School of Arts and Sciences

Biological Sciences Alum to Pursue Dental School

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Franco Sebastiani aspires to become an oral surgeon

Biological sciences alum Franco Sebastiani plans to become an oral surgeon and perform cleft lip and palate surgeries in third world countries.
This summer Sebastiani is working for Datillo Hall Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.


Excelling on the Dental Admissions Test, Franco Sebastiani, a 2011 graduate of Point Park’s biological sciences program, was accepted into multiple dental schools throughout the nation.  This fall he will attend the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Dental Medicine with the goal of specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

“All of the professors at Point Park truly care about their students and want to see them succeed," remarked Sebastiani, who attributes Point Park’s “aggressive biomedical curriculum” for giving him a solid foundation in science and chemistry for dental school.  "I especially enjoyed working with Dr. Farrell, Dr. Frost, Dr. Weston and Professor Gaglierd."

Throughout his four years at Point Park, Sebastiani, from Greensburg, Pa., received multiple academic and athletic awards including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology Graduating Senior Award, the Alumni Association Outstanding Graduating Senior Award and the NAIA Men's Basketball Academic All-American Award.  Sebastiani graduated with a 4.0 G.P.A. and was the point guard for Point Park men’s basketball team.  He was also selected to give the graduating senior speech at the University’s 2011 commencement.

Biological sciences alum Franco Sebastiani was a leading scorer for the Point Park men's basketball team.

“Franco maintained an excellent academic record in a very demanding program while preparing himself to follow his goal to become a dentist,” said Mark Farrell, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology.  “He took advantage of the opportunities at Point Park and made the very best of them.”

While succeeding in the classroom and on the basketball court, Sebastiani also made time for volunteer work.  He tutored students at Point Park, counseled autistic children at Pressley Ridge, served as a student mentor at Pittsburgh Martin Luther King Elementary School and volunteered as a general dentistry and oral surgery assistant at Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center in Downtown Pittsburgh, just blocks from the Point Park campus.

In addition, during his junior and senior year Sebastiani performed dental genetic research as a dental registry and DNA repository clinical investigator and laboratory technician for the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.

“I recruited over 250 saliva samples to contribute to the world's only comprehensive set of dental phenotypes linked to DNA samples,” he explained.

From Point Park, his trip to the University of Pittsburgh was only a 15-minute bus ride. “Point Park’s convenient location in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh opened the door to many opportunities for me,” said Sebastiani.

For students planning to pursue a degree from Point Park’s Department of Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology, Sebastiani recommends the following tips for success: manage your time efficiently, ask questions in class, get involved in research and meet with professors outside of the classroom if needed.

Franco Sebastiani assists William James Hall, D.M.D.
Sebastiani assists oral surgeon William James Hall, D.M.D.

Sebastiani plans to earn a doctorate degree in dental medicine along with a Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health degree. He will then participate in a six-year oral and maxillofacial residency in which he will also earn an M.D. degree. 

Following that, he is considering a one-year fellowship specializing in pediatric craniomaxillofacial surgery with plans to venture into third world countries to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries. 

“I hope to provide hundreds upon hundreds of children with a smile, a smile that will give them new life," said Sebastiani.

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