Dear Colleagues,

John Featherstone, MSc, PhD, has informed me of his intent to step down as dean of the School of Dentistry and as a UCSF faculty member at the end of December 2017. Dean Featherstone came to UCSF in 1995, and his accomplishments as a faculty member and dean have made a significant impact on research, dental care and the UCSF community.

During John’s tenure, the School of Dentistry has excelled in its mission across research, education and patient care. The School ranked No. 1 in 2015 among all schools of dentistry in funding from the National Institutes of Health for the 24th year, and, in 2012, the School received its full accreditation with no recommendations, which enabled it to run its nationally renowned programs without interruption. His work to expand scholarship programs at the School and to create an Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion position have allowed recruitment of underrepresented minorities who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to attend UCSF.

Just last month, John announced a significant milestone for the school – the launch of the UCSF Dental Center, which will improve integration among our dental clinics to enable collaborative care and efficiency for the entire dental clinical enterprise.

The impact of Dean Featherstone’s pioneering research extends beyond UCSF. John’s research over the last 43 years has covered several aspects on cariology – the study of tooth decay – and he was one of the researchers who developed Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA), which emphasizes prevention and risk assessment rather than surgical procedures. Since helping to develop the approach in the early 2000s, John has been invited around the world to assist with implementation in countries that include Japan, Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand, China and Israel.

You can read more about John and his tenure as dean on

I am deeply grateful for John’s leadership, innovation and dedication to UCSF over the past decade, including the recent work to start curriculum reform for the School, and I wish him well with his future endeavors.

The School has my commitment to active engagement in a nationwide search to identify a suitable successor. This search will commence immediately.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor