Student, Faculty Showcase Research at AADOCR Meeting
Philadelphia — Penn Dental Medicine students and faculty turned the spotlight on the School’s research activities as part of the 2023 American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research/Canadian Association for Dental Research Annual Meeting & Exhibition, recently held in Portland, Oregon. A cohort of more than 50 student and faculty researchers were included in the scientific program, showcasing a diversity of projects across disciplines. Penn Dental Medicine students also successfully competed for various awards and fellowships.
“We are so excited to see such a strong student representation from Penn Dental Medicine, which is an indication of our commitment to student research and scholarship,” says Dr. Esra Sahingur, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Student Research. “We hope to inspire the next generation of clinician and scientists.”
AADOCR Student Research Fellowship
Thao Rosemary Do D’24 and Julie Hong, D’26 were awarded the AADOCR Student Research Fellowship which encourages dental students living in the United States to consider careers in oral health. The Fellowships are supported by the American Academy of Periodontology, Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, P&G Professional Oral Health, Crest + Oral-B, Dentsply Sirona, GlaxoSmithKline, and AADOCR Group Chapters, Sections, and members.
|Student Researcher||Project||Faculty Mentor|
|Thao Rosemary Do, D’24||Investigating expression dynamics of interleukin-33 during oral wound healing||Dr. Kang Ko|
|Julie Hong, D’26||Regulation of the Epithelial Barrier Function via FOXO1/B-catenin/E-cadherin||Dr. Dana Graves and Dr. Hyeran Helen Jeon|
AADOCR Hatton Competition
The AADCOR Hatton Competition is designed for junior investigators (junior, senior and post-doctoral) who exhibit potential for a productive career in dental research.
Michael Troka, D’26 won 1st place in the AADOCR Hatton Competition Junior Investigator category for his abstract titled, “TrokaChat: Identification of Disease-Driving Cell Signaling Interactions in scRNAseq Data.” Michael’s mentor is Dr. Dana Graves. Currently, Michael is in the seven year Bio-Dental program and also a part of the Basic and Translational Science Honors program. Michael will compete in the IADR Hatton Competition in Bogota, Columbia in June 2023.
Justin Burrell, GR’21, GR’22 won 2nd place in the AADOCR Hatton Competition Postdoctoral category for his research titled, “Human Gingival-Derived Neural Crest Stem Cells Enhance Functional Recovery Following Nerve Fusion.” Dr. Burrell has been working with Dr. Anh Le and Dr. D. Kacy Cullen. They demonstrated that gingiva-derived exosomes may be a useful adjunct for nerve fusion- an exciting nerve repair paradigm that immediately restores axonal connectivity after injury. Dr. Burrell is a NIDCR T90 postdoctoral fellow within the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD).
Thao Rosemary Do, D’24 was a finalist in the AADOCR/CADR Hatton Competition in the Junior Investigator category with her research titled, “Investigating expression dynamics of interleukin-33 during oral wound healing” under the guidance of Dr. Kang Ko. Thao also participated in the Summer Research Program and the honors program in Basic and Translational research.
Kantapon Rattanaprukskul, GD’23 was a finalist in the AADOCR/CADR Hatton Competition in the Senior category for his research on cellular senescence in periodontal health and disease. Dr. Rattanaprukskul is currently in the combined DScD/Perio program under the mentorship of Dr. Esra Sahingur.
Marshall Padilla was a finalist in the AADOCR Hatton Award Competition. Dr. Padilla presented his research on developing a new therapy for oral cancer, which uses the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine technology. Instead of delivering spike protein mRNA, Dr. Padilla uses an anti-tumor mRNA. Dr. Padilla is a current NIDCR T90 postdoctoral fellow within the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD)—Penn Dental Medicine’s collaborative center with Penn Engineering.
AADOCR Young Investigators Mini Symposium
Yilan Miao, D’23 won 1st place in the AADOCR Young Investigators Mini Symposium for her research in with Dr. Hyun Michel Koo titled, “Glucanohydrolases Disrupt Cross-Kingdom Interaction in Saliva via Selective Matrix Degradation.” Additionally, she won 3rd place in the AADOCR NSRG 411 Rapid Research Competition. Previously, Yilan has served as the President of the Vernon Brightman Research Society (VBRS) at Penn Dental Medicine.
