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Ostrow School’s Research Day unites faculty, students

Event features presentations at Galen Center

by Beth Newcomb

More than 130 Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC students, residents, postdoctoral fellows and faculty members presented research during the school’s 2014 Research Day held on March 12 at the Galen Center.

Participants also competed for various awards, attended three keynote lectures and took part in topic-specific discussion groups as part of the school’s annual scientific celebration. The event is the largest student-focused research showcase at USC, bringing together dentistry students and faculty as well as individuals from the Divisions of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

“Research Day is always an exciting time for the Ostrow School of Dentistry,” said Dean Avishai Sadan. “It provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty members to share and learn from the immense amount of scientific investigation taking place within the school.”

Associate Dean of Research Yang Chai said the Ostrow School was proud to be a part of USC, an elite research institution, and contribute heavily to its collective scientific excellence.

“USC emphasizes the preparation of its students to become leaders in fields such as science and health care,” Chai said. “Our students and postdocs are among the best in the nation, with research published in top-tier journals.”

Shawn Ebrahimpour  and Moshe Eizdi

Shawn Ebrahimpour and Moshe Eizdi present their project poster at Research Day. (USC Photo/BethNewcomb)

Chai also announced that this year’s Research Day was dedicated to Harold Slavkin, former dean of the Ostrow School and renowned dental researcher, who will be retiring from the school in June.

The day’s keynote speakers included University of Michigan School of Dentistry Dean Laurie McCauley, whose talk was titled “Parathyroid Hormone Drives Bone Regeneration: Maneuvering Between Cellular and Clinical Aspects;” Scott Fraser, Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at USC, with “Imaging Cellular and Molecular Dynamics of Embryonic Development”; and Christopher Powers, associate professor of biokinesiology and physical therapy at USC, who spoke on “Mechanisms of Patellofemoral Joint Dysfunction: What Have We Learned Over the Last 20 Years?”

Nora Ghodousi, who joined Aaron Kang on his research project regarding senior dental students’ comfort with pediatric dentistry, said participating in scientific investigation is a great way for students to get themselves primed for improving their knowledge and skills throughout their career after graduation.

“You want to do whatever will help you be a better learner and a better practitioner,” she said.

Shawn Ebrahimpour, whose project explored the use of microCT techniques to compare craniofacial structures in mice, said conducting research as a student will help him keep up with the latest knowledge when he becomes a practicing clinician.

“Research gives you a much broader perspective,” he said.

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