Department of Biomaterials Program: Alumni Spotlight

Here's what our alumni are saying ...

Kritia Srinivasan

"Being part of the Biomaterials research program has been a turning point and a successful launchpad for me, bridging my clinical skills and scientific curiosities.

The structure and opportunities presented in the program helped me learn and apply. What made the program most functional was the strong mentorship and approachability of the training faculty, along with state-of-the-art facilities. While as a novice junior researcher I felt sheltered, I was simultaneously given a robust opportunity to critique and work independently. The program’s scientific diversity, tight-knit environment, and integrative association to the dental-medical schools on one end and engineering school on the other have been of critical learning value and exposure. Having since transitioned to a Phd program in Biomedical Sciences, the motivation to continue this interdisciplinary, clinically impactful scientific journey was instilled throughout my journey within the Biomaterials Program at NYU.

During my two years in the program, I forged life-long friendships and many wonderful memories in a city that truly is the crossroads to the world and opportunities! I could not have asked for a better platform to mark my scientific journey; what is just the beginning of many more years of learning."

Kritika Srinivasan, DDS, MS
(Class of 2016)

PhD Student
New York University School of Medicine
Sackler Institude of Biomedical Sciences



Eduardo Cáceres Jara

"My two years in NYU's MS in Biomaterials Program were two of the best years of my academic career. I am honored to have worked and studied alongside such great people, and to have learned from the best faculty. Everything, from what the program has to offer to the great human quality of everyone in the department, encouraged me to push myself to work harder each and every day. The skills I learned and the research I was involved in are, without a doubt, complements to my everyday work. I will always be thankful for my time in the Department of Biomaterials."

Eduardo Cáceres Jara, DDS, MS
(Class of 2016)

Instructor, Professor
Department of Biomaterials and Rehabilitation
Universidad Andres Bello, Viña del Mar. Chile.



Dr. Thani Alsharari

"Leaving home to study abroad was no easy task, but choosing NYU as my destination school was the best decision I ever made. I joined the MS in Biomaterials Program under the direction of Dr. John L. Ricci, who made sure us students always felt welcome and at home, and provided us with as much knowledge as we could retain. Having access to these resources and state-of-the-art equipment gave me the opportunity to aim for knowledge and experience without limitations. During my two years, I met incredible professors who guided me every day to become a great researcher: Dr. Yu Zhang’s vast knowledge in Biomaterials Science, and unmatched talent in delivering information to students were some of the amazing aspects I will never forget; Dr. Paulo Coelho, who always manages to make incredibly complicated and intricate engineering philosophies seem easy to comprehend with his excellent teaching capabilities; Dr. Nick Tovar, who worked closely and patiently with us, and introduced us to the basic principles of biomaterials; Dr. Dindo Q. Mijares, who helped me with navigating the biomaterials lab and its equipment, while being very patient and informative with all his students; and, Dr. Timothy Bromage who made an art out of using microscopes with his amazing imaging skills and teachings.

I walked away from this program with immense knowledge, a master's degree in biomaterials, and memories of experiences and leaders that I will remember and cherish for a long time."

Thani Alsharari DDS, MSc, CAGS
(Class of 2015)

Postgraduate Resident
Nova Southeastern University
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida



Abeer Hakeem DDS, MS

"As a dentist, going through the biomaterials program has enhanced my knowledge and understanding of the materials used in dentistry; from composites to veneers and crowns, as well as the structure of implants and the biology that lies behind it. The program offered various research opportunities which facilitated working with professors from different departments.

Having the master's degree has enhanced my resume, as I am in the process of applying to the Advanced Standing Program in order to be able to practice dentistry in the US."

Abeer Hakeem DDS, MS
(Class of 2016) 



Ramzi Althubaitiy

"My two-years of study in the Biomaterials program at New York University College of Dentistry were among the best of my life. I’m so glad to be one of the Biomaterials’ program graduates, which blends the analytical, practical and theoretical sciences. It has state-of-the-art laboratories that satisfy the research requirements for both students and researchers. The student-oriented environment has promoted our mastering of the program’s objectives. I worked closely with distinguished professors and researchers, who work on cutting-edge research projects including 3D printing, biological sensors, etc. I met professors who are as dedicated to teaching as they are to their own research. We have been provided with the knowledge that has allowed us to perceive and assimilate the ongoing innovations and inventions. Not only knowledge acquisition but also the opportunity to perform your own research made this program unique when compared with its counterparts."

