University of Alabama (UAB) School of Dentistry students Julia Pham and Bhumika Patel took first and second place, respectively, in the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) ePoster Competition held virtually earlier this year.
Pham is a third-year DMD student whose research journey began with the school’s Pre-DART Program. As an undergraduate at UAB, she also worked in the school’s research office.
“I had a research class for my bachelor of science in biomedical sciences (BMD) degree and thought it would be a great opportunity to fulfill the class requirements while I am right here at the heart of dental research,” said Pham.
Pham’s mentor, Dr. Hope Amm, introduced her to the research topic of tumors. Pham said she was intrigued by how the amelobastoma tumor could be related to teeth.
“As time went on, I understood it on the cellular and developmental level,” Pham said. “It made me think about the benefits this research could bring to our community.”
Pham’s AGD presentation was titled “Ameloblastoma Imaging in vivo with Intraoperative Fluorescent Detection.”
Patel, a fourth-year student, was mentored by Dr. John Burgess and Dr. Nathaniel Lawson. She presented “Shear Bond Strength to Silver Diamine Fluoride Treated Dentin.”
“I heard a lot about Dr. Burgess’ research and asked him to give me an opportunity to study silver diamine fluoride under his mentorship,” said Patel.
“My objective was to measure and compare the shear bond strength of composite resin to carious dentin before and after treatment with a silver diamine fluoride and potassium iodide (SDF+KI),” she said.
Patel presented her research at the school’s annual Scholars Symposium in March.
“After I took first place at the symposium, my poster was accepted for presentation at the AGD and International Association of Dental Research conferences,” she said.
“I am honored to be among the few to win an AGD student award, and I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Burgess for his guidance throughout the research process,” Patel said.
Pham said she is thankful for the opportunity to present her project in the AGD competition. Having recently become president of the Alabama AGD student chapter, she thought it would be a good opportunity to get involved nationally while showcasing her research.
“UAB has given me an amazing opportunity to be involved in dental research that has a significant impact in the community. All credit goes towards the guidance of Dr. Amm and the amazing support system I’ve had over the years,” said Pham.
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