Student Research

Summer Scholars Research Program

The ECU School of Dental Medicine provides selected dental students in each incoming class with unique, in-depth research experiences through the Summer Research Scholars Program. Accordingly, dental students are introduced to evidence-based decision-making by participating in the research process. This program allows incoming dental students to conduct research under the close mentorship of faculty investigators from the SoDM and other Health Sciences schools, colleges, institutes, and centers. The objective of the program is to provide School of Dental Medicine students with the tools they will need to develop and answer questions through research.

The program trains students to identify research questions, design a research study that sufficiently answers the specific question, analyze, and interpret data in a meaningful way, and effectively present the results for the broadest possible impact. Students will discuss and receive regular feedback regarding their projects and learn how to create an abstract and poster presentation from their original work.

The Summer Research Scholars Program starts annually around June 1 and continues through mid-August with the beginning of the fall term. Incoming students must apply to the program and are selected on the basis of enthusiasm and goals. Previous research experience is not a requirement. Selected Research Scholars are matched with faculty mentors and receive funding for their project along with a summer stipend. Research Scholars are required to present a poster of their project at the ECU Brody School of Medicine Research Day (August 2023) and the SoDM Celebration of Research and Scholarship (CORAS, February 2024).

Previous Research Scholars have gone on to present their research at national and international meetings, including the Hinman Dental Meeting, American Dental Association, National Dental Association, American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research, and International Association for Dental Research.

Research Scholars and projects from Summer 2023 included:

  • Abdullah Amer (Class of 2027): Assessment of oral self-care level among ECU-SoDM students
  • Liam Hopfensperger (Class of 2027): CBCT Analysis of Nasal Cavity and Nasopalatine Canal Anatomy in Relation to Maxillary Incisors
  • DaQuan Mebane (Class of 2027): Angiotensin II-stimulated Oxidative stress in H9C2 cells and the influence of Angiotensin 1-7 on the expression of Angiotensin II receptor 1
  • Joshua Williams (Class of 2027):  2-Amonoimidazole incorporated into Acrylamide-based Adhesive-Biofilm inhibition and Biostability

The deadline for applying to the 2023 Summer Scholars Research Program is April 10, 2023. Applications (i.e., letter of intent and curriculum vitae) can be sent to Ms. Lisa Finch, Office Manager, Research at Questions regarding the program or application process can be directed to Dr. Alexandre Vieira, Associate Dean for Research at

Student Research Group

The Student Research Group (SRG) is the School of Dental Medicine’s student organization that encourages and fosters dental student participation in research and scholarly activities. Through fellowship, awareness, and meetings, we help interested students enrich their dental education through research experiences and discussion. It is our goal to impart the importance of science and research to our community to improve patient care and our participation in the field of dentistry. We want to help fuel the desire for life-long learning that epitomizes our profession. The SRG is affiliated with the National Student Research Group, one of 20 scientific groups that comprise the International and American Associations for Dental Research.

If you are currently interested in conducting a research project and enriching your experience as a dental student, whatever the year, please contact the Office of Research staff at 252-737-7227 or Dr. Ramiro Murata, SRG Faculty Advisor at 252-737-7228 or

Student Research Group Officers and Faculty Advisor

  • Kyu Lee, President
  • Richard Van Gurp, Vice President
  • Liam Hopfensperger, Secretary
  • Ramiro Murata, DDS, MS, PhD
    SRG Faculty Advisor

Richard Van Gurp, Kyu Lee, Dr. Ramiro Murata, and Liam Hopfensperger