Above and beyond

Periodontics graduate student snags coveted Prichard award
February 13th, 2020

Faced with presenting his written abstract at a competition recently, Dr. Matthew Saxon figured it was at the very least excellent practice for his upcoming thesis presentation. His expectations were exceeded.

The third-year periodontics resident walked away with first place in the basic sciences research category of the John F. Prichard Graduate Research Competition on Jan. 24-25 at the Southwest Society of Periodontists annual gathering in Las Colinas, Texas. Judges chose six abstracts to be presented after narrowing down the field from an initial 14. Three were judged under basic sciences and the other three under clinical sciences.

Saxon’s research focused on an alternative material to bone grafts used with alveolar ridge preservation after tooth extraction. The outcome was positive.

“The results that we have so far are promising from the small scale that we’re working on,” he says. “I think that was the most fun part of the project. We got the results that supported our hypothesis, which doesn’t always happen.”

He credits Dr. Thomas Diekwisch, professor and head of the periodontics department, Dr. Mirali Pandya, clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Xianghong Luan, professor and director of research, for their support.

Saxon attended UMKC School of Dentistry in Kansas City, Missouri, for his dental degree and Texas Christian University for his bachelor’s. After graduation, he plans to join a private practice in Fort Worth.

— Kathleen Green Pothier