Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD)


Department of Orthodontics, Division of Community Oral Health, Division of Pediatric Dentistry


Dr. Koo is a Professor in the School of Dental Medicine and the Director of the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, an inter-school research center bridging engineering, computational sciences and dental medicine. His research focusses on understanding how biofilms cause oral infectious diseases and seeking new therapeutic strategies by fostering cross-disciplinary collaborations. He also adapted many of the principles governing cell and developmental biology, especially cell-matrix interactions, to study the biofilm assembly process. His group has employed engineering and computational approaches to study polymicrobial interactions within biofilms at multiple spatiotemporal scales and has applied nanotechnology to develop pH-responsive catalytic nanoparticles for targeted pathogen killing and biofilm degradation. Using robotics and nanostructures, he and his collaborators developed the first antibiofilm microrobots capable of automated and localized biofilm removal with micron-scale precision. His group is currently developing new devices to study and treat biofilms using large-scale data integration and automation. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the recipient of Distinguished Scientist and Innovation in Oral Care Awards from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), and STAT nationwide finalist for Best Innovations in Science and Medicine. He has served multiple NIH review panels and scientific committees, and is a standing member of the NIDCR/ODCS study section, IADR Hatton and Distinguished Scientist Awards Committee.


  • Emerging Inventor of the Year, Penn Center for Innovation, 2020

  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2019

  • Penn Health-Tech Award for Small Scale Robotics, University of Pennsylvania, 2019

  • IADR Distinguished Scientist Award - William H. Bowen Caries Research Award, 2018

  • Selected as Penn Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 2016

  • IADR/GlaxoSmithKline Innovation in Oral Care Award, 2013

  • Honorary Professor, West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, 2011

  • Best of USDA National Research Initiative Grants, 2009

  • IADR Basil G. Bibby Young Investigator in Cariology Award, 2007

  • IADR Distinguished Scientist Award - Young Investigator Award, 2006

  • IADR/GlaxoSmithKline Innovation in Oral Care Award, 2006

  • Excellence in Research Incentives Program – University of Rochester, 2006

  • The Basil G. Bibby Fellowship Award for Excellence in Oral Health Research, 2001

  • IADR/Colgate-Palmolive Research in Prevention Award, 2001

  • IADR/Colgate-Palmolive Research in Prevention Award, 1998

Interested to be part of the team?