Students changing the future of oral health through research
At this year’s 31st annual Clinic & Research Day, current and prospective students, as well as post-grad residents, presented more than 100 posters covering a variety of oral sciences research topics, including oral biology, regenerative science, clinical translation and community-based studies. The event was a great opportunity for students to learn, network and present their hard work to advance knowledge in the oral sciences.
“Presenting at Clinic & Research is extremely rewarding, especially as a pre-dental student,” said Polina Gubareva, an undergrad in biological sciences, psychology and pre-dentistry. She’s also in the UIC Honors College and is vice president of the UIC Pre-Dental Club.
“Not only did I get to proudly present my work to classmates and faculty, but I also learned how to synthesize a whole year of work into a poster and five-minute presentation.”
Visitors from other colleges and fellow classmates and faculty spent a half-day at the College of Dentistry, where dozens of students transformed the fourth and fifth floors into the annual research event.
Research occurs at the college from the “bench to the chairside” (and the reverse) — to accelerate diagnostic and interventional therapies in not just dentistry, but also other medical fields. Clinic and Research Day allows the postgraduates, students and their faculty mentors to share their research with the dental and medical communities.
“We have an amazing group of very talented researchers here, covering a wide range of interests in the basic, behavioral, clinical, and applied sciences,” said Dr. Lyndon Cooper, associate dean for research at the UIC College of Dentistry.
Dental scientists training across disciplines
Several of the students who presented are working on a dual degree, the DMD/Ph.D. as part of the College’s Multidisciplinary Oral Science Training (MOST) Program. The MOST program offers several tracks for both undergraduate and graduate/post-graduate researchers, including a Ph.D. program and a combined DMD/Ph.D. program, and a postdoctoral fellowship. MOST fellows gain valuable knowledge through independent multidisciplinary research projects with close faculty mentorship combined with an innovative clinical training curriculum.
The program allows students flexibility in designing independent tracks that match their research interests. Having this program at UIC — a Carnegie level-1 public research university — and within the College of Dentistry gives students unique access to patients and state-of-the-art resources. There is also the opportunity to find mentors and collaborators, and even take classes across the entire university.
“Graduates from the MOST program will be highly qualified to pursue either clinical, scientific or academic career paths. With the strong foundation they receive in both clinical practice and fundamental science, they could choose to become a practitioner, an academic professional, or even become an advisor to industry or government,” Cooper said.
Read more about the Clinic & Research Day on the College of Dentistry blog.