April 9, 2015

Dr. Atriya Salamati named UW Magnuson Scholar

Dr. Atriya Salamati, a PhD candidate in oral biology at the School of Dentistry, has been named a 2015-16 University of Washington Magnuson Scholar, one of the UW’s highest awards.

The six annual recipients – one from each of the UW’s Health Sciences schools – are chosen for the $30,000 award on the basis of academic performance and potential contributions to research in the health sciences.

Dr. Atriya Salamati

Dr. Atriya Salamati

Dr. Salamati, who earned her DDS at the UW in 2013, is pursuing a doctorate in oral biology in the School of Dentistry’s DDS/PhD program. Her research project involves measuring tooth mobility both in health and in periodontal disease. It could eventually help clinicians develop a prognosis and establish treatment plans for children and adults who are prone to diabetes, periodontal disease, and other conditions leading to loosened teeth.

“I am extremely grateful and honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award,” said Dr. Salamati, who was notified of the award on her birthday. “This generosity inspires me even more to work harder toward my goals to further research in health sciences. I look forward to a day that I can give back and support young scientists.”

“We’re tremendously proud of Atriya,” said Dean Joel Berg. “The dentist of the future will be a true clinician-scientist, and she has already begun to embody that ideal.”

Dr. Susan Herring, who is Dr. Salamati’s research mentor, said, “Atriya has impressed all of us with her persistence and intelligence in pursuing these difficult experiments.”

After she earns her PhD, Dr. Salamati said, she would like to pursue a residency in pediatric dentistry. Eventually, she hopes to take up a career in academic dentistry while also providing patient care and performing research.

After growing up in Iran, she moved with her family to New York after she finished high school. The family eventually moved to Seattle, where Atriya and her younger sister, Nayrika, attended community college and then the UW, where they also received their dental degrees in the same graduating class.

The Magnuson Scholars program commemorates the late Sen. Warren G. Magnuson of Washington, a leading advocate of biomedical research who played a key role in establishing the National Institutes of Health, Medicare and Medicaid. He is also the namesake of the UW’s Magnuson Health Sciences Center.