40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

Setareh Lavasani

  • Pomona, California
  • Specialty

Age:

38

Name of Practice:

Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine

Specialty:

Oral and maxillofacial radiology

Education:

Ajman University of Science and Technology, United Arab Emirates


Why They Were Nominated

This associate professor has been proclaimed “Queen of Radiology” and “The Selfie Queen” by her students and colleagues. The former reflects her teaching excellence while the latter reflects this hard-learned lesson: Ordinary days feel extraordinary when you take a moment to appreciate the fact that you’re smiling. A breast-cancer and leukemia survivor, she now conducts national and international lectures, all or some of whose proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Why They Became a Dentist

“My sister is an endodontist, my cousins are all dentists, one of my aunts is a dentist—so basically we have a mini–dental convention when we get together.”

Biggest Challenge

“Going through treatments, finding a bone- marrow donor, returning to school to relearn the old knowledge and completing new courses and graduating residency. Surviving it all was nothing short of a miracle.”

Tool They Can’t Live Without

The six monitors in her office, which she says draw comparisons to NASA’s Mission Control.

Exciting New Trend

“The very-near-future introduction of artificial-intelligence algorithms in dental radiology software.”

Sage Advice

“Give back any way you can, as small or large as you can.”