UCLA Dentistry gets $5M to establish clinical research center for patient care, education
Philanthropists Dr. Mick Dragoo and his wife, Mary, have pledged a landmark gift of $5 million to the UCLA School of Dentistry to establish the UCLA Mick and Mary Dragoo Periodontal and Implant Clinical Research and Patient Care Center. The Dragoo's gift, the largest single donation from an individual or couple the dental school has ever received, will create a leading site for clinical research, patient care and education in periodontology and implantology — specialized areas of dentistry related to tooth-supporting structures and tooth replacement. The new Dragoo Periodontal and Implant Center will be a place for world-renowned faculty to conduct independently funded clinical research to advance scientific knowledge in periodontal and implant dentistry. Researchers from the school will translate their findings into meaningful treatment protocols and will disseminate their research through publications, educational programs and the Internet to advance the state of patient care worldwide. "With Dr. and Mrs. Dragoo's extremely generous gift, our hope is to advance the standard of patient care, as well as influence decisions made by dentists and patients alike," said Dr. No-Hee Park, dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry. "The Dragoo Center helps us further achieve our mission, which is to improve the oral health of the people of the world. I cannot thank the Dragoos enough for their support." Directing the Dragoo Periodontal and Implant Center will be Dr. Perry Klokkevold, an associate professor, acting chair and director of the residency program in the section of periodontics at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Klokkevold has more than 20 years of experience in education, administration and clinical practice in periodontics and implantology. "We searched the country for the perfect place and director to execute our vision," said Mick Dragoo. "Our search led us to the UCLA School of Dentistry, and we are thrilled that Dean No-Hee Park has appointed Dr. Klokkevold as the director of our new center." "I am fully committed, honored and inspired to have the opportunity to direct the Dragoo Periodontal and Implant Center," Klokkevold said. "I share the Dragoo's vision and goals of improving patient care worldwide through independently funded clinical research." Mick and Mary Dragoo are new donors to the UCLA family and the School of Dentistry. Dr. Dragoo is a well-known periodontist who has written and published numerous books and clinical articles. He has lectured extensively throughout the world and has been involved in independent clinical research on periodontology and implantology for nearly 40 years; he is considered an expert in these fields. He and Mary also own and operate Belle Marie Winery in Escondido, Calif., where Mick is the wine-maker. The UCLA School of Dentistry is dedicated to improving the oral and systemic health of the people of California, the nation and the world through its teaching, research, patient care and public service initiatives. The School of Dentistry provides education and training programs that develop leaders in dental education, research, the profession and the community. The School of Dentistry also conducts research programs that generate new knowledge, promote oral health and investigate the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral disease in an individualized disease-prevention and management model; and delivers patient-centered oral health care to the community and the state.