Awards, Pediatric Dentistry, Research

Karhade Receives AAPD Graduate Student Research Awards 

Deepti Karhade with the Adams School of Dentistry's rehabilitative facility dog, GRAYSON

Deepti Karhade, DMD, second-year pediatric dentistry resident at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry, received one of eight Graduate Student Research Awards from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). 

Karhade was also selected to receive the Ralph E. McDonald Award, the most prestigious award given to pediatric dentistry residents and recent graduates. She was recognized for her award-winning research at the AAPD’s Annual Meeting, held virtually in May. 

Her research, “An automated machine learning classifier for early childhood caries prediction,” developed a screening tool based on several risk factors across demographical, behavioral, clinical and proxy-reported variables for early childhood caries (ECC). 

Karhade’s research is a part of ongoing five-year NIH-funded (NIH/NIDCR U01-DE025046) study by Associate Professor Kimon Divaris, DDS, PhD, titled, “Zero Out Early Childhood Tooth Decay (ZOE 2.0),” which is investigating the clinical, biological, and socioeconomic factors associated with ECC. 

Karhade stored and analyzed the large data sets using the Google Cloud Computing Platform and a new automated machine learning process to predict the presence of cavities in young children. 

“The AAPD Graduate Student Research Award and the Ralph E. McDonald Award are the highest research honor pediatric dental residents can obtain not only here in the U.S. but also internationally,” said Division of Pediatric and Public Health Chair, Jessica Lee, DDS, MPH, PhD. 

“The fact that Dr. Karhade received both awards is an outstanding achievement. The graduate program in pediatric dentistry has always led the way in patient care, service and research. We are very proud of our residents and grateful for the honor they have brought to our program and to the Adams School of Dentistry.” 

Following oral presentations at the AAPD annual session, the Ralph E. McDonald award is presented to the Graduate Student Research Award recipient judged to have accomplished the most outstanding research project. The recipient receives an additional cash award. 

Established in 1991, the award honors Ralph E. McDonald, AAPD past-president and editor emeritus. The AAPD Council on Scientific Affairs selects the recipient. The Indiana University of Pediatric Dentistry Alumni Association graciously supports this award. 

The AAPD, founded in 1947, is the not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 10,800 members put children first in everything they do, and at the highest standards of ethics and patient safety. The AAPD, in accordance with its vision and mission, advocates optimal oral health for all children. It is the leading national advocate dedicated exclusively to children’s oral health.