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UTSD Students Showcase Research at Hinman Symposium

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 2:44pm

First-year dental student Gregory Luk was one of five UTSD students who presented at the Hinman Student Research Symposium in Memphis, Tenn.

First-year dental student Gregory Luk was one of five UTSD students who presented at the Hinman Student Research Symposium in Memphis, Tenn.

Five students from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston presented their research projects and findings at a dental research symposium in Memphis, Tenn. in October.

The annual Hinman Student Research Symposium, sponsored by the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, featured oral and poster presentations from dental students from around the country. The UTSD presenters were Gregory Luk and Tam Tran – both first-year dental students – and second-year students Rohit Ummer, Ryan Weber and Allison Whitman.

UTSD faculty members Jackie Duke, PhD; Renato Silva, DDS, PhD; Ariadne Letra, DDS, PhD; and Sercan Akyalcin, DDS, PhD served as faculty mentors for the student researchers. Associate Professor Rade Paravina, DDS, PhD, director of the Houston Center for Biomaterials and Biomimetics, accompanied the students and served as a judge.

The symposium attracts the nation’s top dental student researchers, Paravina said, and the UTSD delegation measured up well against the competition. Among the projects they tackled were studies of particular gene variants that may cause oral cancers or cleft lip and cleft palate.

In addition to gaining research experience, these projects afforded the students valuable practice in scientific writing and presentation, Paravina said.

The symposium was held Oct. 26-28 at the historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis. A visit to Graceland was included in the trip. To learn more about student research at UTSD, visit

http://www.db.uth.tmc.edu/research/student-research.