Fall convocation focuses on research

The School of Dental Medicine kicked off the 2015-2016 academic year with a convocation entitled A Celebration of Research and Scholarship held at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.

In his remarks to faculty, students, staff, and residents working in Greenville and at Community Service Learning Centers across the state Dean Greg Chadwick said, “Today’s celebration is another inaugural event for our dental school. It is the first time we have focused on research and scholarship on the first day of our academic year.”

Dr. Chadwick remarked on the 34,000 square foot research facility under construction on the fourth floor of Ledyard E. Ross Hall. “We now take another step in fulfilling our promises,” he said. “As the university begins the new facility, we will significantly add research infrastructure to the already existing three pillars of our dental school: education, service and research.” The research facility is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.

The event’s keynote speaker, Thomas C. Hart, DDS, PhD, director of the Volpe Research Center at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, emphasized the importance of research to the future of dentistry as he spoke on “Genetic Testing for Dental Practice: Hype, Reality and Clinical Utility.”

A juried poster exhibition of faculty and student research followed the convocation. Student researchers Jessica Shamberger (D1), Matthew Moore (D1), and Kristen Eguren (D2) were selected to represent the school at conferences in the future.

Jessica Shamberger will represent the school in the Student Clinician – ADA (SCADA) competition at the ADA’s 2016 Annual Conference. Her participation will be funded by the ADA/Dentsply Student Research Clinician Program. Shamberger presented “Experience with Dental Emergency Department Visits.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Sharon Gordon, associate dean for research at the School of Dental Medicine.

Matthew Moore will attend the Hinman Student Research Symposium, a student-focused national meeting featuring presentations by dental students and graduate trainees from dental schools across North America. Moore presented “Evaluation of Protein Biomarkers to Identify Human Testicular Cancer Subtypes.” Moore’s faculty mentor is Dr. Christopher Geyer, assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology at the ECU Brody School of Medicine.

Kristen Eguren was selected to present at the American Dental Association Foundation’s Dental Students’ Conference on Research, and she will participate in the Scientific Session at the ADA’s 2015 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, in November. Her trip will be funded by the ADA/Dentsply Student Research Clinician Program. Eguren will present “Influence of Physical Activity During Pregnancy and Child Periodontal Health.” Her research mentors include Dr. Linda May, assistant professor of anatomy and Dr. Chris Cotterill, division director of pediatric dentistry.