Research Day

Research Day is an annual event for our students, residents, and faculty to interact and discuss their research accomplishments. Held in conjunction with the Annual CCTS Spring Conference, the event provides an excellent opportunity for our students to engage with students in other disciplines. Students are invited to prepare poster or oral presentations on their research. Their posters are judged and awards are presented.

Click on a year below to see award recipients.


Graduate Students

3rd Place, Meagan Tallman, Division of Orthodontics, “3D Analysis of Facial Soft Tissue Changes After Slow Maxillary Expansion”

2nd Place, Sabrina Beiring, College of Social Work, “Interdisciplinary Care Model for Dental Patients”

1st Place, Emory Byrd, Division of Orthodontics, “Dentoalveolar Expansion using Invisalign: Analysis using Cone Beam Computed Tomography”


Undergraduate Students

3rd Place, Angela Postula, “Periodontal Disease Treatment and the Influence of Diabetes” 

2nd Place, Drew White, “Dental Health Accessibility in Kentucky: An 18-year Comparison”

1st Place, Sophia Wildermuth, “Diet-Related Chronic Health Conditions and Oral Health Status in Kentuckians”


Dental Students

3rd Place, Robert Payne, “Characterizing Oral Health Status of Individuals Taking Buprenorphine”

2nd Place, Caitlin Beach, “Interdisciplinary Approach to Treat a Partially Edentulous Patient”

1st Place, Jooyong Cho and Linzie Goble (Pre-Dental Student), “Evaluation of reproducibility and reliability of 3D soft tissue analysis using 3D stereophotogrammetry”


Graduate Students/Residents/Externs/Postdoctoral

  1. Dr. Mohamed Adel, Division of Orthodontics, Subclinical Facial Asymmetry: Normal Variation or an Early/Subtle Indication of Hidden Pathology?
  2. Manuela Miguel, Center for Oral Health Research and Periodontics, with Dr. Mauto Santamaria, Collagen Matrix Associate with iPRF to Treat Gingival Recession
  3. Dr. Jordan Marsh, Pediatric Dentistry, with Dr. Perez, Physical Activity As It Relates To Dental Decay 

Undergraduate Students

  1. Rooz Ghaddafi with Gonzalez Lab, Effect of PLA2-IIA in Human Subgingival Oral Microbiome
  2. Danielle Bellamy with Gonzalez lab, Effect of Phospholipase A2 group IIA (PLA2-IIA) in Alveolar Bone Loss
  3. Anna McWhorter, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, With Dr. Grubbs from College of Nursing and Dr. Plasencia with the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition- Blood pressure measurements negatively associated to areas of deprivation in Kentucky

DMD Students

  1. Nicholas Ragland DS3, BMI and Dental Development Compared to Chronological Age in Females of Different Ethnic Groups
  2. Sarah Haerle DS3, What are the Effects of Orthodontic Movement on the Periodontium? A Critical Review of the Current Literature
  3. Sydney Gordon, DS1 with Gonzalez lab, Antimicrobial effect of Metronidazole-loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles


Post-DMD Category 
Case Report/Table Clinic/Review
1. Meagan Tallman, Mohamed Adel, Emory Byrd, A Look at the Factors Causing Orthodontically Induced External Apical Root Resorption (EARR)
2. Linda Sangalli, Low Dose Naltrexone for Treatment of Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Case Report
3. Stephanie Judge, Hypnosis for the Treatment of Unresponsive Post-Traumatic Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain: A Case Report
Clinical/Basic Science
1. Christopher Fanelli, Determination of Impacted Permanent Maxillary Canine Position Using a Single Panoramic Radiograph
2. Ivan Huynh, COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Effects on Kentucky Medicaid Pediatric Access to Dental Care
3. TIE:  
  • Abdo Ismail, The Clinical Impact of L-PRF, H-PRF, or the Use of a Surgical Stent on Palatal Donor Site Healing
  • Hunter Hazle, The Impact of Beverage Choice on Early Childhood Caries in Kentucky
Undergraduate/Dental Students
1. Sydney Gordon, Anti-inflammatory properties of Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles loaded with Quercetin
2. Madeline Dunn, The Association of Fruit and Vegetable Intake on Blood Pressure Measurements and Hypertension Diagnosis in Wellness Clinic Patient Population
3. Anna McCowan, Social Vulnerability in Oral Health Care Utilization
National Representation
  • Anna McCowan will be attending the 2023 AADR/Dentsply Sirona Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application (SCADA) program to be held in Portland, Oregon, in March 2023.
  • Jon Petrie and Ryan White will be attending the 27th Hinman Student Research Symposium to be held in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 2022.


