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Students Showcase Research at UTSD's 2013 Table Clinics

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:56am

Dr. Michelle Aguilos explains her research on dental implants to dental students Dustin Adamek (left) and Tamir Anver.

Michelle Aguilos, DDS, explains her research on dental implants to dental students Dustin Adamek (left) and Tamir Anver at the UTSD's 2013 Table Clinics in the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center. Photos by Rhonda Whitmeyer.

Almost three dozen students and residents at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston unveiled their research projects Feb. 14 at the school’s annual Student Table Clinics.

The event serves as a dry run before the students present their projects at the Star of the South Dental Meeting in March, said the event’s faculty sponsor, Stephen Laman, DDS, assistant professor in the Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health. 

“I want the whole school to see what these students are doing,” Laman said. “They take on these research projects in addition to all the regular work they have to do, so we want to showcase them to the rest of the school.”

The Houston Section of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) awarded prizes to the three best research presentations among the dental students. The presentations were scored on criteria that included scientific relevance, originality, potential for generating new information, and presentation quality, said one of the judges, Assistant Professor Gena Tribble, PhD, president-elect of the Houston AADR.

Second-year dental student Rohit Feroz Ummer won first place for his presentation “Association of TP63 and DVL2 Genes with Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip/Palate.”

Second place went to Hunter Owen, a second-year dental student, for his presentation, “Pilot Study of Methodology for Measuring Symmetry from CBCT Volumetric Data.” First-year dental student Tam Thanh Thi Tran took third place with “Association of DVL2 Polymorphisms with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.”

The winners got certificates and prizes of $100, $50 and $25, respectively.

“It was a tough competition,” Tribble said. “Most of these students presented before at our Student Research Day last fall, and several presented at the Hinman Research Meeting in 2012, so they were a polished group of presenters.”

Among the dental hygiene students presenting were (from left) Kim Nguyen, Monica Sanchez, Steffin Mathew and Alfa-Hadassa Capetillo.

Among the dental hygiene students presenting were (from left) Kim Nguyen, Monica Sanchez, Steffin Mathew and Alfa-Hadassa Capetillo.

All of the student research participants gain valuable experience beyond their regular classroom and clinical duties, Laman said, and they have the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors. 

“It’s a very beneficial way for faculty and students to interact and allows students to work with faculty they may not otherwise associate with,” he said.

This year’s event was sponsored by Henry Schein Dental, Komet USA, U.S. Army Healthcare Recruiters and the UTSD Alumni Association. 

Click here to see the full list of projects, presenters and mentors at UTSD's 2013 Table Clinics.