Awards, Research, Students

Students Byrd, Doswell, Wang Win at Dental Research Meeting

At the recent International Association of Dental Research (IADR)/American Association of Dental Research (AADR)/Canadian Association of Dental Research (CADR) General Session and Exhibition in Boston, Mass., three students received awards and honors for their research.

Kevin Byrd, a PhD student in the oral biology curriculum, received first place in the AADR Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Hatton Awards Competition. With this honor, Byrd was a finalist in the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) Unilever Hatton Competition that took place at the meeting. Byrd’s award-winning research focused on understanding how the cells in the developing epidermis orient. His abstract, titled “LGN/GPSM2 Controls Cellular Division Orientation in Developing Murine Oral Epithelia,” was also selected for an oral presentation during the NIDCR Trainee Research Presentations. Byrd’s mentor is Dr. Scott E. Williams, assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Catherine “Katie” Doswell, DDS Candidate 2015, received the 2015 AADR Bloc Travel Grant for the second year in a row. The grant recognizes scientific excellence in a student research project. This year, she was honored for her research that examined the prevalence and clinical correlates of traumatic dental injuries (TDI) in the primary dentition of preschool children enrolled in a cohort study of early childhood oral health (ZOE) in North Carolina. Doswell’s abstract, titled “Clinical Predictors of Traumatic Dental Injuries in Preschool Children,” was presented as an oral talk. Doswell was mentored by Dr. Kimon Divaris, associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Dr. Gary Rozier, professor in the Gillings School of Global Helath Department of Health Policy and Management. Doswell also served as co-chair during the Pediatric Oral Health Research session entitled “Dental Caries, Trauma, Quality of Life and Special Populations.”

Connie Wang, DDS Candidate 2017, was awarded a 2015 AADR Student Research Fellowship, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive, which provides a stipend to fund a student’s research proposal. Upon completion of the research, recipients present their abstract at the annual AADR meeting prior to receiving funds to offset their travel to the meeting. Wang’s proposal focuses on understanding the molecular events involved in pain management that results from opioids binding to µ-opioid receptors (MOR-1s). Wang’s mentor is Dr. Andrea Nackley, associate professor in the Department of Endodontics and a member of the Center for Pain Research and Innovation.

“UNC School of Dentistry had a very strong showing at the IADR/AADR/CADR Meeting in Boston during March,” said Dr. Eric Everett, associate dean for research. “There were numerous oral and poster presentations, symposia, hands-on workshops by our faculty and students. I am especially proud of our students and their mentors for the high caliber research presented. It is a pleasure to have Kevin, Katie and Connie honored for their commitment to research.”