Second-Year Students Present Virtually at 2022 Research Day

Research Elective Offers First-Year Students Benchside Education in PTSD, Diabetes, and More

January 27, 2022
Dental students presenting their research virtually
Students presented their research virtually during TCDM's 2022 Research Day.

In the summer of 2021, as the program has run every year since TCDM’s inception, eight students joined research teams studying topics including the role of the microbiome in post-traumatic stress disorder, Lyme disease testing, and pulmonary hypertension, as well as various other scholarly research topics.

"Participating in research is a great way for students to learn how to critically evaluate medical literature, a skill that will benefit them in private practice," Dr. Salomon Amar, Vice Dean of Research, says. Each year, First-year dental students elect to forgo their only summer off throughout dental to participate in the program.

Andrew O'kula, whose research topic was titled Improving Diagnostic Tests for Lyme Disease, says he plans to continue research in the field of dentistry in the future. "I believe, as future healthcare professionals, it is important to be at the forefront of the ever-changing landscape of health science. Research allows all of us the opportunity to be involved in helping to improve healthcare in the present and future. TCDM offers so many opportunities for research and I plan on taking full advantage."

Xinyuan Yang, whose topic was STAT4 Regulates The Development of AD-like Synaptic Pathology in the Conditions of Type 2 Diabetes and Atherosclerosis with mentor Dr. Patrick Stanton says she hopes to encourage future TCDM students to participate in the program. "I learned that I relish the team atmosphere of working in a lab. I was shown first-hand the importance of actively working as a team to develop a plan; and Dr. Stanton instilled a sense of confidence and appreciation for his team member, which made all the difference in our personal interactions and motivated everyone to do their best."

The Class of 2024 presented their research virtually to an audience that included their mentors, TCDM faculty and staff, and fellow TCDM students on January 5th.


Summer Research Program participants include:

Christopher Arens & Anish Cheriyan, Gut Microbiota as a potential regulator of Anxiety-like behavior in the Single prolonged stress animal model of PTSD. Mentor: Dr. Esther Sabban

Eric Davis & Jonathan Espinosa, BMPR2 Stabilization by MMP9-COMP in Pulmonary Hypertension. Mentor: Dr. Michael Wolin

Andrew O’Kula, Improving diagnostic tests for Lyme Disease. Mentor: Dr. Paul Arnaboldi

Rachel Sebastian, The additive effects of acute severe stress and traumatic brain injury on post-traumatic stress disorder and post-traumatic epilepsy. Mentor: Dr. Jana Veliskova

Pei Hung Shen, UCHL1, a potential target for improving response rate of Lung Cancer’s Anti-PD1/PDL1 therapy. Mentor: Dr. Dazhong Xu

Jawad Tamimi, Infantile Spasms. Mentor: Dr. Libor Velisek

Shaaf Rezaee, Babesiois, an emerging tick borne disease. Mentor: Dr. Dana Mordue

Xinyuan Yang, STAT4 regulates the development of AD-like synaptic pathology in the conditions of T2D and atherosclerosis. Mentor: Dr. Patric Stanto