Dentsply Sirona and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) have announced the winners of the 2020 Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and Its Application (SCADA) Awards. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sixty-first annual competition and awards were conducted virtually.
All dental schools in the United States were invited to nominate a student to participate in the research competition in one of two categories: Clinical Science and Public Health Research and Basic and Translational Science.
Participants submitted a complete portfolio to review to an international panel of judges, including electronic copies of their research posters, slide presentations, and videos of their oral presentations. Research projects were submitted by 51 student clinicians, and seven outstanding award winners were selected.
SCADA aims to strengthen dental research by supporting young professionals in their research while offering an opportunity for them to network with clinicians and scientists from all over the world as they develop their skills and advance their careers, the organizers said.
“Dentsply Sirona is proud to support the talented next generation of dental leaders at the beginning of their careers. The competition entries are so impressive with their high level of research and the students’ professionalism,” said Dr. Teresa A. Dolan, vice president and chief clinical officer at Dentsply Sirona.
“SCADA is dedicated to advancing science and enriching the professional development of dental students. This mirrors Dentsply Sirona’s purpose to empower dental professionals and improve oral health worldwide,” said Dolan.
“We are thrilled to support these future dental leaders in collaboration with the AADR, and we look forward to partnering with these dentists throughout their professional lives,” said Dolan.
“Congratulations to all participants in this year’s SCADA program who made a significant commitment to developing and presenting their research projects virtually. They quickly adapted to challenging circumstances and did an amazing job preparing their virtual research presentations!” she said.
Patrick E. Donnelly of the University of Pittsburgh won first place in Clinical Science and Public Health Research for his research, “Acellular Hydrogel Regenerates Vascularized Tissue in Root Canal Therapy.”
Kathryn Teruya of the University of Missouri Kansas City took second place for “Changes in Dental Student Empathy During Training.” Taylor Robertson of the University of Detroit Mercy was third for “Spectral Analysis of One-Shade Nanofilled Resin Composites Under Different Lights.”
Tanner Godfrey of the University of Alabama at Birmingham won first place in Basic and Translational Science for “BAF45A Mediated Chromatin Landscaping Controls Bone Formation.”
Tied for second place, Blake LaTendresse of Creighton University was recognized for “Testing Immunogenic Peptides Against Candida Albicans,” and Eric Mullins of the University of Nevada Las Vegas was saluted for “Comparative Expression of Exosome-Derived Dental Pulp Stem Cell (DPSC) MicroRNAs.”
Third place was awarded to Madison Aungst of the University of Colorado for “A Flow Cytometer Protocol for Quantifying Microbes in Dental Waterlines.”
“Thank you for moving forward with the virtual competition. It would have been nice to all be together, but I think the virtual presentation was a lot of fun!” said Donnelly.
“Thank you so much for this opportunity. I was disappointed when it was announced that the [AADR] conference in DC was cancelled, so it was good news to hear the SCADA competition would continue online,” said Mullins. “This was a great event, and I’m glad I was able to participate.”
The SCADA Board of Directors also presented five awards recognizing leaders in dental research and academics. SCADA provides fellowship funding to promote continued scholarship and help support graduate education.
Postdoctoral students Dr. Nisarg Patel of the University of California San Francisco and Dr. Lauren Katz of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received Henry M. Thornton SCADA Fellowships.
SCADA also awarded the ADA Foundation/Dentsply Sirona Research Award for Dual Degree Candidates to Dr. Joy Kirkpatrick, DMD/PhD candidate at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Dr. Pandu Gangula of Meharry Medical College received the Burton C. Borgelt/SCADA Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Rada Sumareva, a periodontist in private practice and longtime SCADA judge, received the Alan J. Davis/SCADA Achievement Award. Dr. Yoko Ishida-Okumura of the Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences in Japan was recognized with the SCADA Past President Award for her service to the SCADA Board of Directors.