Faculty - Staff
Frank J.M. Verstraete, DrMedVet, BVSc(Hons), MMedVet, DAVDC, DECVS, DEVDC (Chief of Service)
Dr. Frank Verstraete graduated as a veterinarian at the University of Gent (Belgium). He pursued his graduate studies at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) where he completed a residency in small animal surgery. In 1987, when the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry was founded in the USA, Dr. Verstraete was the only non-North American Charter Fellow. He is also a Charter Diplomate of the European Veterinary Dental College, as well as a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. Since the end of 1994, Dr. Verstraete is affiliated with the UC Davis, where he currently is Professor of Dentistry and Oral Surgery, and Chief of the Dentistry & Oral Surgery Service. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Orofacial Sciences, Division of Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology, at the School of Dentistry of the UC, San Francisco. His main research interests are comparative oral pathology, radiology and surgery. His book Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Dogs and Cats is the first specialty book in veterinary dentistry.
- DrMedVet, BVSc(Hons), MMedVet
- Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College
- Diplomate, European College of Veterinary Surgeons
- Diplomate, European Veterinary Dental College
Boaz Arzi, DVM, DAVDC, DEVDC, Assistant Professor
Dr. Boaz Arzi was born in Israel. He graduated from Szaint Istvan University, Budapest, Hungary in 2002 with a degree in Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Arzi returned to Israel to become a partner in a small animal veterinary hospital in Haifa, where he completed five years of intensive clinical practice. He completed the residency training program in Dentistry and Oral Surgery at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Dr. Arzi became a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College in 2012. In the summer of 2010, Dr. Arzi joined Dr. Athanasiou’s lab in the UC Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering as a post-doc fellow, working on bioengineered fibrocartilage spectrums and their surgical applications. Dr. Arzi is currently an assistant professor and with the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service. His main interests include maxillofacial reconstruction, tissue engineering, and microsurgical techniques.
Milinda Lommer, DVM, DAVDC, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Dr. Milinda Lommer earned her DVM with Phi Zeta honors from UC Davis in 1995. After completing a one-year internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at a private practice in Sacramento, Dr. Lommer returned to UC Davis in 1999, and became the first veterinarian to complete the residency program in Dentistry and Oral Surgery. In 1999, Dr. Lommer received the Peter Emily Outstanding Candidate Award from the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), and became a Diplomate of the AVDC in the spring of 2000. Dr. Lommer served for a year as a clinical instructor in the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service before relocating to Marin County and opening a private practice, Aggie Animal Dental Service. She returned to the faculty at UC Davis on a part-time basis in 2006. Her interests include stomatitis in cats, periodontal regeneration in dogs, and molecular mechanisms of oral diseases.
Ana Nemec, DVM, PhD, DAVDC, Research Associate
Dr. Ana Nemec was born in Slovenia. She received her DVM from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia in 2004. She continued with a multi-disciplinary PhD program in Biomedicine at the University of Ljubljana, focusing on research in the systemic effects of periodontal disease, while working as a veterinarian at the Small Animal Clinic of the Veterinary Faculty. She completed her PhD with the thesis “The effect of oral inoculation with Porphyromonas gingivalis on systemic nitric oxide levels in mice” in 2009, before coming to UC Davis to specialize in dentistry and oral surgery. She completed the residency training program with the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service in 2012, and became a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College in 2013. After completing her residency in 2012, Dr. Nemec returned to her home University in Ljubljana as an Assistant Professor, but she also maintains a research appointment at UC Davis as a Research Associate at the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences. Her main interest is oral biology, and in particular host response to oral bacteria and tumor biology.
Travis Henry, DVM, Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Travis Henry earned is DVM from Michigan State University in 1993. He has owned and operated two different practices in his career, the most recent being Midwest Equine Services. This practice focuses on dental care for horses in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Dr. Henry has been involved in several patents of equine dental instrumentation and provides testing and technical service to several companies worldwide. He is currently a Staff Veterinarian in the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service, joining the service one week per month. Dr. Henry also provides assistance in equine dentistry as part of the Equine Medicine and Dentistry Service.
Sophie Christine Doring, DVM, Resident
Dr. Sophie Döring was born in Munich, Germany. In 2011, she graduated from Szent István University, Faculty of Veterinary Science, in Budapest, Hungary. She then completed a 14-month rotating internship in small animal surgery at Munich’s university veterinary clinic. Before starting her residency with the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service at UC Davis, she participated in the German specialisation program for dentistry at the small animal clinic Oberhaching. She’s especially interested in periodontal disease in dogs, resorptive lesions in cats and maxillofacial surgery.
G.G. Comet Riggs, DVM, Resident
Dr. G.G. Comet Riggs was born in Japan, and grew up in Roseburg, Oregon. She graduated with honors as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in 2012. She then completed a small animal rotating internship at a private practice in Santa Rosa, California before returning to UC Davis to train in the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service residency program. Her interests include interactive student teaching, improving client education, rabbit and exotic animal dentistry, feline dental diseases and maxillofacial trauma.
Peter Christian Stroem DVM, MSc., Resident
Dr. Peter Stroem was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Denmark in 2010. He then completed a small and large animal internship at a private hospital in Denmark. Before starting his residency at UC Davis, he engaged in laboratory research on biomechanics of healthy and diseased tissue and cells. His interests are maxillofacial reconstruction and host oral response to viral infection.
Megan Badgley, RVT
Megan Badgley was born and raised in Northern California. She graduated from Yuba College in 2009, and started her veterinary technician career at the SPCA for Monterey County. Megan’s passion for excellence in patient care and working with the students then brought her to UC Davis in 2013. She continues to advance her technical skills and education by attending lectures and journal clubs. Her interests include communication, animal behavior and reducing stress for patients while receiving dental care.
Erica Becerra, RDA, Service Coordinator
Erica Becerra was born and raised in Northern California. She graduated from Sacramento City College in 2000, and received her license in dental assisting. Erica spent nine years working as a dental assistant in human general dentistry. It was her love of animals and dentistry that brought her to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Erica continues to further her education by taking continuing dental education courses.
Kimi Kan, RDHAP, BSDH, Dental Hygienist
Kimi Kan earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from San Francisco State University and her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from University of the Pacific (UOP). Before joining the staff at UC Davis, she served in the School of Dentistry at UOP. While at UC Davis, she will remain a part-time clinical instructor in the dental hygiene program at UOP. Kimi has been a practicing dental hygienist since 2006, and currently serves as president of the Sacramento Valley Dental Hygienists’ Association and received the Outstanding Component Member award in 2013. She is active in the California Dental Hygienists’ Association as an appointed member of the Student Relations Council and a voting delegate since 2010.