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UTSD’s Summer Research Showcase wows audience

Friday, November 2, 2012 - 9:17am

UT School of Dentistry students enjoyed pizza at the 2012 Summer Research Showcase in the Cooley Center.

Because UTSD's Summer Research Showcase covered the noon hour, pizza was provided. Then eight dental students presented research findings on tissue engineering, stem cells, imaging and oral and craniofacial biology. Photo by Brian Schnupp. 

The University of Texas School of Dentistry’s second annual Summer Research Showcase, held this year at the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center, drew an enthusiastic noontime audience of students, faculty and residents interested in hearing about research in tissue engineering/stem cells, imaging, and oral and craniofacial biology. 

Dental students Gregory Luk, Timothy Woernley, Hunter Owen, Allison Whitman, Elizabeth May, Tam Tran, Rohit Ummer and Ryan Weber discussed their summer research projects, with simultaneous presentations in three separate rooms. Each student researcher had 10 minutes to present, followed by two minutes for questions. This format allowed ample time for all participants to present their findings, and allowed attendees to move from room to room to choose their topics of interest.

Dental student Gregory Luk presents his findings at the UTSD Summer Research Showcase. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

Dental student Gregory Luk presents his findings at UTSD's 2012 Summer Research Showcase. Photo by Brian Schnupp.

Each year, dedicated students along with dedicated mentors give their time, effort, and resources during the summer to participate in the Summer Research Program.

“It was a great way to learn outside of the classroom and in a smaller environment with experts in the field,” student Lizzie May said of the summer research experience. “It challenges you to sharpen your problem-solving skills, your communication skills, and your patience, which I feel are all incredibly important in field of dentistry.”

Distinguished Teaching Professor Catherine Flaitz, DDS, MS, of the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, was particularly impressed with the 2012 Summer Research Showcase. “The presenters were so well mentored, organized and articulate,” she said. “They were right on schedule and by the type of questions that were asked, it was easy to see that they successfully engaged the audience and knew their material.”

The Summer Research Showcase had an excellent turnout, indicating a growing interest and appreciation for the event and the quality of work the research participants deliver, and their preparatory methods. Presenters and topics included:

Symposium I Tissue Engineering/Stem Cell
Moderator: Professor P. Jackie Duke, PhD

Differentiation of Mouse Embryo Chondrocytes in a Hydrodynamic Focusing Bioreactor
Student: Gregory Luk; mentor: P. Jackie Duke, PhD

The Effects of Light Therapy on Integration and Vascularization of a Cartilage Nodule Implant in a Bony Defect:  An in vivo study
Student: Timothy Woernley; mentor: P. Jackie Duke, PhD 

Symposium II:  Imaging
Moderator: Dr. Sercan Akyalcin

Methodology for Measuring Symmetry from CBCT 3D Volumetric Data
Student: Hunter Owen; mentor: Kenneth Abramovitch, DDS, MS
 
Diagnostic Accuracy of Various 3D Digital Model Systems  
Student: Allison Whitman; mentor Sercan Akyalcin, DDS, PhD 

Symposium III: Oral and Craniofacial Biology
Moderator: Dr. Ariadne Letra

Bacterial Fratricide and Biofilm Development: Understanding competition mechanisms between Porphyromonas gingivalis strains
Student: Elizabeth May; mentor: Gena Tribble, PhD

Association of DVL2 Polymorphisms with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Student: Tam Tran; mentor: Renato Silva, DDS, MS, PhD

Association of TP63 and DVL2 Genes with Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip/Palate
Student: Rohit Ummer; mentor: Ariadne Letra, DDS, MS, PhD
 
Studies of PBX Genes as Candidates for Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip/Palate
Student: Ryan Weber; mentor: Ariadne Letra, DDS, MS, PhD