APEX Students Give Oral Presentations on Dental Research

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APEX presenters with their faculty mentors, Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, Associate Dean for Research Dr. Maria Kukuruzinska, and Assistant Director of Pre-doctoral Research Afaf Hourani

On August 15, 2014, DMD 17 students presented their research to an audience of Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) faculty and fellow students as a part of their APEX (Applied Professional Experience) rotation. The outstanding APEX presentations explored a variety of topics and allowed for students and faculty to engage in a conversation about the challenges of dental research.

The APEX program is a unique learning opportunity offered by GSDM which integrates classroom learning with hands-on experience. This program is designed to give dental students the opportunity to engage with practicing dentists and primary investigators in a professional setting. In the first year of their APEX rotation, students have the option of participating in diverse research programs available at GSDM. They can spend two days in research training and three days in their APEX clinical assignment. Alternatively, they can spend three days in research training under the Intensive Research Elective Course IREC1 and two days in their APEX clinical assignment. After the completion of their research training, APEX students present their findings.

This year’s presentations encompassed a variety of research questions to be answered. While some students gathered data on oral diseases and molecular mechanisms, others queried patients chairside. But, as stated by APEX presenter Monica Schmidt DMD 17, all of the research conducted at GSDM shares the common goal of improving patient care.

This year’s presentations were given by the following DMD 17 students: Jobren Dingle, Grace Hinnawi, Jaegak Kim, Alex Nguyen, Monica Schmidt, Michael Whitcomb, and Garrett Wingrove.

Dean Hutter had this to say about the event, “I would like to commend our APEX students for their excellent presentations.” He continued, “The research they presented was thought provoking and reflective of the high standards we hold here at GSDM. I would also like to thank the faculty mentors for their support and guidance and Dr. Kukuruzinska and Ms. Hourani for their support of the GSDM APEX Research Program.”

Following the APEX Presentations, the Student Research Group (SRG) held a meeting, presided over by Isha Suri DMD 15, to vote on two vacant positions. GSDM’s SRG is a chapter of the National Student Research Group (NSRG), which is sponsored by the American Association for Dental Research. The outcome of this year’s elections named Mohamed Bayoumy DMD 16 as vice-president, and Michael Whitcomb DMD 17, as treasurer of the SRG. Matthew Green DMD 15, secretary of the SRG, was appointed as the New England region’s AADR NSRG Regional Representative for a second year.