Touro College of Dental Medicine Holds School-Wide Research Day

Winning Presentations Focused on Sedation in Dental Procedures and Effects of Marijuana on Periodontal Disease

May 17, 2022

Touro College of Dental Medicine held its Research Day on May 5. Months in the making, the day consisted of multiple events incorporating students, administration, faculty, and staff.

A full day of programming kicked off with a luncheon with Touro University President, Dr. Alan Kadish, followed by TCDM’s first Poster Competition organized and led by Dr. Jaffer Shariff, Director of Research and Assistant Professor of Dental Medicine at TCDM. The competition highlighted student research projects in the fields of basic science, epidemiology, and educational and clinical research. A total of 18 posters were presented by pre-doctoral students (D2-D4), showcasing the fruition of a collaboration between students and their faculty mentors.

The TCDM Research Society, created by Dr. Shariff, actively participated on this day, from helping to set up the posters, to the launch of The Journal of the TCDM Research Society, created and designed by Dr. Shariff with the help of the society members. The posters were judged by several TCDM faculty members with different fields of expertise based on standardized criteria such as, but not limited to, poster content and appearance, knowledge, involvement of the presenter in said project, and quality of oral presentation. 

"Research is the lifeline of a University and this is a big step in the development of our program," said Ronnie Myers, D.D.S., Dean of Touro College of Dental Medicine. "Through Dr. Jaffer Shariff’s encouragement and dedication, our students have engaged in research that will benefit the profession as a whole."

The following projects and presenters were the winners of the TCDM Research Day Poster Competition:

  • 1st Place: Mullar Zakher & Rachel Sebastian (DDS Candidates, class of 2024).  Conscious Sedation Drugs and Combinations Use Among Adults Undergoing Dental Procedures: Patient and Dentist Satisfaction. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  • 2nd Place: Glenn Grewal & Berel Gold (DDS Candidates, class of 2023). Association Between Frequent Marijuana Use and Periodontal Disease: A Retrospective Analysis of Dental Health Records
  • 3rd Place:  Rachel Slater, Moksha Seth, Julia Goei & Jeong Noh Lee (DDS Candidates, class of 2023). Evaluating Dental Students and Dentists’ Perspective and Acceptability of Lying to Patients

The afternoon continued with a presentation from President Kadish, who highlighted the importance of research at the university level and explained how the impressive facilities in Lovelace, Albuquerque would allow Touro to expand their investigations. TCDM’s Dr. Raquel Rozdolski and Dr. Susan DiSenso-Browne, along with fellow Dr. Alex Dorrough, discussed TCDM’s Special Needs Fellowship and provided insight as to what the program has accomplished and the need for this type of education.

The highlight of the day was speaker Rena D’Souza D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Dr. D’Souza briefly discussed the priorities of NIDCR's strategic plan for 2021-2026, as well as the infinite opportunities offered for collaborations through grants and scholarships. Throughout the presentation, Dr. D’Souza reinforced the need for research for the advancement of the profession.

The last presentations of the day were given by students who participated in the Summer Research Project with Dr. Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D., Touro's Senior Vice President of Research Affairs. This Summer Research Program is offered yearly to TCDM students who seek to improve their research skills.

Student Diana Joo said she received positive feedback about her presentation. "Research day helped me figure out the next step of my research and the direction I could aim for," said Joo. "The day wasn't just about presenting what I did, but it was also an opportunity to learn what I should focus on and learn to do better as a novice researcher."