News at One Kneeland: May 2017

Tufts Dental makes a run for it

The 2017 Boston Marathon took place on April 17. Two members of the Tufts Dental community participated this year. Natalie Pinckney, D15, DG17, was one of only 34 runners on this year’s Tufts Marathon Team. The Tufts Team ran to raise money to support nutrition programs at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, including research on childhood obesity, through the school’s partnership with health insurer John Hancock. Additionally, Micho Pilotte, practice administrator for clinical affairs, ran her sixth and final Boston Marathon this year as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.

Alum to receive honorary degree

Tufts President Anthony Monaco recently announced the honorary degree recipients for this year’s Commencement Exercises. Among the recipients is Bruce Baum, D71, and former member of the dental school’s Board of Advisors. Baum is a pioneering dental researcher and clinician, renowned for his innovative work involving gene transfer strategies aimed at improving the quality-of-life for many oral cancer and other dry-mouth patients by repairing damaged salivary glands. Baum also campaigns to increase the relevancy of biological science in dental education and the development of strong critical thinking and investigative skills among dental students. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science during Commencement, set to take place on May 21. Read more about Tufts Commencement and the honorary degree recipients.

MRSP participants include Tufts student

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Andrew Lum, D19, a prestigious fellowship to participate in the 2017-2018 Class of the NIH’s Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP). The MRSP is committed to supporting the next generation of physicians, dentists, and veterinarians in research. Andrew will spend a year at the NIH learning about research working under an experienced scientist.

Highlights from ADEA 2017

Many dental students, faculty members, and administrators took part in the 2017 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Annual Meeting, which took place March 18 – 21 in Long Beach, California. Yun Saksena, associate professor in comprehensive care and director of predoctoral clinical education, was named the Chair of the ADEA Section on Educational Research and Development of Curriculum. She co-presented a seminar titled “The Practice of SoTL and Implications on Faculty Advancement,” presented a poster “Transitioning to Clinic: Diving In Versus Sliding In,” and two talks, “Clinical Teaching by Big Brothers/Sisters” and “Learning Through Faculty Book Groups.” Ellen Patterson, assistant professor in comprehensive care and director of interprofessional education, was elected as an officer of the Behavioral Science Section. She will begin a three-year term as Secretary, the Chair-elect and Chair over the following two years. Nadeem Karimbux, professor in periodontology and associate dean of academic affairs, presented “Peer Review Essentials” on March 20. Participants also had a chance to celebrate at this year’s ADEA Gies Awards. See photos of TUSDM at the Gies Awards. 

Making their voices heard on Capitol Hill

Students and faculty members from the American Student Dental Association traveled to Washington, D.C. March 26 – 28 for the American Dental Association’s Student Lobby Day. The annual event allows dental students from across the nation to lobby on issues related to student loan debt and increasing public access to dental care. During the two-day event, dental student attendees met with members of congress, and had the opportunity to network and learn from experienced advocates.

Spotlighting innovation and ‘TALENT’ 

The Teaching and Learning in an Environment of New Technology (TALENT) Committee hosted their first Spotlight on Faculty Innovation event on April 19. The informal event featured faculty and staff presentations on innovative ideas. The committee also introduced the “Innovation Wall,” an area where faculty and staff can share their ideas around innovation in dentistry and dental education. See photos from the event. 

International collaboration

The Department of Periodontology welcomed Miha Pirc, a general dentist with the vocational training program at the University Hospital Ljubljana Dental Hospital in Slovenia, to the dental school. Pirc had worked with Irina Dragan, DG15, assistant professor in periodontology, during a two-week visit at the dental school in July 2016. The two co-authored a study that appeared in the April issue Compendium, “The Key Points of Maintenance Therapy for Dental Implants: A Literature Review.” 

Straumann awards research grant

The Straumann Foundation recently awarded a research grant to Irina Dragan, DG15, assistant professor in periodontology, Nadeem Karimbux, professor in periodontology and associate dean of academic affairs, and Pooyan Refahi, DG15, DG18. The grant is for their collaborative project “Accuracy and Perception Evaluation of a Dynamic Navigation Implant Study: A Pilot Study.” The grant is for nearly $10,000 in materials and financial support.

Dental student places in New Ventures Competition

The Tufts 100K New Ventures Competition took place on April 5 and 6, celebrating entrepreneurship among the Tufts community. Among the winners of the competition was UCHU, created by Saam Bozorg, D19, and his teammates Daniel Weinstein, E18, Camila Menard, E18, and Noah Hill, E20. The team developed UCHU, which is a biosensor attached to a tooth that passively measures nutrition intake, including calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. The idea received honorable mention at the Tufts 100K New Ventures Competition, and the Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize.

Advocacy for pediatric dentistry

Several Tufts Dental colleagues traveled to Washington, D.C. in March to advocate on behalf of the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). David Tesini, D75, DG77, AG79, adjunct faculty member in pediatric dentistry, Hubert Park, D11, DG14, MG14, and Derek Leung, DG17, were in the capital to speak about the importance of oral health for children.

Awards and Honors

  • Dina Al-Tayeb, DG02, DG04, a visiting faculty member in periodontology and member of the Tufts Dental Board of Advisors, was elected as a charter trustee for the Board of Tufts University and as a member of the advisory committee in the American Academy of Periodontology. Her elections were announced in March.
  • Pamela Yelick, AG89, professor in orthodontics and director of the Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics, received the IADR Isaac Schour Memorial Distinguished Scientist Award on March 22.
  • Yong Hur, DI12, DG08, DG08, assistant clinical professor in periodontology, received an educational grant from the Osteology Foundation to participate n in the 2017 Osteology Research Academy in Bern, Switzerland. The focus is training in histology methods that he can apply to his regenerative studies at Tufts.
  • Athena Papas, J66, G91P, A97P, A04P, the Dr. Erling Johansen, D49, Endowed Professor in Research and head of the Division of Oral Medicine, was named an Honorary Diplomate by the American Board of Oral Medicine. She received diplomate status on April 7.
  • Xiaofang Zhu, a postgraduate fellow working with Jake Jinkun Chen, DI09, professor in periodontology, was selected a finalist in the AADR Unilever Hatton Divisional Awards.

Publications and Presentations

  • The Journal of Periodontology published a study by Andrew Lum, D19, Yumi Ogata, DI15, DG11, assistant professor in periodontology, Sarah Pagni, instructor in the Division of Biostatistics and Experimental Design, and Yong Hur, DI12, DG08, assistant clinical professor in periodontology. The study is “The Association Between Sinus Membrane Thickness and Membrane Perforation in Lateral Window Sinus Augmentation: A Retrospective Study.”
  • Jason Berglund, D18, was awarded for a project on fibrous dysplasia and scoliosis at the International Conference in Children’s Bone Health in Wurzberg, Germany. The conference will take place this June.
  • Sam Shamardi, D07, was interviewed in the Winter Issue of Dental Entrepreneur.
  • Zuhair Natto, DG15, DG16, adjunct faculty member in periodontology, and Natalie Jeong, D97, DG00, assistant professor in periodontology, recently had a manuscript accepted by the Journal of Periodontology. The study is “Efficacy of Collagen Matrix Seal and Collagen Sponge on Ridge Preservation in Combination With Bone Allograft: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.”