Dr. Shatha Bamashmous, a PhD candidate in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Health Sciences, has been named a 2016-17 University of Washington Magnuson Scholar, the UW has announced.
Dr. Bamashmous, who already holds a bachelor’s degree in Dental Medicine and Surgery from King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was one of six recipients selected for the $30,000 award, which is one of the UW’s highest. In 2013, she received her specialty certification in periodontology from the UW and is now a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.
The recipients, one from each of the UW’s Health Sciences schools, are selected for their academic performance and potential contributions to research in the health sciences.
Since 2014, Dr. Bamashmous has been an instructor in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontics, where she teaches pre-doctoral students. From 2008 to 2009, she was also a clinical instructor in periodontics at King Abdul-Aziz University, where she ranked first in her dental graduating class.
Her previous honors include the 2012 Richard Kao Basic Science Research Award from the California Society of Periodontists, and she was finalist in the 2013 Volpe International Periodontal Competition of Periodontists and in the Research Forum Poster session at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Academy of Periodontology.
Dr. Bamashmous’ current research focuses on the migration of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that makes up a key component of the immune system. Understanding this key host protective mechanism in healthy gum tissue can translate into clinical applications by providing gum health diagnostic tests, she said.
“My long-term goal is to be a leader in the field of periodontics, and I believe the knowledge and research experience I gained during my training at the University of Washington will help me achieve my goal,” she said. After she obtains her PhD, she said, she will join the dental school’s periodontics faculty at King Abdul-Aziz University.
“Working in an academic environment will give me the opportunity to make a difference by conducting meaningful research, teaching in a dynamic atmosphere and serving community needs through providing excellent clinical care,” she said.
“I’m extremely gratified that the Magnuson Scholars selection committee has chosen such a deserving candidate,” said Dean Joel Berg of the School of Dentistry. “These awards give a valuable boost to the young researchers like Dr. Bamashmous who will be making transformative breakthroughs in oral health science in the years ahead.”
The Magnuson Scholars program honors 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.