Obituary: Dr. Daniel Laskin
Dr. Daniel Laskin, former professor and head of oral and maxillofacial surgery, died Dec. 8. He was 97.
Dr. Laskin was nationally and internationally renowned in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
From 1950-1983, he served in numerous teaching, research and leadership positions at the University of Illinois, including as professor and head of oral and maxillofacial surgery from 1973–1983, and he was professor emeritus at the University of Illinois.
Dr. Laskin then served as chair of the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the VCU School of Dentistry from 1983–2002, as well as chief of the oral and maxillofacial surgery at VCU Health, and chair of the dentistry department at VCU Health. After serving as chair, he remained an active, affiliate faculty in the OMFS Department and the Health System and continued to work at the VCU School of Dentistry.
During his tenure at the University of Illinois and VCU, he trained hundreds of oral and maxillofacial surgeons and thousands of dentists. At the University of Illinois, he collaborated with several clinician-scientists, including Dr. Chuck Greene, to establish the University of Illinois College of Dentistry’s Temporomandibular Joint and Facial Pain Research Center. He performed pioneering work in the diagnosis and management of temporomandibular joint abnormalities and facial pain that have served to define the current therapy of these complex multidisciplinary disease processes.
At the University of Illinois Chicago, Dr. Michael Miloro, professor and head of oral and maxillofacial surgery, established the annual Daniel M. Laskin Lectureship in 2009, which has featured renowned oral and maxillofacial surgeons, including Dr. Laskin, who made it a priority to attend each lectureship. Dr. Miloro also established the UIC Daniel M. Laskin Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, which includes the prior residents who have trained at the University of Illinois under the continued lineage of Dr. Laskin. In addition, Dr. Miloro established the Daniel M. Laskin Research Fund to support research in the UIC Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
“Dr. Laskin was a giant in life, as well as in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery, and he taught those around him to be dedicated to the profession of oral and maxillofacial surgery and to the patients for whom we care,” Dr. Miloro wrote.
“He was a dedicated researcher and thought critically about many widespread issues in health care. Those who have interacted with him over the years will be forever grateful to Dr. Laskin for his professionalism, friendship, generosity, and innumerable contributions to the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Laskin will be remembered fondly, and missed greatly, by all.”
In recognition of his dedication to the University of Illinois over the years, Dr. Laskin was awarded in 2017 with the Distinguished Service Award from UIC.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University, Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1947, and his Master of Science degree from the University of Illinois in 1948. He completed his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at Cook County Hospital in 1951. He received an honorary Doctor of Science Degree in 2001 from Indiana University.
He was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for an unprecedented 30 years, from 1972-2002, with oversight of the research and publications that have served to shape the clinical practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery nationally and internationally.
He was also the editor of AAOMS Today, and has received numerous honors and accolades, including the 2018 Distinguished Dental Editor Award from the ADA Council on Communications and the American Association of Dental Editors and Journalists.
Dr. Laskin was past-president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from 1976-1977 and past-president of the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons from 1983-1986. The IAOMS established The Daniel M. Laskin Legacy Society to honor Dr. Laskin’s pioneering efforts and visionary leadership in oral and maxillofacial surgery in order to support the mission of the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to improve the quality and safety of health care worldwide through the advancement of patient care, education and research in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. Laskin authored several textbooks and made over 900 contributions to scientific literature. He also gave countless lectures on oral and maxillofacial surgery, nationally and internationally. His numerous editorials over the years have dealt with healthcare issues, student and resident education and training, as well as professional responsibility and ethics.