Orthodontics Resident Takes Top Award in Research Competition

December 18, 2018

First-year Penn Dental Medicine orthodontics resident Dr. Xuefeng Zhao (center) took first place in the Young Researchers Forum that was part of the Chinese Dentistry Research and Administration Society’s Third Annual Meeting.

Philadelphia – First-year Penn Dental Medicine orthodontics resident Dr. Xuefeng Zhao was recently recognized for his research, taking first place in the Young Researchers Forum that was part of the Chinese Dentistry Research and Administration Society’s Third Annual Meeting. The meeting was held in Chengdu, China, in November.

Dr. Zhao was invited by the Chinese Stomatological Association to participate in the Forum, which included 76 young researchers representing 41 different dental schools, mostly within China. Dr. Zhao earned both his D.M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University. As a winner, he is now eligible to apply for the Young Researcher Grant next year to support his research. Like the Forum, that grant program is sponsored by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology.

Dr. Zhao’s research has focused on generating a novel conditional inducible mouse model of fibrous dysplasia (FD) by expressing mutant GNAS in skeletal stem cells (SSCs) in a temporally controlled and tissue-specific fashion. Using this mouse model, he revealed the bone remodeling mechanisms driven by GNAS along the development of FD and demonstrated GNAS mutation is sufficient and necessary for FD initiation and maintenance.

“This model provides a valuable opportunity to identify the molecular mechanism underlying FD progression and to accelerate the development of more effective treatment options,” says Dr. Zhao. This work was published at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

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