USC University of Southern California

Research Day 2013 Celebrates Wide Variety of Scientific Investigation

Kenneth Smith DDS 2015
Kenneth Smith DDS 2015 won first place for best undergraduate DDS basic sciences project.

By Beth Newcomb

From understanding the developing human tongue to addressing the challenges facing kids with autism, innovative research was on full display during the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC Annual Research Day on February 20.

The event celebrated the scientific work of students and faculty from the Ostrow School of Dentistry as well as the Divisions of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy and Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. More than 120 researchers, ranging from undergraduate students to postdoctoral fellows and faculty, shared their work in poster presentations, which were judged by a team of Ostrow faculty.

USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett gave welcoming remarks, noting that the Ostrow Research Day event is unique among USC schools. She also noted that the school’s research activity and output is disproportionately large compared to its size.

“The Ostrow School of Dentistry is an integral part of our university,” she said.

Ostrow School of Dentistry Dean Avishai Sadan lauded the scientific success of Ostrow faculty members as well as the importance of student research.

“Not only am I proud of the scientific success our faculty members have achieved, but it’s also exciting to see the very high level of Ostrow student involvement in research,” he said. “Taking part in research enriches a student’s education in a way no other activity can.”

Yang Chai, associate dean of research for the Ostrow School, said strength in research and innovation will become more crucial than ever in order to compete in the global environment. He also urged his fellow faculty to open up their research projects to more students looking for research experience.

“We all started from somewhere without much experience,” he said. “Someone provided us mentorship.”

Following judging, participants and guests enjoyed lunch and two keynote scientific lectures. Christopher Fox, executive director of the International and American Associations for Dental Research, spoke of the importance of increasing research and advocacy in order to solve the United States’ dramatic dental health disparities.

Cheryl Mattingly, professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy as well as USC Dornsife’s Department of Anthropology, spoke about the narrative techniques that doctors and therapists use to communicate with patients about their illnesses, illustrating her points with poignant patient stories.

Chris Moulding Chloe Cohen
Chris Moulding, Senior Technology Advancement and Licensing Manager for the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, presents advanced periodontology resident Chloe Cohen with the 2013 Most Innovative award.

Ronald Chung DDS ‘14 was part of a two-person team that won first place for the best clinical sciences project by a doctoral dental student. He and Peter Lee DDS ’13 studied how certain concentrations of bisphosphonate drugs – medicines used to treat osteoporosis that can accumulate and stay in the body – correlate with the death of jawbone tissue.

“Research adds another dimension to my dental school education,” said Chung, who is also a member of the school’s Student Research Group and editor-in-chief of the group’s award-winning annual magazine, the Explorer.

William Lee, Melissa Olmedo, and Kristine Parungao, members of the Dental Hygiene class of 2013, presented their research on the benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes. Olmedo said understanding current science is key to staying on top of new patient care options.

“Patients have lots of questions,” she said. “We can give them evidence-based information.”

2013 Ostrow Research Day Awardees:

Advanced Specialty Program Resident
1st place: Steven Lim
Poster #36 – “Canonical Wnt Signaling Pathway Mediates Muscle Regeneration after Tongue Injury”

2nd place: Chloe Cohen
Poster #23 – “Identifying Microbiological Differences between Supragingival and Subgingival Plaque in Periodontitis”

Graduate Post-Doctoral Trainee
1st: Junichi Iwata
Poster #46 – “TGFβ/IRF6 Interaction in Regulating Palatal Fusion”

2nd: Qichao Ruan
Poster #50 – “Amelogenin-Chitosan Hydrogel for Enamel Reconstruction”

Graduate Pre-Doctoral Candidate
1st: Chider Chen
Poster #76 – “Telomerase Governs Immunomodulatory Properties OF MSC by Regulating FasL Expression”

2nd: Cunye Qu
Poster # 77 – “Epigenetic Regulation of TSP1/TGFβ/SMAD3 Autocrine Loop in Ossifying Fibroma”

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Student
1st: Leah Stein
Poster #81 – “Behavioral and Physiological Measures of Arousal/Sensory Responsivity at the Dentist”

2nd: Leah Stein
Poster #82 – “Developing an Instrument to Assess Distress Behaviors at the Dentist”

Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Student
Neural Control and Motor Behavior
1st: Ya-Yun Lee
Poster #85 – Context-Dependent Learning in People with Parkinson’s Disease”

2nd: Jay Porterfield
Poster # 86 – “Impact of Varying Light Exposure During Incubation on Locomotor Navigation”

Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
1st: Hsiang-Ling Teng
Poster #90 – “Modifying Sagittal-Plane Trunk Posture Affects Patellofemoral Joint Stress during Running”

2nd: Mark Blanchette
Poster #93 – “The Influence of Footwear Tread Groove Parameters on Available Friction”

Undergraduate DDS Student – Basic Sciences
1st: Kenneth Smith
Poster #115 – “Silencing p66Shc in Type II Cells Decreases Surfactant Protein Expression”

2nd: Hamid Barkhordar & Pooyan Nasibi
Poster #129 – “Validation of Inter-Intra Observer Reproducibility of Three-Dimensional Craniofacial Volume and Anatomy Using Micro-CT Modalities in Wildtype Mouse Embryos”

Undergraduate DDS Student – Clinical Sciences
1st: Peter Lee & Ronald Chung
Poster #116 – “Population Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Modeling for Assessing Risk of BRONJ”

2nd: Omid Hemmat
Poster #119 – Recombinant Chromosome 4: Chromosome, FISH and CGH Microarray Study” 

Dean’s Award
Junichi Iwata
Poster #46 – “TGFβ/IRF6 Interaction in Regulating Palatal Fusion”

USC Stevens Institute for Innovation Most Innovative Award
1st: Chloe Cohen
Poster #24 – “Vestibular Incision Subperiosteal Tunnel Access (VISTA) Technique”

2nd: Sahar Ansari
Poster #74 – “Effects of Scaffolds Tethering Chimeric Anti-BMP-2 mAb in Bone Bioengineering”