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Student research excellence displayed at dental convention

February 8, 2018 — 

The College of Dentistry’s 2018 Research Day was held on Jan. 26 at the RBC Convention Centre in conjunction with the Manitoba Dental Association’s annual convention.

Dr. Anthony Iacopino, dean of dentistry, said he is proud each year to see students and faculty present their findings at a convention attended by hundreds of oral health professionals.

“It recognizes the prominent place of the College of Dentistry in producing new knowledge and new techniques for the practising community,” Iacopino said. “It brings our research right into the heart of where the practitioners are.”

Three students received awards for their research posters after presenting them to judges Dr. Larry Levin, president of the Canadian Dental Association, Dr. Corey Sul, newly elected president of the Manitoba Dental Association, Dr. Raj Bhullar, associate dean (research) at the College of Dentistry, and Dr. James Gilchrist, professor of oral biology.

The poster winners were:

  • Vivianne Cruz, a master’s student in oral biology, studied the DNA of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. She found that a genotype that makes certain people react strongly to bitter-tasting foods may be associated with this form of arthritis.
  • Muna Bebsh, a master’s student in oral biology, compared the effects of different surface treatments on four kinds of ceramic used in tooth restorations.
  • Maryam Dadashi, a PhD student in oral biology, studied a gene that influences the virulence of a bacterium that causes infection in people with compromised immune systems or cystic fibrosis.

Two students won awards for their oral research presentations:

  • Tara Kennedy, a resident in pediatric dentistry, studied the association between body mass index and severe early childhood tooth decay.
  • Shelley Tang, a fourth-year dentistry student who is also earning her bachelor of science in dentistry degree, analyzed Manitoba dentists’ views on providing care to residents of long-term care facilities.

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