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Welcoming Dr. Helen E. Giannakopoulos to our Pitt Dental Medicine Family

Beginning July 1, 2023, Dr. Helen Giannakopoulos will serve as the Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine. A Chicago-native, Dr. Giannakopoulos, earned her undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and her dental degree from University of Illinois at Chicago. She returned to Pennsylvania, where she completed her medical degree from Drexel University in 1999, combined with her specialty residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Allegheny General Hospital. In 2002, she completed her specialty certificate in OMS from the University of Pennsylvania. For the past 11 years at Penn Dental Medicine, while directing four pre-doctoral courses, she has served as residency program director, academic chair of OMS, and chair of the faculty senate. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and has received the Daniel M. Laskin Award for the most outstanding paper published in the Journal of OMS in 2017 and the Linback Teaching Award in 2021. 

Dr. Giannakopoulos’s research and clinical practice have a strong emphasis on the surgical management of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and comprise full-scope TMJ surgery including arthroscopy, arthroplasty, TMJ stock and custom replacement, as well as combined orthognathic and TMJ reconstruction, and the use of botulinum neurotoxins (Botox and Dysport) for the treatment of facial pain and dystonias. She developed a protocol for this use in 2007, and she is currently serving on an advisory board at AbbVie Pharmaceuticals. 

Dr. Giannakopoulos is recognized and has lectured both nationally and internationally in the surgical management of temporomandibular joint disorders. She belongs to the University of Pennsylvania’s Center of Excellence for TMJ Disorders and serves as the guidelines chair on the executive council for the American Society of TMJ Surgeons—driven to contribute evidence-based guidelines to the surgical treatment of TMJ disorders.

I look forward to the leadership Dr. Giannakopoulos will provide as our Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery reaches new heights.

With collaborative spirit,
Marnie Oakley, DMD
Interim Dean