The Weintarub Center is led by Professor Benjamin Wu, D.D.S., Ph.D., an internationally renowned innovator and respected leader in both prosthodontics and bioengineering. Prof. Wu brings proven track record in scholarly output, program building, curriculum development, resource management, and fund raising to achieve visionary goals. Prof. Wu obtained his DDS from the University of Pacific, and partnered with a prosthodontist to create a high-end private practice for 5 years. This experience motivated him to pursue a Certificate in Advanced Prosthodontics at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Ph.D. in Materials Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, becoming the only person who successfully completed the Harvard/MIT combined program for dental specialists. He developed the first 3D Printer for printing biomaterials and published the first papers on 3D Printed drug delivery devices and tissue engineering scaffolds.
Pr. Wu was recruited by UCLA School of Engineering, and was instrumental in building the curricula and department of Bioengineering, where he served as vice chair and chair for over a decade. Prof. Wu was recruited to share his appointment with Dentistry, where he became Professor and Chairman of the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, Director of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, and Executive Director of the Innovative Digital Dentistry Systems at the UCLA School of Dentistry (iDDS). Prof. Wu also holds formal faculty appointments in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and the Department of Materials Science. All four departments are highly ranked within their respective disciplines, and all of these activities are synergistic with the overall mission of the Weintraub Center. These units are collaborating with departments, centers, and institutes across the school and campus to develop unprecedented digital infrastructure to lead the hypercompetitive digital transformation and unite a global network to re-define best-of-class education, research, patient care, and community service.
Prof. Wu’s research applie bioengineering approaches to regenerate lost tissues and control wound healing by developing biomimetic strategies that combine advanced material processing technologies to enable the production of novel structures and functions. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed articles and delivered over 100 invited lectures around the world. His innovations have resulted in practical solutions to address real world problems in dentistry and medicine. He is currently the UCLA site director for a 3 year, $12M NIDCR funded California consortium named Center for Dental, Oral & Craniofacial Tissue & Organ Regeneration (C-DOCTOR) that supports private and public entities to accelerate the commercial development of FDA-cleared products for tissue engineering therapies to replace dental, oral, and craniofacial tissues. The Weintraub Center is in an ideal position to leverage this national trend.
As the senior prosthodontist in the UCLA Faculty Group Dental Practice, Dr. Wu focuses on patient-centered complex oral rehabilitation using advanced prosthodontics. He is a fellow of the Academy of Prosthodontics, and serves on numerous advisory committees in academia, government, and industry.