School of Medicine
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Professor of Surgery (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Helms' research interests center around regenerative medicine and craniofacial development.
Professor of Surgery, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly Interests1. Nerve regeneration and repair, evaluation of repair methods, modalities to enhance peripheral nerve regeneration, development of improved methods to analyze nerve regeneration.
2. Implementation of functional neuromuscular stimulation to paralytic deformities.
3. Computer modeling of upper limb function.
Clinical Instructor, Surgery - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
BioDr. Franco Hernandez was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated from the University of California, Riverside and received a Bachelor’s in Economics, graduating with honors. He went on to complete his doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Southern California where he spent dedicated time as a selective student with emphasized training in the areas of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental Anesthesia, and Public Health. Following graduation, he began his post-graduate training as an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery intern at Parkland Memorial Hospital / UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He continued training after this and most recently completed a Dental Medicine, Oral & Maxillofacial clinical instructorship at Stanford University Medical Center.
Dr. Hernandez treats a variety of conditions, including odontogenic infection, dentoalveolar trauma, oral lesions, benign cysts/tumor of the maxilla/mandible, osteonecrosis of the maxilla/mandible, and orofacial pain. He routinely performs surgical dental extractions, oral biopsies, dental implant surgeries, removal of 3rd molars (“wisdom teeth”) and other impacted teeth, bone grafting, excision of maxillary/mandibular cysts, as well as orofacial pain treatment. As a hospital dentist, he performs medically necessary dental surgery in the context of extensive cardiac disease, major organ transplants, systemic disease, cancer therapy, and orthopedic surgery. As an oral oncologist, he specializes in dental surgery prior to, during, and following head & neck radiation therapy and chemotherapy.