Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Fall 2019 - 33

Portrait of a Professional

Friends and colleagues from earlier days at UCSF. Left: With Yvonne Kapila and Leila and Paul Kasrovi
at a graduation function. Right: A recent reunion with most of the staff who worked in UCSF's Division of Orthodontics during Sunil's previous faculty and leadership positions at UCSF.

Fall 2019

PCSO Bulletin

GN: Did you go forward to an orthodontic residency in Kenya?

beta patients! We also undertook the two-week
Tweed course.

SK: At that time, dental specialty training of any
kind was not available in Kenya. During my last
18 months of required national service, I was
involved with treatment and teaching of removable orthodontic appliances and minor tooth
movement, both of which I enjoyed. I started
looking at graduate orthodontic programs in
the United States and Europe. Because of family
circumstances, personal funding of postgraduate
education was not an option. However, on one
visit to the US Embassy to find out about programs in the United States, I became aware of the
Fulbright Scholarship. I applied for and was fortunate to be selected to receive this prestigious
scholarship, which would fund my travel, tuition,
and living expenses. I applied to a few postgraduate orthodontic programs and was accepted at
Oklahoma. Dr. Ram Nanda was the Orthodontic
Department Chair. The Orthodontic Program
for international students was for three years
and included a master's degree (MS). Our faculty
included Dr. Nanda and Dr. Frans Currier, several
outstanding part-time faculty, and visiting faculty. The appliance techniques included standard
and preadjusted edgewise, removable functional
appliances, and a prototype lingual appliance
which was manufactured by Unitek and taught
by a part-time faculty, Dr. Kelly. I was one of those

GN: Did you continue to do research in the residency?
SK: Yes, the MS program was a required part of
the residency. My MS project was a longitudinal
soft-tissue growth study. This work resulted in
three publications, one of which was awarded
the Edward H. Angle Society Award for Research.
Since I completed my MS thesis early, I began
studies to determine frictional forces between
various archwires and brackets. I fabricated a
special device to measure the values of friction.
This work resulted in two of the first published
studies in this field. I also published a comprehensive literature review on orthodontic archwires.
All of these papers are published in the American
Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics and Angle Orthodontist and are heavily cited.
GN: When did you decide to go for a PhD?
SK: Halfway through my residency, my initial
instinct was to return home to be the only orthodontist in a large swath of Africa, and indeed, I
was offered a position. But I wished to pursue an
academic career, so in my third year of residency, I
set a goal to earn a PhD. I applied to the University of Michigan (UM) and to UCSF. Serendipitously,

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Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Fall 2019

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