USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Student Research

Graduate Research Programs

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has long supported student participation in all phases of research. Formal master’s and PhD degrees are available through the renowned Craniofacial Biology (CBY) graduate program. Students in this program engage in outstanding research projects headed by world leaders in developmental biology, human genetics, stem cell and tissue engineering, oral cancer, nanotechnology, salivary biology, health promotion, biofilms, microbiology and immunology. The program has recently added options for studying clinical research methodology. CBY faculty perform cutting-edge scientific studies, using the state of the science research equipment and core facilities, including molecular imaging, proteomics, microscopy and the transgenic mouse facility. Ostrow also hosts students enrolled in the USC interdisciplinary PhD training Programs in Biomedical and Biological Sciences.

The school’s MS/DDS dual degree program in gerontology and dentistry extends over five years and is offered cooperatively by Ostrow and the USC Davis School of Gerontology. The program addresses the challenges facing oral health care providers as the number of older persons needing dental care increases. With the evolution of care toward patients who live longer lives, graduating dentists will be better prepared to provide service to the aging population in community settings and health care facilities. See the Dentistry section for a listing of Ostrow requirements for the MS/DDS dual degree program.

Student Research Group

Dental and dental hygiene students are encouraged to become actively engaged in research projects literally from the moment they are accepted into their respective programs. Working alongside leading researchers in their field of interest, students gain invaluable experience that not only expands their knowledge and develops their skills in the laboratory, but also enhances their dental education as well. Ostrow’s Student Research Group is an organization committed to promoting cutting-edge research and cultivating interests in scientific inquiry. Consistent with the school’s learner-centered philosophy, the Student Research Group strives to help dental and dental hygiene students gain an appreciation and understanding of evidence-based dentistry established by systematic methods. Members present their research in the form of posters, abstracts and oral presentations in conferences across the country and internationally. Such meetings establish long lasting networks that advance their careers as experts and leading dentists.

Summer Dental Student Research Program

The objective of the Summer Dental Student Research Program is to provide a unique opportunity for incoming DDS students to engage in high-quality research. Students accepted into this program will be considered for additional research training and career development with the ultimate goal of nurturing them into a career in academic dentistry. The program starts in the beginning of the summer and runs until the middle of August, shortly before students begin dental school courses. Application materials are sent to all incoming DDS students. For more information, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Parish Sedghizadeh (

Research Day at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Every spring, the Ostrow community gathers to showcase the innovative research being conducted by our faculty, staff and students in the dentistry, dental hygiene, physical therapy, biokinesiology, occupational science and occupational therapy programs. This event includes invited speakers from a number of disciplines and culminates in a poster session, with awards presented to the best posters in several categories. Research Day is commemorated by The Explorer, an award-winning journal produced each year by the Ostrow Student Research Group. We strongly encourage all Ostrow researchers to submit abstracts to Research Day and share their newest discoveries with their colleagues in this inspiring event.

Winners — Research Day 2018

Winning Posters — Research Day 2018

The Explorer, Journal of USC Student Dental Research

The Explorer 2019

Dental Explorer Archives

The Explorer 2018
The Explorer 2017
The Explorer 2016
The Explorer 2015
The Explorer 2014
The Explorer 2013
The Explorer 2012
The Explorer 2011
The Explorer 2010
The Explorer 2009