Dental School Hosts 10th Anniversary Research Day

School of Dentistry

The UCSF School of Dentistry celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Research and Clinical Excellence Day on October 10. The dental school and most of the dental clinics were closed for the momentous occasion.

The day opened with Dr. Michael McMaster, the chair of UCSF Dentistry’s Research and Clinical Excellence Day and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, urging students to take action and bring change to the world, stating that “no matter what, the next 10 years [of progress] will start today.”

Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone reinforced the theme by stating the “future of UCSF depends on people in the room,” and that UCSF has a responsibility to provide the tools to carry this out.

Dean John D. B. Featherstone followed, with an inspirational presentation about the research and development of CAMBRA, Caries Management by Risk Assessment, which, over the past 40 years, has become a philosophy that changes the way caries is managed around the world.

Dr. Andrei Goga chaired the morning session of oral presentations. Student oral presentations focused on the cutting edge of dental research.

  • Janice Hwang, a second-year dental student and an American Association for Dental Research Student Research Fellowship awardee, presented her work on “Hypoxia enhances phenotypic effects of sonic hedgehog heterozygosity.”
  • Jean Calvo, a second-year dental student and a summer research fellow, presented her research on the “Effectiveness of an interactive patient education device in reducing children’s dental anxiety.”
  • Neek LaMantia, a second-year dental student and a summer research fellow, presented “Optical imaging methods for guided laser ablation of dental caries.”

The morning session concluded with presentation of the Outstanding Clinician Award to Dr. Sheila Brear, a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor and Division Chair for General Dentistry, who shared her thoughts on influential characters in dentistry.

Though only a select number of students had the opportunity to deliver an oral presentation for their research, many students had the opportunity to showcase their summer work in a poster presentation.

The first Research and Clinical Excellence Day in 2003 consisted of 20 posters, but this year, that number had grown to 48 posters. Students and other researchers were able to view the results of their peers’ hard work over lunch provided by UCSF.

Dr. Nathan Young. Di Liu chaired the afternoon session of oral presentations.

  • An international dental program student[VE1]  presented her work on “Mutacin genes in streptococcus mutans and caries status in children.”
  • Kei Katsura, a DDS-PhD student, presented her work on “Wdr72 regulates enamel development during the maturation stage.”
  • Samuel Clarot, a second-year dental student and a summer research fellow, presented his work on “Modulation of tooth formation through GPCR signaling.”

The afternoon session concluded with a lecture by Dr. Diane Barber, the Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, who shared her journey through teaching, research and service in academia.

The day concluded with the presentation of awards. Timothy Wen, on behalf of the John C. Greene Society, presented Dr. Brent Lin with the Mentor of the Year Award.

The winners were announced by Dr. Peter Sargent, the Associate Dean of Research, who said he was “remarkably impressed at the professional presence” of the work of all of the students.

  • The winner of the Research Associate category was Jacob Simon.
  • The winners of the Postdoctoral/Resident category were Dr. Alejandra Navarro (first place), Dr. Wendy Yang (second place) and Dr. Seungil Kim (third place).
  • Winners in the Graduate category were Kei Katsura (first place), Sheila Nguyen (second place) and Frances Yang (third place).
  • Winners for the Predoctoral category were Jose-Julio Hernandez-Blouin (first place),  the Ernest Newbrun Award for Research Excellence, Janice Hwang (second place) and Neek LaMantia and Evan You (third place).