Scholars Day highlights student research

April 19th, 2023

The 48th annual Research Scholars Day brought together many dental and dental hygiene students to show off their latest research.

The 48th Research Scholars Day at Texas A&M School of Dentistry showcased the remarkable research work of current dental and dental hygiene students.

“We have some of the highest level of scientists that work at this school, and we take great pride in how they help [students] throughout all the departments,” said Dean Lily T. García, at the April 6 event. “We’re really proud to see all these posters and presentations, and we’re going to continue to build on our reputation at this school.”

The event was organized by Dr. L. Bruno Ruest, director of student research, along with a team of faculty and staff including, Dr. Chunlin Qin, Dr. Mikhail Umorin, Dr. Shannon Kramer, Charlie Fulton and Richard Cardenas. Ruest said he was proud of the work the students had put into their projects, as well as their mentors for guiding them.

“A big thanks to all the participating students; they are the ones who made the 48th edition possible and a success,” he wrote in an email announcing the winners. “They have dedicated many hours to their projects, and it showed with the quality of their presentations.”

Students presented their research across a wide variety of categories, in presentations and posters. The winners in each category are as follows:

Topics covered in the Scholars Day event ranged from patient care to the latest innovations in dental technology, plus much more.

Dental Hygiene:

1st Place: Brooke Williams, Melissa Sierra, Brittany Ables (DH2s). Prevention of White Spot Lesions in Adolescents with Orthodontic Appliances using Mobile-Applications. Mentored by Prof. K. Reed and Prof. B. Cowen.

2nd Place: Carrie Bilbrey, Amber Raglin, Amber Tran (DH2s). SPMs: Resolving Inflammation and Restoring Bone. Mentored by Prof. K. Reed and Prof. B. Cowen.

3rd Place: Samantha Wright, Hadlee Hicks, Samirah Peterson (DH2s). The Negative Impact of Vibratory Instruments on Dental Professionals. Mentored by Prof. C. Moorman and Prof. L. Spittle.

Honorable mentions: Maegan Burrier, Janie Hillman (DH2s). Preventive & Therapeutic Sealants: The Addition of Silver Nanoparticles. Mentored by Prof. E. Fox and Prof. A. McNeil.

Ashley Fanous, Michelle Navarro, Bethany Purvis (DH2s). Guidelines for Inter-professional Management of Patients with Periodontal Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Mentored by Prof. E. Fox and Prof. A. McNeil.

Students’ research was judged by a panel throughout the day. Winning participants were selected to represent Texas A&M School of Dentistry in several future research competitions across the country,

Dental Students:

Basic Science Research

1st Place: Rosamaria Marquez (D1). Novel roles of tendon in TMJ temporal bone formation. Mentored by Dr. Yan Jing.

2nd Place: Nicholas Baldetti (D1). SCFA Butyrate inhibits opioid-induced hyperalgesia in wild-type mice. Mentored by Dr. Feng Tao.

3rd Place: Conrad Harness (D2). New insights into tendon during postnatal TMJ condyle growth. Mentored by Dr. Yan Jing.

Clinical Research

1st Place: Austin Bond (D1). 3-dimensional assessment of inferior rectus muscle rounding following orbital trauma. Mentored by Dr. Andrew Read-Fuller.

2nd Place: Braedon Gunn (D1). Comparison of CT analysis and 3D segmentation in orbit fractures. Mentored by Dr. Andrew Read-Fuller.

3rd Place: Taylor Reusche (D1). Effect of retrobulbar hematoma on extraocular structures following orbital trauma. Mentored by Dr. Andrew Read-Fuller.

Public Health and Systematic Review Research

1st Place: Christy Chang (D1). A review of validity in current forensic odontology research. Mentored by Dr. Shirley Lewis.

2nd Place: Makayla Medrano (D2). Importance of LGBTQ+ healthcare education into the oral health curriculum. Mentored by Dr. Shirley Lewis.

3rd Place: Jorge Morillo (D3), Talal Altaher (D2). Chair-side saliva diagnostic-tests: impact on patient oral-health-behavior and caries-risk assessment. Mentored by Dr. Amal Noureldin.

Students showed off their research in brief PowerPoint presentations, as well as posters outlining their work.

Poster Presentation

1st Place: Justin Morey (D4), Amanda Ng (D4). Utilizing Simulation Technology to Enhance Empathy in Community Based Clinics During Missed Appointments. Mentored by Drs. Simmi Patel and Katharine Nimmons.

Dr. Qian Li was also presented with the Post-doc Fellowship Award for her authorship of multiple publications in recent years and her assistance across a variety of research projects.

Students Marquez, Baldetti and Bond were also selected to represent the school at the upcoming Hinman Student Research Symposium in Memphis this November. Harness was selected to be the school representative for the Dentsply-Sirona Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application (SCADA) in New Orleans next year.

“Our students work so hard, and I want other students to have an appreciation for this,” García said. “Especially after 48 years, this event is of significance, and it pays homage to our scientists who are truly making impacts in the field.”

— Caleb Vierkant