Zhi Ren won 1st place in the Fives-Taylor Award for the AADOCR Mini Symposium for Young Investigators in the postdoc category for his research titled, “Interkingdom Assemblages in Saliva Display Group-Level Migratory Surface Mobility” alongside Dr. Hyun Michel Koo and Dr. Kate Stebe from Penn Engineering. Dr. Ren is a current NIDCR T90 postdoctoral fellow within the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD).
Among the student abstracts presented at the 2023 AAADOCR/CADR Annual Meeting were the following:
|Abdulaziz Alshahrani, GD’24||Transient Thermal Stresses Developed During Speed Sintering of Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia||Dr. Yu Zhang|
|Benjamin Shelling, D’24
(2022 AADOCR Student Research Fellow)
|Fusobacterium nucleatum Promotes an Aging-like Phenotype in Gingival Epithelial Cells||Dr. Esra Sahingur|
|Dana Kost, D’25||HPV and COVID- 19 Vaccines in the Dental Office||Dr. Katherine France|
|Dana Mominkhan, GD’22, GD’24||Using Correlation Network Analysis to Explore Root Canal Infection||Dr. Flavia Teles|
|Dennis Sourvanos, GD’23, DScD’23||Validating Head-and-Neck Human-Tissue Optical Properties for Photobiomodulation and Photodynamic Therapies||Dr. Joseph Fiorellini, Dr. Timothy Zhu|
|Jessica Tan, C’22, D’25||Antimicrobial Effects of Zeolite on Silver-Reinforced Glass Ionomer Cement||Dr. Fusun Ozer|
|Kantapon Rattanaprukskul, GD’23||Cellular Senescence in Periodontal Health and Disease||Dr. Esra Sahingur|
|Lily See, GD’23||Purinergic Contributions to Dental Pain in Patients with Symptomatic Pulpitis||Dr. Claire Mitchell|
|Lucas Wall, D’25||Comparison of Naproxen Sodium and Acetaminophen Following Implant Placement||Dr. Katherine Theken|
|Marwa Bawazir, GD’24||Brittle-Ductile Transition of Lithium Disilicate Glass-Ceramic under Sliding Asperity Contacts||Dr. Yu Zhang|
|Michael Troka, C’23, D’26||TrokaChat: Identification of Disease-Driving Cell Signaling Interactions in scRNAseq Data||Dr. Dana Graves|
|Neda Mahjour, D’25||Effect of Biological Agents on Oral Health||Dr. Katherine France|
|Nila Veerabagu, D’25||Oral and Dental Status of Patients Taking Biologic Agents||Dr. Katherine France|
|Shivani Shah, D’25||Periodontal Status of Patients Taking Biologic Medications||Dr. Katherine France|
|Smruti Nair, GD’23||Plant Viral Trap Protein Chewing Gums to Limit Oral Transmission||Dr. Henry Daniell|
|Taewan Kim, GD’23||Host Phagocytosis Modulation By A.actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) Cytolethal Distending Toxin (Cdt)||Dr. Kathleen Boesze-Battaglia|
|Thao (Rosemary) Do, D’24||Investigating Expression Dynamics of Interleukin-33 During Oral Wound Healing||Dr. Kang Ko|
|Xuejing (Tracy) Xu, D’24||Damage Tolerance of Novel In-house Two-step Sintered Dental||Dr. Yu Zhang|
|Yilan Miao, D’23, GEN’23||Glucanohydrolases Disrupt Cross-Kingdom Interaction in Saliva via Selective Matrix Degradation||Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo|
Penn Dental Medicine offers postgraduate training in all the dental specialty areas as well as Master of Science in Oral Biology, Master of Advanced Dental Studies, and Doctor of Science in Dentistry degrees. In addition, the School’s advanced graduate degree programs include a Master of Oral Health Sciences for both DMD track students and non-U.S.-trained dentists. Additionally, the School recently launched a Master of Science in Oral and Population Health.