From left to right: Dr. Shakir, Dr. Nikolova, and Dr. Newman

Class of 2018

Dr. Taylor Newman was born in Miami, Fl and graduated from the University of Florida cum laude with a B.S. in Integrative Biology and a minor in Communication Studies in 2010. In 2011, she received her Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from Barry University in Miami, Fl. Dr. Newman decided to brave the cold, and attended Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA where she obtained her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2015. 
While in dental school, Dr. Newman worked as a tutor in Physiology and Gross Anatomy, as well as a Teaching Assistant for the Medicine department. Dr. Newman presented her research, “Assessing the Level of Evidence in the Post-Graduate Experience at TUSDM” at Bates Andrews Research Day and won the “Peer Reviewed Award.” In addition, Dr. Newman was a recipient of the Dr. Alfred Osher, DG62, and Mrs. Suzi Osher Endowed Scholarship, given to students for “demonstrating exceptionally high standards for personal and work ethics.” Finally, Dr. Newman was the recipient of the Northeastern Society of Periodontics Certificate of Achievement award in her senior year. 
Dr. Newman enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

Dr. Farah Shakir grew up in Wilmette, Illinois. She attended New Trier High School. She completed her B.S. in Biology and Neuroscience from University of Illinois. Dr. Shakir completed a Master’s in Biotechnology from Rush University in 2009. Later, she obtained her DMD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2015. While attending dental school, she served as the President of the American Student Dental Association, served on many committees, and was a TA for the periodontics course. She was a facilitator for the small group curriculum and a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer fellowship, where completed 200 hours of community service. Upon graduation, Dr. Shakir received numerous awards including, the Robert Savage Award, The American Student Dental Association Award for Excellence, International College of Dentists Humanitarian Award, and the American Academy of Periodontology award for excellence and outstanding achievement in the field of periodontics. Dr. Shakir is passionate about health and community service. On her free time, Dr. Shakir enjoys traveling, participating in outdoor activities and working out.

Dr. Gergana Nikolova was born and raised in Bulgaria. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Chemistry. Dr. Nikolova graduated from the UIC College of Dentistry with a DMD degree in 2015. During dental school she was active in many students organizations and received the Wanda Sabien Class of 1995 Scholarship Award in honor of exceptional commitment in care of others. Dr. Nikolova enjoys going on dental mission trips and has a passion for community service.


From left to right: Dr. Aljewari, Dr. Kaminsky, Dr. Finkielsztein, Dr. Ghoreishi, and Dr. Traxler

Class of 2019

Dr. Reihaneh Ghoreishi was born in Esfahan, Iran. She completed her dental education at Kerman University, Iran obtaining her first DMD from her country. In 2008 she won the Honorary Dentist Society award from the Esfahan Public Security Insurance Hospital in Iran.  She later joined the advanced standing program at University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014, and graduated in 2016 receiving her second DMD.  She was nominated in 2015 for the OKU (Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society) award. She worked with Dr. Joel Schwartz from the department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences studying the Inhibition of EGFR Suppresses Ethyl Alcohol and Tobacco Cell Effect on Growth of Keratinocytes and HPV 16 Entry as a Function of Furin. She is currently working with Periodontics Faculty Dr. Tolga Tozum on Maxillary sinus study using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). She has actively participated in many charity works such as providing free dental care to underserved families in Iran; She is also part of the Mission of Mercy Charity in the U.S. Besides dentistry Dr. Ghoreishi enjoys cooking Persian meals, writing poems, planting herbs such as basil and mint.  She is fascinated on knowing about different cultures and place and hopes that living in Chicago will open new windows for her to explore other aspects of the life.

Dr. Jessica Finkielsztein was born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts and speaks fluent Spanish. She graduated with a B.S. from the University of Rochester in 2012 majoring in Cell and Developmental Biology with a minor in Spanish. She received her DMD degree in 2016 from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. During her time as a dental student, she was Co-President of the Alpha Omega Fraternity and involved in ASDA.  Dr. Finkielsztein was the recipient of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology Horace Wells Senior Student Award and the Senior Student Award from the American Academy of Periodontology. She graduated dental school Summa Cum Laude and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honors Society. During her free time, Dr. Finkielsztein enjoys exploring the city and trying new restaurants with her husband along with cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dr. Haider Aljewari was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq and graduated from the University of Baghdad with a Bachelors in Dental Surgery. Following graduation, he practiced as a General Dentist in Baghdad. Dr. Aljewari continued his studies at the Texas State Technical College and at the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) - currently The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At UTPA, he received a grant for his research project from the Research Scholar Initiative and worked as a Teaching Assistant in Mammalian Physiology. In 2015, Dr. Aljewari graduated from the Advanced Standing Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. While at UIC, he served as his class representative at the college’s Curriculum Committee, and was involved in community work including his position as Team Captain at Goldie’s Place. He received multiple commendations including an award from the American Academy of Periodontology for outstanding achievement in periodontics, the Gould Memorial Scholarship Award in honor of his clinical and academic excellence and an award from the Academy of Dentistry International (ADI) for his exceptional case study presentation. Dr. Aljewari has been granted the Financial Assistance Program (FAP) with the United States Air Force and was commissioned as Captain in May, 2016. When Dr. Aljewari is not improving the smiles of his patients, he enjoys playing soccer, swimming and watching movies.

Dr. Elizabeth Kaminsky was born in Boston, Massachusetts and attended the University of Rochester for her Bachelors degree in Brain and Cognitive Science with minors in American Sign Language and Business. In 2014, Dr. Kaminsky received her DMD degree from the University of Connecticut. At UConn, she was president of her class, an Urban Service Track scholar and served as a delegate for the American Student Dental Association. In 2015, Dr. Kaminsky completed a general practice residency program at Swedish Medical Center and then worked as a general dentist in Seattle, WA before moving to Chicago. In her free time she enjoys traveling, hiking, learning to play guitar and being a foodie.

Dr. Chris Traxler was born and raised in San Diego, CA and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management from the W.P. Carey School of Business. After working at The Boeing Company on the F-22 Raptor program, he pursued a career in dentistry, and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of California, San Francisco in 2016. In his free time, Dr. Traxler enjoys playing guitar, golfing, scuba diving, and fishing. He and his wife recently relocated to Chicago and are excited to explore this amazing city!

Recent Alumni

Dr. Nima Ebrahimi

Dr. Charles DiFranco

Dr. Panagiotis Dragonas

Dr. Scott Drucker

Dr. Whitney Dunn

Dr. Erica Hsiao

Dr. Harrison Mackler

Dr. Ankur Patel

Dr. Nisha Maniar

Dr. Andrew Monestero

Dr. Andrew Carmosino

Dr. Jennifer Shango


Dr. Kate Quinlin

Dr. Rebecca Kibler

Dr. Samia Suleiman-Ata

Request an Appointment in Periodontics

Periodontists at UIC College of Dentistry in Chicago are experts in treating periodontal disease and replacing missing teeth with dental implants and in the management of implant diseases. We offer a wide range of periodontal therapy including: Non-Surgical TreatmentsGum Graft SurgeryRegenerative ProceduresDental Crown LengtheningDental ImplantsPocket Reduction ProceduresPlastic Surgery Procedures. New patients receive a free 30 minute screening and consultation that will include a brief examination and an initial estimated cost of treatment. 

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