Dr. Emrick conducted his postdoctoral studies as a Dental Clinical Research Fellow at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the National Institutes of Health and trained with Dr. Nicholas Ryba. He is a U-M Biological Sciences Scholar and has support from a NIDCR Career Transition Award (K22).

• Junying Li joined the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics as a clinical assistant professor on Sept. 7, 2021. Dr. Li completed his prosthodontics residency training in 2015 and PhD program in 2019 at West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, in China. During 2017-18, he worked in the Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine (POM) as a Dentsply Sirona Implant Fellow. After graduating, he joined POM as a clinical instructor. In addition to clinical practice and teaching, Dr. Li is interested in the research of digital dentistry, especially on topics related to computer-assisted implant surgery, virtual patient and virtual articulator. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in these fields.

Felipe Nör, Lauren Surface

• Felipe Nör joined the Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine as a clinical assistant professor on Sept. 1, 2021.  Dr. Nör received his DDS and PhD from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). He then received a master’s degree in oral sciences and a certificate in oral and maxillofacial pathology from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.  He has worked in private practice and authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications.  His research focuses on head-and-neck cancer, more specifically on oral squamous cell carcinoma and salivary gland tumors.

• Lauren Surface joined the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics as assistant professor on Sept. 1, 2021. Dr. Surface received her bachelor’s of science degree in neurobiology from the University of Washington. She received her PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying the role of chromatin in embryonic stem cell lineage commitment. Her postdoctoral research was done at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, where her work utilized genome-wide association to understand the response of osteogenic cells to drugs and mineral ions. She is the recipient of the NIH/NIAMS K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Grant, and is a U-M Biological Sciences Scholar.


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.