Current Research and Personnel

Ching-Chang Ko, MS, DDS, PhD

Ching-Chang Ko received DDS in 1984, MS in Bioengineering in 1989, PhD in Bioengineering in 1994, and orthodontic certificate in 2006. He is currently the Hale Distinguished Professor in the Department of Orthodontics and directs Ko-Lab working on orthodontic biomechanics and bone tissue engineering. He has published approximately 100 peer-reviewed articles. He has filed patents for artificial bone biomaterials and has the copyright of the FJORD model for orthodontic biomechanical simulation through UNC. His research has been funded by Whitaker Foundation, 3M ESPE, N2Bio, NC Biotech Center, American Association of Orthodontics Foundation, American Association of Endodontics Foundation, and NIH/NIDCR.

 John Whitley

John Whitley (BS chemistry, 1977) has worked in biomaterials research at the UNC Dental Research Center since 1979.  He has worked on the chemical, physical, thermal, and mechanical properties of the primary material types:  ceramics, metals, and polymers. Since August of 2006, he has served as Dr. Ko’s Laboratory Manager and Animal Care Coordinator.  He is the primary operator HAP-GEL reaction system.  He also has assisted the Orthodontic Department in maintaining various pieces of software:  Dolphin, Ortho2 and Ortho Insight 3D.  He is the primary operator of the Department’s 3D model scanner. 

Dong Joon (DJ) Lee, PhD

Dong Joon (DJ) Lee received his bachelor's degrees in chemistry from the State University of New York at Oswego, a master’s degree in a joint program at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest Universities, School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, and PhD (2011) from Yeungnam University in Korea.  In these Master and PhD studies, he worked on developing a tissue engineered heart valve using endothelial progenitor cells from valvular disease patients and heart valve bioreactor system.  His research was in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine with the development of a decellularization technique for the production of natural bone extracellular matrix scaffolds.  He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Ching-Chang Ko, working on biological effects of dopamine on bone regeneration. 

 He (Sarah) Zhang

Sarah earned a master degree in 2010 at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China in Clinical Stomatology.  Sarah is a visiting Scholar in Dr. Ko’s lab.  With her research at UNC she is currently working towards a Ph.D with Chongqing Medical University.  Her current research interest is titanium nanotubes and their influence on cell behavior. 

 Dae-Seok Hwang

Dr. Hwang earned his DDS, MDS, and PhD from Pusan National University, Korea.  His clinical interests are in Orthognathic and Craniofacial surgery, Distraction osteogenesis, and Hemifacial microsomia.  During his time as a visiting scholar in Dr. Ko’s lab, he will help develop an orthognathic animal model. 

Chris Gibson, DDS

Chris graduated from Duke University with a BSE in Biomedical Engineering and received his dental training from the University of Maryland. With his research project he will quantify limiting factors that affect stage I treatment (level & alignment) of orthodontic forces. By evaluating multiple mechanical scenarios that typically arise in the leveling and aligning, such as in-out deflections, tipping, rotations, and vertical displacements, he will describe these factors in terms of coefficients of friction, critical deflection angles, and binding angles.  

 Camille Guez, DDS

Camille earned her dental degree and a Master in Anthropology from the University of Marseille, France in 2010 and 2011, respectively. After working in private practice in general dentistry from 2010-2012, she began her Orthodontic training at UNC where she will graduate in 2015. Her Master‘s thesis at UNC will study the tooth extraction rate in the Orthodontic Graduate Clinic and the different factors that influence the orthodontist's decision to extract or not. 

 Mary (Virginia) Mayo

Virginia received her BA from UNC- Chapel Hill. She is a DDS Candidate in the class of 2016. She has been a recipient of DDS Short-Term Research Fellowships in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. With the 2012-2013 Fellowship she studied the salivary proteins associated with HbA1c changes. With the 2014-2015 Fellowship she will test periodontal ligament (PDL) microtensile samples taken from different root surfaces of mandibular bovine incisors. The data will be utilized to develop constitutive equations of the PDL using the Mooney-Rivlin Hyperelastic (MRH) model. She is currently the co-president of UNC Student Research Group and UNC Orthodontic Interest Group and secretary for the class of 2016.