Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics Education Faculty Research Researchers Science

Faculty Member Dr. Yuji Mishina to Lead Oral Health Sciences PhD Program3 min read

June 6, 2022

Faculty Member Dr. Yuji Mishina to Lead Oral Health Sciences PhD Program3 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., June 6, 2022 – Faculty member Dr. Yuji Mishina has been named associate director of the school’s Oral Health Sciences PhD program, effective June 1.

Mishina is the William R. Mann Professor of Dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Material Sciences and Prosthodontics. He will jointly administer the OHS PhD program for one year with the current director, Dr. Vesa Kaartinen, Associate Dean for Research. Mishina will then continue as director of the program.

Yuji Mishina

Kaartinen and Interim Dean Jan Hu announced the appointment. Kaartinen said Mishina’s extensive research and mentoring of students makes him an ideal candidate to lead the PhD program. “Professor Mishina’s dedication to the training of the next generation of oral health professionals and craniofacial biologists demonstrates his commitment to continuous learning focused on improving human health,” Kaartinen said.

Mishina joined the School of Dentistry in 2008. His research focuses on molecular regulation of craniofacial development, with the objective of better understanding pathological mechanisms of gene-regulated growth and development of organs and tissues. His work addresses how molecules communicate with the embryonic environment and investigates growth and development for tissue and organ formation, with the goal of devising therapeutics for clinical applications. His research papers have been published in many top scientific journals.

He teaches courses related to cell and molecular biology, musculoskeletal biology and disease, mineralized tissues, developmental biology and embryogenesis. In his advising and mentoring, he works with students from undergraduate, DDS, master’s and PhD programs. Many of his students have received national and international awards. At the school’s annual Research Day earlier this year, he received the Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award. It recognizes faculty who consistently impart their research knowledge and experience with students and scholars in areas of clinical, basic science and-or translational research. He was cited for fostering an environment of collaboration, respect and purpose in his research lab.

Mishina’s research has been continuously funded for more than two decades by major institutions, including the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health and other academic and private research institutions. His scientific accomplishments and expertise are well-recognized and reflected by a large number of invited lectures and seminar presentations, nationally and internationally.

Mishina received his BS, MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Tokyo in Japan. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.  In 1998 he was named the group head in Molecular Developmental Biology Group, Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health.  In 2008, joined the U-M School of Dentistry as an associate professor, and in 2014, he was promoted to professor.

Mishina will be the fourth director of the PhD program since it was founded in 1994. Dr. Charlotte Mistretta directed the program from its inception until 2010, and Dr. Jan Hu was the program director from 2010 to 2018.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral healthcare 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.