- Ramzi Althubaitiy, BDS, MS (Class of 2016)

Lecturer, Dental Biomaterials,
Department of Restorative Dentistry Faculty of Dentistry,
Umm Al Qura University, Saudi Arabia.
U.S.A. +1 (347) 967-6494
K.S.A. +966 56 101 9838



Pablo Atria

"My experience at NYU College of Dentistry, specifically at the Department of Biomaterials as a master's degree student has given me the opportunity to acquire a set of skills not commonly found in dentists, and the ability to challenge myself and pursue my doctoral degree in the future. Faculty from the department were very supportive and encouraging throughout the whole time I was there."

Pablo Atria (Class of 2016)

Associate Research Scientist
Universidad de Los Andes, Chile



Moid Karwaa

"What can I say!?! My experience at NYU in general and the MS program in particular was exceptional. I had the most amazing 5 years, which I spent to complete my clinical residency and the master’s degree program at the College of Dentistry. All faculty who teach in the Biomaterials MS program are very approachable, friendly, knowledgeable, and always there to help you. I’ll be forever grateful. I also had the privilege to meet and get to know students from so many different places in the world. To be a successful clinician you will have to stay up-to-date with the most recent literature, and that’s what I learned from the massive research experience I had when I was an MS student."

Moid Karwaa, DDS, MS (Class of 2014)

Clinical Assistant Professor
Course Director: Fundamentals of Occlusion & Fixed Prosthodontics
Course Co-director: Advanced Prosthodontics
UMKC School of Dentistry
Department of Restorative Clinical Sciences, Room 433
Phone: 816-235-2008



Samar Tannous

"My passion to achieve the highest standard of patient care and safety led me to the Master's Program in Biomaterials at NYU Dentistry. I thoroughly enjoyed the program since the first day I joined. During the Master's Program in Biomaterials, I had the opportunity to work as a junior researcher in the department where I learned that research is the path to success in our profession. One of the major goals as a faculty is to give back to NYU Dentistry, I challenge the students’ ability to combine medicine and engineering. Biomaterials science is integrated in every procedure we perform."

Samar Tannous DDS, MS (Class of 2014)

Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care
New York University College of Dentistry



Abdulaziz Abu-Melha

"When I joined the Master's Program in Biomaterials in 2008, I was clueless about what was going to happen, but from the first moment in the first lecture, I realized the bright future awaiting me. What makes the program interesting is the extensive facilities, and faculty, all of which are helpful and knowledgeable. I was mentored by Dr. Yu Zhang, a very respectful and giving person and he was very patient with me to instruct me how to prepare and write my thesis. This program gave me the basis of how to do research and how to conduct it in the biomaterials field. I want to thank all of the department’s faculty and personnel for all of the good times."

Abdulaziz Abu-Melha, BDS, MS (Class of 2013)

Diplomate, American Board of Endodontics
Assistant Professor, Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs
King Khalid University, College of Dentistry



Trevor Spence

"The experienced professors of the Department of Biomaterials provided me with the understanding of what it takes and the know-how to perform thorough research in order to become confident as an expert in the field. Upon graduation, I advanced into a position on the healthcare team within Solvay Specialty Polymers, where I work with device manufacturers to identify plastics that suit their needs for medical instruments and implants. It was not until I joined the team that I discovered how relevant my research was at NYU and I plan to further develop the technology for the orthopedics industry.

I genuinely enjoyed my time at NYU; challenging coursework quenched my thirst for knowledge, I forged lasting friendships with a diverse group of classmates – and I got to experience it all in the unparalleled energy of New York City."

Trevor Spence (Class of 2013)

Sales Development Manager, Healthcare
Solvay Specialty Polymers



Shweta Saraswat

"I graduated from NYU in 2013 with an MS in Biomaterials and am currently working as a clinical research associate in the periodontology division at Ohio State University. The depth of knowledge, range of skills and research experience which we received from this department is highly commendable. The greatest asset of the University are the people who worked there; I was fortunate to have Dr. Dindo Mijares and Dr. Yu Zhang as my mentors during my academic journey. The program required a great deal of hard work, determination and discipline, but after working in different universities I can now say it was all worth it!"

Shweta Saraswat BDS, MS (Class of 2013)

Clinical Research Associate, Periodontology Division
Ohio State University



Mohamed Ben Hakoma

"About 7 years ago, I made one of the best decisions that I could have ever made. I decided to apply to the Master’s Program in Biomaterials at New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry). Being a student at NYU Dentistry was a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to learn from professors who were leaders in their fields as well as young professors who were on the verge of excellence. During my time at NYU Dentistry, I had the chance to combine my clinical specialty training with the Master’s Program in Biomaterials. One of the best things that have ever happened to me was having the chance to work under the supervision of Dr. Racquel Z. LeGeros, may her gentle soul rest in peace. She was simply the best of the best. I graduated from NYU Dentistry in 2013 with a Master of Science in Biomaterials and certificates of Advanced Programs for International Dentists in Endodontics, and Advanced Programs for International Dentists in Prosthodontics. Today, I work as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics at Al-Zawya University, Al-Zawya, Libya, in addition to working as a certified endodontist in private practice. I strongly believe that it would have not been possible for me to be where I am today if it was not for the training, education, and the experiences that I received at NYU Dentistry."

