Erik Harriman DMD 14 gave a keynote speech at the 2013 American Dental Association (ADA) Annual Session October 31–November 3 in New Orleans as the winner of the ADA/DENTSPLY Student Clinician Research Program.
He presented, “Characterization of Wdr72 Knockout Rats, Causative Gene for Amelogenesis Imperfecta,” completed for GSDM Science Day 2013 under the guidance of mentors Yoshio Ohyama and Yoshiyuki Mochida in the Department of Periodontology.
Ameliogenesis imperfecta—the hypomaturation of enamel—is triggered by a mutation in the Wdr72 gene. The gene was discovered in 2009.
“Our lab is the first in the world to have a knockout of this animal,” Harriman says. “We have replicated the disease in an animal model and that’s important not only because there is hope of helping people who have this disease, but this gene may also give us more insight into how teeth develop.”
Harriman says of his time in New Orleans, “I had an excellent trip and got to meet a lot of great scientists. It will be especially helpful in my attempt to get into an oral & maxillofacial surgery residency.”
On Friday, December 6, 2013, Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter and Associate Dean for Research Maria Kukuruzinska met with Harriman to congratulate him on his participation in the ADA Annual Session.
Dean Hutter said, “On behalf of myself and Dr. Kukuruzinska, we are proud to have had Mr. Harriman represent our School on a national level and help share the excellent research that he and others are undertaking at GSDM.”