Graduate Category

  • First Place Tie – Ryan Garbarino: Reliability of Mixed Dentition Space Analyses in a Hispanic-American Population  | Shelby Sheeran: The Validity of a User-Friendly 3D Voxel-Based Maxillary Superimposition
  • Second Place (Oral presentation) – Mohamed Adel: Association Analysis of Genetic Markers with Class II Division 2 Malocclusion
  • Third Place (Oral presentation) – Linda Sangalli: Telehealth Increases Access to Treatment for Brief Behavioral Interventions in a Tertiary Orofacial Pain Clinic

Undergraduate Category

  • First Place – Emma Boyd: Expression analysis of S100A8 in gingival tissues from sPLA2-IIA Transgenic mice  
  • Second Place – Sydney Gordon: Evaluation of Anti-microbial and Anti-inflammatory properties of MSNPs
  • Third Place  – J. Kim & Elizabeth Le: Correlations Suggesting Periodontal Disease Perpetuates Societal Disadvantages

Post-doc/Jr Faculty Category

  • First Place – Sreenatha Kirakodu: Oral microbiomes of healthy children & adols. from different racial backgrounds
  • Second Place – Rubelisa Oliveira: Differential Analysis of Inflammatory Mediators between two races.
  • Third Place  –  Courtney Brown: The Kentucky Oral Health Innovation Initiative (KOHII)


Information on Research Day 2020 can be found here


View Abstracts (PDF).   

Graduate Student/Resident/Extern
Basic and Clinical Research Category

  • First Place – Divakar Karanth; Orthodontics (Mentor – David Puleo) “Developing and evaluating piezoelectric scaffold for alveolar bone regeneration”
  • Second Place – Ryan Rubino; Periodontics (Mentor – Craig Miller) “Post-Operative Bleeding Associated with Antiplatelet and Anticoagulant Drugs: A Retrospective Study” 
  • Third Place – Firas Al-Yafi; Periodontics (Mentor – Mohanad Al-Sabbagh)  “Open Barrier Ridge Preservation with Leukocyte Platelet Rich Fibrin Plug: A Clinical, Radiographic, and Histomorphometric Study” 

Case Reports & Reviews Category 

  • First Place –  Alex Kluemper, Ryan Garbarino and Shelby Sheeran, Orthodontics (Mentor – Mohamed Bazina) “CBCT Imaging in Orthodontics: A New Standard of Care?” 
  • Second Place – Amripal Kullar, Orofacial Pain (Mentor – Isabel Moreno-Hay) “Trigeminal Neuralgia in a 32-Year-Old-Female with Chiari Malformation: A Case Report”
  • Third Place – Priya Jayaraman, Orofacial Pain  (Mentor – Jeff Okeson) “Use of CBD Oil for Pain Management in Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Case Report “

DMD Students
Clinical /Basic Research Category   

  • First Place - Aneesha Laungani DS3 (Mentor – Dave Jensen) “Touchscreen Interaction Provides Increased Retention for Children Receiving Oral Hygiene Instruction”
  • Second Place – Chad Davidson  DS2 (Mentor – Robert Danaher) “Epac Contributes to Orofacial Pain after Trigeminal Nerve Injury in Mice”
  • Third Place - Dave Jensen DS4 (Mentor – Lina Sharab) “Cephalometric Analysis Assessing the Validity of Ala-tragus Line While Establishing the Occlusal Plane in Edentulous Patients”