Mohamed Ben Hakoma DDS, MS (Class of 2013)

Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics at Al-Zawya University, Al-Zawya, Libya
Certified Endodontist, Private practice, Libya



Ioana Chesnoiu Matei

"I was fortunate to attend the Master of Science in the Biomaterials Program at NYU Dentistry. This experience has broadened my knowledge of research. It was a program deeply related to dentistry and dental biomaterials. Whether you had previous research experience or not, the faculty took the time to mentor the students throughout their projects. Their door would always be open and they would be available to answer any questions. The program helped me to develop my analytical skills and understand what is required for a well-designed research project as well as learn numerous lab practical skills. I made a lot of friends along the way and the program left a definite mark in my life."

Ioana Chesnoiu Matei DDS, MS (Class of 2013)

Diplomate of Periodontology



Riddhi Gangolli BDS

"The NYU Department of Biomaterials is like a tightly knit family. Cross talk is plentiful and I always got the knowledge that I was looking for and so much more. The collaborative focus on teaching and research has given me the skills that I need to succeed. This is not a purely classroom-based program. The freedom to choose research tracks and learn real world applications is what makes it different form many others. I have learned to think outside of the box and am currently pursuing a career in Bioengineering."

Riddhi Gangolli BDS, MS, PhD (Class of 2012)

Bioengineer / Biomaterial Scientist / Dentist
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Medical Devices
Temple University: Department of Bioengineering
Dental Council of India



Mary Walczak

"I am very thankful that I had the honor of being under the mentorship of Dr. Raquel LeGeros while studying for my graduate degree in the Department of Biomaterials at NYU. The research experience I gained while working on my master's thesis gave me knowledge and experience that I needed to succeed in my career today. I thank the department for all the support and guidance."

Mary Walczak MS (Class of 2012)

Biochemist Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics



Heather Dorthé

"During my master's degree research in the Department of Biomaterials, I focused on biomaterial material development for in vivo bone scaffold repair. The coursework was well-suited to the program and many of the professors are top experts in their field. As students, we received hands-on training on high-end equipment at imagers such as the SEM, FT-IR and MicroCT machines.

After NYU, I moved to San Diego for the weather and the top-rated biotechnology scene. Before long, I was offered a research position at Takeda California working as a structural biologist in early stage drug discovery. My Master of Science in Biomaterials and experience with various x-ray imaging robots at NYU helped my CV stand-out amongst other applicants. I use my lab and technical skills mastered at NYU daily and they have greatly contributed to my successful biotech career in San Diego. I am confident my experience at NYU will continue to serve me well as I navigate through my career path and work towards making a difference in my field."

Heather Dorthé (Stone), MS (Class of 2012)

Structural Biologist
Takeda, California



Dindo Q. Mijares

"What I value most is the ability to use science as a means to help others. I consider my MS in Biomaterials from New York University to be one of my most significant accomplishments, because it exposed me to a population of individuals with that same mindset. The driven, supportive faculty members inspired me to view a successful career as one of passion and care. I was trained by a knowledgeable, patient, and responsible faculty member, Dr. Racquel LeGeros, on various types of equipment and was quickly certified to use numerous analytical apparatuses throughout my research study ("Synthetic bone mineral in osteoporotic rats/sheep"). Under Professor LeGeros’ mentorship, I was fortunate to present my research at several national and international conferences, which were supported by my principal investigator as well as the Department of Biomaterials.

My experiences as a student in the Department of Biomaterials transformed me into a confident, efficient, and effective life-long learner. I am especially grateful for the exposure to many oral and poster presentations as well as my familiarity with specialized laboratory equipment and research methodologies. I continue to foster my passion for education and research in my current positions as manager of our research facility as well as a research mentor to master's degree students and undergraduate dental students."

Dindo Q. Mijares, DMD, MS (Class of 2010)

Lab Manager/Researcher
Masters Program Co-director and Adjunct Assistant Prof.
Associate Research Scientist
Department of Biomaterials
NYU College of Dentistry
433 1st Avenue, Room 840
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 212.998.9938
Fax: 212.995.4244



Lukasz Witek

"As a previous student of this department, it gives me great pleasure to express its impact on my personal life and professional career. Upon graduating from my undergraduate studies, I was eager to expand my knowledge and interest in bio-sciences. When I arrived on the first day of classes in 2008, I could have only fathomed the countless opportunities New York University's Department of Biomaterials would offer. I received a world-class education through experiences that extend far beyond the classroom. What I value most, however, is my introduction to the exceptional faculty and mentors who truly care for the students’ best interests. My decision to join the Department of Biomaterials and complete the Master of Science program built the foundation on which I continue to pursue and achieve a productive career. Fortunately, my story and affiliation with the Biomaterials department goes full circle; I was afforded a position to work alongside the advisors and faculty who previously guided me. Because of my longstanding connection with and appreciation of the Department of Biomaterials, I hope to instill the values and work ethic of this department in the future generation of students and scientists."

