Touro College of Dental Medicine Hosts First-Ever School Wide Research Day

On Thursday, May 5, 2022, Touro College of Dental Medicine held its first-ever school wide Research Day. Months in the making, the day consisted of multiple events involving students, faculty, administration, 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.

“Research is the lifeline of a university and this is a big step in the development of our program,” said Ronnie Myers, D.M.D., Dean of Touro College of Dental Medicine. “Through Dr. Shariff’s encouragement and dedication, our students have become engaged and through this engagement, the Touro College of Dental Medicine will advance the research agenda.”

A total of 18 posters were presented by pre-doctoral students (D2-D4). These projects all embody 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, and involvement of the presenter in said project, and quality of their oral presentation.

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

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

The highlight of the day was speaker Rena D’Souza D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., and Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Dr. D’Souza briefly discussed the priorities of NIDCR 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 dental profession and healthcare overall.

The afternoon continued with presentations from President Kadish, who highlighted the importance of research at the University level for the betterment of Academia, and explained how the impressive facilities in Lovelace, Albuquerque would allow Touro to expand in their investigation. TCDM faculty, 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 to supply the high demand.

The last presentation of the day was the Summer Research Project of selected students, led by Dr. Amar. This Summer Research Program is offered yearly to TCDM students who seek to improve their investigation skills.

Photos from Research Day can be found here.

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