Post-Doctoral/Research Scientist

  • First Place – Vanessa Tubero-Alves  (Mentor – Octavio Gonzalez) “Regulation of oral bacteria-induced CCL20 secretion in epithelial cells involves miRNAs”
  • Second Place -  Fayrouz Bazina  (Mentor – Stephanos Kyrkanides)  “TGF-β1-Induced Phenotypic Changes on Oral Epithelial Keratinocytes”
  • Third Place – Liping Zhang  (Mentor – Robert Danaher)  “Evaluation of Highly Selective mPGES-1 Inhibitor, UK4b, as a Non-addictive Pain Medication for Orofacial Pain“



View Abstracts (PDF).   

Graduate Student/Resident/Extern Clinical Translational/Basic Research

  • First: Brittany Camenisch; Periodontics (Mentor – Octavio Gonzalez) “Phospholipase A2-IIA Expression Levels Associated with Oral Health, Gingivitis, and Periodontitis”
  • Second: Steven Litwin; Periodontics (Mentor – Dolph Dawson) “Bacterial Profiles of Newly placed Implants in Patients following Periodontal Treatment”
  • Third: Katie Gibson; Orthodontics (Mentor Lorri Morford) “Genetic Association Analysis of Novel Markers on Chromosome 17 with Dental Agenesis”

Graduate Student/Resident/Extern Case Reports/Literature Review 

  • First: Divakar Karanth, Jeryn Jacob and Carli Loss; Orthodontics (Mentor – Lina Sharab) “Expedited Orthodontic Tooth Movement Modalities”
  • Second: Kayla Newton; Pediatric Dentistry (Mentor – Cristina Perez) “Restorability of Primary Teeth with SDF on Deep Carious Lesions”
  • Third: Alexander Krisko; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Mentor – Melvin Yeoh) “Total Joint Replacement for Proliferative Synovitis: A Case Report “

DMD Students Clinical Translational/Basic Research

  • First: Aneesha Reddy DS3 (Mentor – Cristina Perez) “The implication of orally administered Erythritol to patients with Early Childhood Caries following full mouth dental rehabilitation (FMDR)”
  • Second: Dan Ritchey DS3 and Erin Pilling DS2 (Mentor – Dolph Dawson) “Periodontitis correlations to Societal Disadvantages: A retrospective analysis”
  • Third: Dave Jensen DS3 (Mentor – Octavio Gonzalez) “Gingival Expression of Neuropeptides during periodontal disease in Non-Human Primates”

DMD Students Case Reports/Literature Review

  • First: Karah Brown DS4  (Mentor – Ahmad Kutkut) “Full Mouth Implant-retained Prostheses for a Patient with Marfan Syndrome”
  • Second: John Ledford DS4  (Mentor – Steven Tucker) “3D Printed Tooth Supported Surgical Guide for Multiple Implant Placements: A Case Report”
  • Third: Joseph Parker DS3  (Mentor – Ahmad Kutkut) “Peri-Implantitis: Etiology, Treatment Modality, and Clinical Case report “

Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship “1-Minute Pitch Your Poster”

  • First: Dave Jensen DS3 (Mentor – Octavio Gonzalez) “Gingival Expression of Neuropeptides during periodontal disease in Non-Human Primates”

Honorable Mention - Undergraduate Students

  • Abigail May (Mentor – Octavio Gonzalez) “P. gingivalis Modulates Oral Epithelial Cell Antimicrobial Responses Through Group IIA Phospholipase A2”
  • Ning Yeh, (Mentor – Robert Danaher) “Brainstem EPAC Contribute to Orofacial Mechanical Hypersensitivity after Trigeminal Nerve Injury in Mice”