Lukasz Witek MS, PhD (Class of 2010)

Lab Director/Postdoctoral Research
Associate/Research Scientist
Department of Biomaterials
NYU College of Dentistry
433 First Avenue, room 862
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 212.998.9269
Fax: 212.995.4244



Afraa Murriky

"My name is Afraa Murriky and I am currently the head of the Biomaterial Department in Riyadh Colleges of Dentistry and Pharmacy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

I graduated with a master’s degree in Biomaterials Science in 2010, New York University. The program along with my mentor, Dr. John Ricci, expanded my knowledge and allowed me to make evidence-based decisions during dental practice. New York University is a well-known institution that has 200 years’ experience in education and provides you with the best environment for learning. Working with state-of-the-art facilities accompanied by pioneers in every field definitely allows you to achieve your goals."

Afraa Murriky, DDS, MSc. (Class of 2010)

Lecturer of Biomaterial/ Implant Dentistry
Riyadh College of Dentistry & Pharmacy,
Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia.
Mob: 0544662231
E- mail:



David Holmes

"The Master of Science in Biomaterials is a wonderful complement to any dental career, whether you plan on entering a career as a clinician or researcher. Biomaterials is at the heart of all of the modern restorative and surgical specialties. The program gave me an understanding of biomaterials science that continues to help me assess new products before integrating them into clinical practice."

David Holmes, BDS, MS (Class of 2009)

London Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
London, UK
CEO, Co-founder. - Patient Engagement for the digital age.
London, UK



Gary Catig

"The NYU Department of Biomaterials has had a significant impact on my career. As someone with a background in materials science that was previously working in microelectronic components, their master’s program allowed a career shift into the biological field. They provided engaging coursework and firsthand laboratory experience in methods and techniques similar to those found in industry. Moreover the faculty has close ties with various companies, which can be helpful for job placement. Through my primary investigator’s contacts, I obtained an internship with the consumer branch of Johnson and Johnson. I appreciated my time there and feel their opportunities can be very rewarding."

Gary Catig MS, PhD (Class of 2009)

Postdoctoral Scholar
University California San Diego



Neela S. Covel

"My education and experience at NYU Department of Biomaterials started in 2007. My professors and classmates were amazing. Today as a dentist I know my practice is stronger due to the fundamentals I learned in the Biomaterials program. There I learned that critical thinking skills and deeper understanding of the materials I use on a daily basis helps me make better clinical choices for my patients. Having a better understanding of the research process helps me navigate, assess, and better integrate new information into my practice; this is key in a era where new information, techniques, and materials are constantly being brought forth and as a clinician I must constantly make decisions about what to incorporate into my practice."

Neela S. Covel, DDS, MS (Class of 2009)

Private Practice



Jae Hyun Park

"My training, education and research experience at NYU was exceptional and it makes me proud to be an NYU alumni. I was very fortunate to have good mentors; Dr. Racquel LeGeros and Dr. John LeGeros. They graciously guided me throughout my master's study program and helped me to successfully complete my thesis project. Thanks to their excellent guidance, I won first place at the 2006 American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) annual session Orthodontic Resident Scholars Program during my residency. The title of my thesis was ‘Zn-CaP Material as Potential Anti-bacterial Coating for Orthodontic Brackets’. It was more than just a theoretical concept – my mentors and I received a patent for the development. I have fond memories of my time at NYU and a deep respect for the good people I crossed paths with there."

Jae Hyun Park, DMD, MSD, MS, PhD (Class of 2006)

Professor and Chair
Postgraduate Orthodontic Program
Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
5835 East Still Circle
Mesa, AZ 85206



Alex Chou

"My two years of postgraduate study in the Department of Biomaterials at New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) truly enriched my knowledge in dental material sciences and further deepened my interest in clinical implant dentistry. It is a blessing in my life that I had a chance to learn and work with the world's renowned professors who inspired me in every step of my education. It was an unforgettable and priceless learning experience. For those who are pursuing their careers in biomaterial sciences, I highly recommend to you this master's degree program as it will bring you accomplishments beyond imagination."

Alex Chou, DMD, MS (Class of 2006)

Professor, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University

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