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Two new faculty have joined the UAB School of Dentistry Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. They represent a commitment by the department to remain at the forefront of teaching, research, and patient care, and build a diverse faculty of exceptional scholars and clinicians.

Faculty and staff members at Fall EXCEL 2023

Jaime Castro-Núñez, D.M.D., M.S.D.

Dr. Jaime Castro-Núñez joined the department August 1 as an assistant professor and predoctoral oral and maxillofacial surgery program director.

Castro-Núñez has lectured in several countries in Latin America. His research interests include maxillofacial trauma in contact sports and the response of cystic lesions to active negative pressure, which has been published in both English and Spanish in peer-reviewed journals including Triple O, Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, as well as Maxillofacial Surgery and Reconstruction. His clinical interests include dentoalveolar surgery, including wisdom teeth, maxillofacial trauma, benign cysts and tumors of the jaws, and orthognathic surgery.

Born in Muncie, Ind., Castro-Núñez grew up in Montería, Colombia. He attended dental school at Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia and completed residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery and later in oral pathology, both at Universidad El Bosque in Bogotá, Colombia. He went on to complete a research fellowship at the University of Kentucky before moving to San Juan, PR, where he completed a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery and Master of Science degrees, both at University of Puerto Rico.

Jay PontoJay Ponto, M.D., D.D.S., M.B.A.

Dr. Jay Ponto joins the department as an assistant professor. His interests include head and neck oncology and reconstruction, benign pathology, dentoalveolar surgery, and maxillofacial trauma. His appointment was effective September 18.

Ponto was born and raised in Santa Maria, Calif, He completed a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees at California Polytechnic State University. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center at Brooklyn.

Ponto also completed his residency in oral & maxillofacial surgery at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, NY. Following residency, he completed a fellowship in head and neck oncologic and microvascular reconstructive surgery at the Providence Cancer Institute in Portland, Ore.

During his fellowship, Ponto presented at several national and international meetings. He also participated in multiple clinical trials through the Providence Earle A. Chiles Research Institute pertaining to novel forms of head and neck cancer therapy using surgery, neoadjuvant radiotherapy, and neoadjuvant immunotherapy. 

The UAB Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery specializes in the care of patients with a wide range of deformities and diseases of the mouth, jaw, and face. The department is comprised of world-class surgeons with one simple goal: the pursuit of excellence in education and patient care.

“We welcome these outstanding faculty members who complement the work of our department and bring even more vibrancy and talent to our tight-knit community,” says Patrick Louis, D.D.S., M.D., department chair. “Dr. Castro-Núñez and Dr. Ponto were drawn to our commitment to excellence in academics, research, and patient care, and we are pleased to have them join our team.”