Dr. Philip Walczak and Teddy Dong took first place in the Graduate Trainee and Summer Research Fellowship (SURF) Oral Presentation competition respectively this year at the School of Dentistry’s first in-person Research Day since the pandemic began.
Dr. Walczak, who was mentored by Dr. Cecilia Giachella, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Oral Health Sciences and the most recent recipient of the Magnuson Scholar Award. His winning presentation was on his study titled “Slc20a2 Expression Regulates Hard Tissue Development.”
Dong, a second-year student, took part in the SURF program, which offers an opportunity for School of Dentistry pre-doctoral students to work on a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Dong was mentored by Dr. Andrea Burke, and his winning project was titled “Influence of Gender on OMS Applicants’ Recommendation Letters.” Dong will present at the Dentsply/Sirona Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Competition, which takes place during the 2024 American Academy of Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) annual meeting.
Dr. Walczak and Dong each received a cash prize sponsored by the AADOCR Seattle Section and Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society.
Dr. Rena D’Souza, Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, gave the day’s keynote speech, titled “Oral Health for All: Realizing the Promise of Science.” Her talk was preceded by brief remarks from Dr. Mari Ostendorf, UW Vice Provost for Research, and Dean André Ritter. Dr. D’Souza was followed by presentations from Drs. Fritzie Arce-McShane, Ana Lucia Seminario, and Cameron Randall of the school’s faculty.
Dr. Sieu Yien (Ashley) Chiam, mentored by Dr. Albert Chung, and Dr. Courtney Hill, mentored by Dr. Christy McKinney, won second and third place respectively in the Graduate Trainee Oral Presentation competition. Second-year students Mini Lin and Katie Gustafson, both mentored by Dr. Peggy Lee, took second and third place in the SURF competition. Lin also took home the 2023 Jack Nichols Award.
Second-year student Wolfgang McClelland, mentored by Dr. Fritzie Arce-McShane, received the Research Advisory Committee Travel Award, given to the SURF student with the best paper. Katie Gustafson took second place.