Ostrow Orthodontics Graduate Wins American Association of Orthodontists Award
14 Jun 12
George Abichaker ’05 DDS ’09 Ortho ’12 was awarded first place for the Charley Schultz Resident Scholar Award at the American Association of Orthodontists Annual Session on May 2, 2012.
The award, recognizing clinical or basic science research by an advanced orthodontics resident, comes at the end of Abichaker’s 11-year span as a USC student and is his eighth award for outstanding scientific investigation.
Abichaker, who graduated from USC with a bachelor’s in business administration and a minor in natural sciences, began his research career and his relationship with the Ostrow School of Dentistry during his junior year. That fall, he began work in the developmental genetics lab of Professors Michael Melnick and Tina Jaskoll after reading about their work online.
Since then, as Abichaker completed the USC doctor of dental surgery program followed by a residency in orthodontics and master’s in craniofacial biology, he remained at work in the lab, his responsibilities growing from day-to-day laboratory tasks to co-authoring eight published scientific articles. Besides his many research awards from both the School and professional organizations, he has also presented his work at several national and international professional meetings.
The AAO honored Abichaker with the Schultz Award for his work on cytomegalovirus and its affects on embryonic tooth development, the project that comprised his master’s thesis. He said his findings showed that CMV infection can negatively affect the development of teeth in a growing embryo and that the damage done by the virus depended upon the embryo’s stage of development and the duration of the infection.
Abichaker, who will be entering private practice in orthodontics, said his research experiences have been “an escape from everyday clinical dentistry” and have informed his clinical perspective.
“It’s helped me look at research more objectively,” he said. “Being able to understand research helps in healthcare. There are a lot of new advances and new ideas to be on top of.”
Abichaker also shared advice for fellow students looking to get involved in research.
“Start early; find out which faculty are doing research and look up their work on Pubmed and Google Scholar,” he said. “And be committed. You need to spend many hours each week doing research if you want to achieve something with it.”
Sam Sheridan reflects on “four of the best years of his life” as he prepares to embark on a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery. THE ROAD TO A DENTAL CAREER was not without its winding curves for Sam Sheridan DDS ’23. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Bucknell University, Sheridan spent a […]
Brian Acevedo didn’t follow a traditional path to dental school. Still, he arrived exactly where he needed to be. TRUTH BE TOLD, Brian Acevedo never had interest in becoming a dentist. When the South Los Angeles native accepted a dental assistant job at his family dental office after high school, he was motivated by practical […]
Originally from the Middle East, Albatniji is the class president for the Advanced Standing Program for International Dentists (ASPID) Class of 2023. AS LONG SHE CAN REMEMBER, Mona Albatniji dreamed of being a dentist. “There is no backstory,” she says, with a laugh. “It’s just what I wanted to do from the beginning.” Following that […]
Keyoni Mbroh DDS ’23 wanted to be a dentist since her elementary school years. Fueled by her time at Ostrow, Mbroh is now prepared to fulfill that vision. EVER SINCE HER CHILDHOOD YEARS IN OKLAHOMA, Keyoni Mbroh knew she wanted to pursue dentistry. She did not waver from that mission while majoring in health science […]
Natalie Black DH ’19, DDS ’23 follows in her grandfather’s footsteps, graduating from USC and becoming a Trojan dentist. FOR NATALIE BLACK, DENTISTRY IS A FAMILY AFFAIR. More than 60 years after her grandfather John Wallace Black ’58 DDS ’62 completed his studies at USC, the Class of 2023 graduate is following in his footsteps. […]