Dr. Mohammad Assaggaf Wins GSDM Dean’s Award on Scholars Day

Dr. Mohammad Assaggaf
Dr. Mohammad Assaggaf

On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Boston University (BU) held its annual Scholars Day (formally BU Science and Engineering Day) in the 808 Gallery at 808 Commonwealth Avenue. The winner of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s (GSDM) Dean’s Award was Mohammad Assaggaf ORAL BIO 13.

Dr. Assaggaf presented his doctorate degree project, “Development of a Phenytoin-Induced Gingival Overgrowth Mouse Model.” His advisor was Dr. Philip Trackman, Professor in the Department of Periodontology & Oral Biology.

A side effect of phenytoin treatment –used to treat epilepsy– is that half of the patients will develop gingival overgrowth. The project objective was to establish a novel phenytoin-induced gingival overgrowth (PIGO) mouse model by continuous administration of phenytoin to mice. Results indicated that they developed a novel PIGO mouse model in which drug administration is continuous so other forms of drug induced gingival overgrowth (DIGO) in-vivo models may be developed following the same study design. As a result, these new models will provide tools to monitor the temporal cellular and molecular relationships in DIGO in-vivo and will permit evaluation of novel therapeutic approaches.

“It was a privilege attending and participating in Scholar’s Day, and receiving the Dean’s Award was truly an honor,” said Dr. Assaggaf. “I would like to thank Dr. Philip Trackman for his guidance and support throughout my degree years in his lab, my secondary advisor Dr. Alp Kantarci from the Forsyth Institute, and all our lab members and the members of the Periodontology and Oral Biology department for their help and kindness.”

Dr. Assaggaf was also recognized at the Science Day 2013 Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 9 in the Hiebert Lounge, and the Scholars Day 2013 Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 23 in the BU Photonics Center’s Colloquium Room.

“Congratulations to Dr. Assaggaf for receiving the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s Dean’s Award this year,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “His project underscores the importance of research at our School, and its impact on the future of dentistry.”