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Third-year student Teddy Dong takes third place in national research competition

At the 53rd American Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA last month, third-year student Teddy Dong received third place in the Dentsply Sirona AADOCR Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application (SCADA) Clinical Science/Public Health Research category.

Teddy DongThe SCADA is an annual student research competition that invites only the No. 1 student researcher from each U.S. and selected international dental schools. It is highly competitive and an honor to receive third place, says Dong.

“When Dr. Donald Chi appointed me to compete in SCADA on the Research Day in 2023, I was unaware of the competition,” said Dong, “but as I learned the history and heritage behind SCADA, I became excited, nervous, and determined to compete in it.”

Dong competed with his project titled “Influence of Gender on OMS Applicants’ Recommendation Letters,” which he completed during his time in the Summer Research Fellowship program back in 2022. Over the past year he’s presented in local and national competitions, revising his presentation through critiques from sharp minds in the field.

“I reflected on the comments I received after each formal presentation to improve, and it felt great to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone,” said Dong, who credits Drs. Jonathan An, Peggy Lee, Greg Huang, Daniel Chan, and Albert Chung from the School of Dentistry with impactful insight.

Since its inception in 1959, the SCADA competition and award program have gained widespread international recognition. In total the SCADA has engaged over 7,000 undergraduate dental students from 39 countries.

Dean Ritter congratulates Teddy after receiving the SCADA award.
Dean Ritter congratulates Teddy after receiving the SCADA award.

“I am so proud of Teddy for placing third in the SCADA competition,” said Dean André Ritter. “This was the first time a student from the UWSOD has won a SCADA award, which speaks to Teddy’s hard work and dedication towards not only his own development as a dental student, but as a representative of our school on the national stage.”

As presentation competitions come to a close for his SURF project, Dong has a new, community driven project in mind moving forward. “My next goal is to give back to the UW School of Dentistry student community with the experience and knowledge I have gained through my journey,” said Dong.

Geared towards students who are preparing for Research Day and national competitions in the future, Dong plans to establish research presentation workshops at the School. These workshops would help further the School’s research heritage and create a sense of camaraderie where students can prepare for presentations together.

“The UWSOD community is so incredibly proud of Teddy and his internationally-recognized research accomplishments highlighted in New Orleans,” said Dr. Chi. “Teddy is a shining example of the high caliber work that results from scientific collaborations between School of Dentistry faculty and students. I look forward to Teddy’s continued scholarly contributions to the profession.”

Dong thanks Drs. Andrea Burke, Thomas Dodson, and Jasjit Dillon for their support in his research. “I also want to thank Dr. Coldwell, Dr. Anna Forsyth, Dr. Chi, and the UWSOD Office of Research for their invaluable assistance arranging this prestigious competition experience.”