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July 21, 2016

DScD Student Awarded IADR Periodontal Research Group Travel Award

Dr. Hyeran Helen Jeon with Dr. Dana Graves (left), her research advisor, and Dean Denis Kinane (right).

Dr. Hyeran Helen Jeon with Dr. Dana Graves (left), her research advisor, and Dean Denis Kinane (right).

Philadelphia — Dr. Hyeran Helen Jeon, GD’14, GD’16, a Doctor of Science in Dentistry candidate at Penn Dental Medicine, was the recipient of the 2016 IADR Periodontal Research Group (PRG) Presidents’ Travel Award, representing Penn Dental Medicine at the 2016 IADR General Session & Exhibition held in Seoul, Korea, in June. Sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive, the purpose of the award is to support PRG’s focus of enhancing research and attracting junior researchers into academia.

Dr. Jeon, who earned her postdoctoral certificate in orthodontics at Penn Dental Medicine in 2014, has since been pursuing her DScD with the long-term goal of entering academic dentistry. Throughout her DScD, she has been conducting research within the lab of Dr. Dana Graves, Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Periodontics, and at the IADR, Dr. Jeon presented the project “FOXO1 Organizes Keratinocyte Activity to Regulate Angiogenesis during Wound Healing.”

She explains that in this study they found that keratinocyte-specific deletion of FOXO1 interfered with normal gingival connective tissue healing by decreasing granulation tissue formation and angiogenesis, which were mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A). “In particular, this is the first evidence that avascular epithelium regulates angiogenesis involving the VEGF secretion mediated by FOXO1,” notes Dr. Jeon, who also holds a postdoctoral certificate in periodontics, which she earned in South Korea prior to coming to Penn Dental Medicine.

“With my background in both periodontics and orthodontics, my long-term research goal is to expand the field of angiogenesis and bone remodeling in orthodontics,” says Dr. Jeon. “I strongly believe that both research and clinics must go hand-in-hand to improve dental science, using molecular research tools to answer clinical questions.”

Dr. Jeon recently presented her DScD thesis and will complete the program this month. Looking ahead, she hopes to join the faculty of Penn Dental Medicine and is presently a candidate for a position in the Department of Orthodontics.

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