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School holds COVID-themed virtual Research Day

Eric Xu was selected as the winner of the School of Dentistry’s annual student research competition in conjunction with the school’s annual Research Day this week. Xu, a second-year student who was mentored by Dr. Sumita Jain  and Dr. Diane Daubert of the school’s faculty, was recognized for his study titled “Veillonella demonstrates increased biofilm growth when exposed to titanium particles.”

As winner of the competition, judged by the school’s Research Advisory Committee and the Student Research Group, Xu received a $200 scholarship from the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honor society. He will also represent the school in the American Association for Dental Research/Dentsply Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research in 2022.

John Scott
Dr. John Scott

Classmates Isabelle Hwang, mentored by Dr. Tracy Popowics, and Kevin Xu, mentored by Dr. Dan Chan, were selected as the second-place and third-place winners respectively and will receive $150 and $100 scholarships.

The winning students and the competition’s other entrants participated in the school’s Summer Research Fellowship Program (SURF), which is funded by the University of Washington Morell Endowment and the UW Dental Alumni Association. SURF gives School of Dentistry students a stipend and allowance for expenses to pursue research under faculty supervision.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Research Day, conducted on Zoom, was a marked departure from previous years, which featured research poster presentations in the Health Sciences lobby. Instead, presentations were delivered virtually, as were faculty talks. The theme of the event was “How research and evidence inform the future of dentistry in the post-pandemic world.”

Dr. John Scott, Professor of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the UW School of Medicine, gave the keynote address. Dr. Scott, who is Medical Director of UW Digital Health, spoke on “The effect of the COVID-19 epidemic on telemedicine and teledentistry: Looking to the future.”

School of Dentistry faculty speakers included:

  • Daniel Chan, Chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry: “COVID-19 pandemic research opportunity: restorative dentistry perspective”
  • Jacqueline Wong, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Oral Medicine: “Telehealth at the UWSOD during COVID-19 and beyond”
  • Mark Drangsholt, Chair of the Department of Oral Medicine: “Can telehealth advance dentistry?”

Fourth-year research elective dental students gave video presentations, as did graduate students and SURF students.