Dr. Sugiyama was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. While in high school, he played football, ran track, and served as student body president. He continued his involvement in track and field while pursuing his undergraduate studies at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Sugiyama spent two years in the Army where he was trained as a dental technician. He later attended dental school at Case Western Reserve University where he graduated with highest honors. After graduation he served a dental internship with the U.S. Public Health Service in Staten Island, NY and later was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard in California.
Dr. Sugiyama attended the orthodontic specialty program at Loma Linda University and has been teaching clinical orthodontics there for over 35 years. He is certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and is a Fellow of both the American and the International College of Dentists. Dr. Sugiyama has served as President of the following organizations: College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics, Academy of Orthodontic Excellence, Southern California Bioprogressive Orthodontic Study Club, and the Harbor Dental Society.
Dr. Sugiyama's career has been further distinguished by helping advance the orthodontic specialty in many communities around the world. He has carried out his personal missionary work by teaching orthodontics at forty-one universities throughout Asia, ten universities in Mexico, and seventeen universities in South America. Dr. Sugiyama has studied the differences in the dental anatomy and tooth-to-bone relationships in Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Caucasian populations and has developed special ethnic braces- the SEBA & ProTorque™ orthodontic bracket system.
An avid fly fisherman, Dr. Sugiyama has fished around the world and teaches a fly fishing class to doctors every year in Alaska. Dr. Sugiyama's wife, Sharon, is the founder and past-director of Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, a program that seeks to find bone marrow donors for Asian children who are dying from leukemia. Dr. Sugiyama and his wife have two adult sons and one grandson.