By Cindy Abole
Dental Medicine's first Scholars Day held Feb. 24 showcased cutting-edge research in dental, oral and craniofacial health and provided a platform for collaboration, said event planners.
Dental students, graduate students, residents, post doctoral staff and other participants enjoyed a day devoted to science and focused studies in oral health research at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine's Annual Scholars Day event. The event took place in several areas of MUSC's campus and also was open to dental faculty administrative and clinical staff. The event was sponsored by MUSC's Center for Oral Health Research (COHR) and the College of Dental Medicine's (CDM) Department of Craniofacial Biology with help from the American Student Dental Association.
The event merged the efforts of the dental school's student research day and table clinics with the Department of Craniofacial Biology's research conducted by DMD-Ph.D. students and campuswide oral health-related graduate students and post doctoral-level investigators. Scholar's day expanded to include a keynote speaker; more poster presentations in the junior, senior, postdoc and junior faculty levels; plus a large vendor show.
According to Keith L. Kirkwood, DDS, Ph.D., associate dean for research, the event was established to promote science and showcase the level of oral health research on campus. A lot of the campus' growth in research was made possible by COHR and the National Institutes of Health's Center for Biomedical Research Excellence award that helped develop sustainable oral and craniofacial research at MUSC. "We felt this year's event was a great start in recognizing some amazing research and people on campus. We hope this is the first of many successful scholars day events to come."
Visiting Baylor professor and dental researcher Dr. Rena D'Souza, left, and Dr. Saraswathi Ramachandran, right, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Craniofacial Biology, and MUSC researcher Santha Sundaramurthy discuss research during the Feb. 24 Annual Scholars Day.
Watch a video: http://bit.ly/MUSCScholarsDay
The day's keynote address was given by dental researcher and educator Rena D'Souza, DDS, Ph.D., professor and chair of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Dentistry. D'Souza, who is vice president of the American Association for Dental Research, addressed a standing room crowd about the value of translational research in dentistry.
Dental Medicine Dean John J. Sanders, DDS, said that Scholars Day allows the college to honor the work of outstanding students, residents and postdoctoral students. "Our goal is to make this an informative, inspiring and educational day for everyone," he said.
About 30 third-and fourth-year dental students participated in the junior category. Table topics research ranged from the use of music to reduce anxiety in pediatric dental patients to studying bonding materials for porcelain repairs. Awards were given to first, second and third place winners. The category's top winner will compete in the student clinical research program at the American Dental Association-Dentsply meeting in the fall.
"We wanted to select research that was pertinent to today's needs in dentistry," said Brittany Bare, a third-year dental student who, along with fellow student April Kemp, explored the most effective bonding methods used to repair ceramic crowns. They concluded that the use of etch-silane bonds were the best. The experience was both Bare and Kemp's first time conducting dental research with them finding the experience to be rewarding. The curriculum requires third-year students to complete a table clinics course that prepares them for dental research.
In the event's senior, postdoc and junior faculty categories, about 30 teams and individuals competed, representing nearly 30 labs focused on oral health research in the poster presentations. Cash awards were given for first ($500), second ($250) and third place ($100) winners.
"This is an exciting day for research, our dental students and all campus participants in this effort," Sanders said.
2011 Scholars Day
Table Clinics Category—1st: Daniel West, "The Role of Prrx Transcription Factors In Salivary Gland Development;" 2nd: Carolina Branchal and Erin Pruett, "Effectiveness of Various Topical Fluoride Products at Minimizing Acid Erosion of Teeth;" 3rd: Britney Bare and April Kemp, "Porcelain Repair: Bonding Methods of Composite to Cyclic Loaded Onlay Restorations"
Senior Category—1st: Marisa Meyers-Needham, "Regulation of Human DihydroCermamide Synthast 1 (dhCerS1) Gene in HNSCC;" 2nd: Jessica Trombetta-eSilva, "The Absence of SPARC is Associated with Increased Loss of Collagen in a Periodontal Disease Model;" 3rd: Alfred C. Griffin, "Vitamin D-induced RANKL Expression Required MKP-1 Signaling Through RXRa"
Postdoctoral Category—1st: Zhiqiang Qin, "KSHV Infection of Oral Cells and Associated Pathogenesis;" 2nd: Yuvaraj Sambandam, "c-Myc is a Downstream Target of CXCL13 to Stimulate RANK Ligand Expression in Bone Marrow Stromal/Preosteoblast Cells;" 3rd: Alexis K. Nagel, "The Role of the Nutrient-Responsive O-GlcNAc Modification of IRS-1 and 2 on Insulin and IGF-1 Signaling in Osteoblasts"