Dr. Leena Palomo Named Chair, Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry

Dr. Leena Palomo


Dr. Leena Palomo, an accomplished dental educator, clinician, and researcher, has been named chair of the Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, effective September 1, 2021.

Dr. Palomo is currently a tenured professor of periodontics at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine (CWRU). She is also the first dentist in CWRU’s history to serve as chair of its Faculty Senate.

Dr. Palomo brings over a decade of collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and the Center for Specialized Women’s Health to her new position. Her research interests include women’s health, aesthetics, and quality of life. She has mentored numerous dental and medical postgraduate students who have received accolades and honors for the quality of their theses.

Through her collaborations, she played a key role in periodontal research and treatment for the rheumatoid spectrum diseases, speaking at many national and international Sjögren’s and rheumatology meetings, and publishing her findings on wellness in multidisciplinary and interprofessional journals. As department chair, she will integrate the knowledge gained through her extensive international collaborations to make the Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry the global leader in both predoctoral and postgraduate periodontology and implant dentistry education.

“I believe that curiosity is fun,” says Dr. Palomo of her teaching philosophy. “We dissect the evidence from periodontal anatomy, microanatomy, current and classic literature, and evaluate what we know, what we think we know, and ask questions about how periodontology impacts overall wellness. These questions drive discovery. There is nothing more satisfying as a dentist than knowing that you have delivered the very best care. So, I love watching students bring evidence-based treatment and state-of-the-art technology, as well as classical findings, chairside to their patients. Together, we keep asking questions, seeking new knowledge, and having fun as lifelong learners.”

Dr. Palomo received her bachelor’s, dental, and master’s in dentistry (periodontology) degrees from Case Western Reserve University, and a certificate in periodontics, also from CWRU. She earned a certificate in general practice from the St. Elizabeth Health System.

A Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology (ABP) and longtime examiner for the ABP, Dr. Palomo was recently elected ABP Director. She continues to work with the ABP to define and test the ideal skillset of knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a Diplomate-level periodontist.

“Dr. Palomo’s demonstrated leadership, teaching excellence, research, mentorship, and commitment to collaboration well qualify her to lead our Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry at this time,” said Charles N. Bertolami, Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU Dentistry. “I am confident that she is exactly the right person to lead the department as it seeks to further advance periodontal education, research, and patient care.”