View Presentation Abstracts (PDF)      

Graduate Student/Resident Clinical Research

  • First: Ishita Bhavasr; Periodontics (Mentor: Dr. Mohanad Al-Sabbagh) “Biomarkers Associated with Peri-Implantitis and Response to Surgical Therapy”
  • Second: Mohamed Rezk; Periodontics (Mentor: Dr. Ahmad Kutkut) “Immediate Loading of Unsplinted Implant Retained Mandibular Overdenture: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Study”
  • Third: Amber Adkins; Pediatric Dentistry (Mentor: Dr. Christina Perez) “The Effects of n Animal-Assisted Therapy Dog in Reducing Children’s Anxiety in a Dental Setting”

Graduate Student/Resident Translational Research

  • First: Sudha Gudhimella; Orthodontics (Mentor: Dr. Sarandeep Huja) “Skeletal Anchorage in a Rat Model of Orthodontic Tooth Movement (OTM)”
  • Second: Anastasia Kozal/Amal Alfaraj; Periodontics (Mentor: Dr. Octavio Gonzalez) “P. gingivalis Activates Notch-1 in Human Oral Epithelial Cells”
  • Third: Michael Rectin; Oral Surgery (Mentor: Dr. Steven Tucker) “Teeth in a Day: A Case Report”

DMD Students

  • First: Nash Laungani; DS2 (Mentor: Dr. Robert Danaher) “HDAC Inhibitors Attenuate the Development of Hypersensitivity in a Mouse Model of Orofacial Neuropathic Pain”
  • Second: Steve Haverkos; DS4 (Mentor: Dr. Galal Omami) “Variation in Grey-Scale Intensity for Hard Tissue Landmarks by CBCT”
  • Third: David Jensen; DS2 (Mentor: Dr. Mohanad Al-Sabbagh) “Factors Influencing the Referral of Dental Implant Patients: The General Practitioner’s Perspective”
  • Fourth: Alex Kluemper; DS3 (Mentor: Dr. Sarandeep Huja) “Rate and Type of Tooth Movement in Rats Under Low Orthodontic Force”

Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship "2-minute Pitch Your Poster" Competition

  • Ahmad Al-Attar (Co-Investigator: Dr. Octavio Gonzalez) “Modulation of epithelial Chemokine Responses by Oral Commensal Bacteria” was awarded first place.
  • David Jensen, DS2 (Mentor: Dr. Mohanad Al-Sabbagh) “Factors Influencing the Referral of Dental Implant Patients: The General Practitioner’s Perspective” received the Directors Award for Passion and Enthusiasm.


View Poster Presentation Abstracts (PDF)      View Oral Presentation Abstracts (PDF)

Graduate Student/Resident Translational Clinical Research

  • First: Tyresia White, Periodontics (mentor: Gonzalez) – Epithelial cell death is differentially induced by commensals and pathogens
  • Second: Ishita Bhavsar, Periodontics (mentor: Al-Sabbagh) – Biomarkers associated with peri-implantitis and response to surgical therapy
  • Third: Ashley Betz, Orthodontics (mentors: Hartsfield/Morford) – Genetic association of GHR and IGF-1 with facial growth

Graduate Student/Resident Applied Clinical Research

  • First: Samer Faraj, Periodontics, (mentor: Al-Sabbagh) – Comparison of amnion chorion and bovine collagen membrane for socket bone augmentation: A clinical and histological study
  • Second: Rebecca Parr, Pediatric Dentistry (mentor: Turner) – Capnography for patient monitoring during moderate sedation in pediatric dentistry
  • Third: Pratishtha Mishra, Orofacial Pain (mentor: Okeson) – Effects of intraoral administration of onabotulinumtoxin A in intractable persistent dentoalveolar pain: A case series.

Case Reports 
(This recognition was recommended by the judges based upon the caliber of the presentation. Next year CRD will add this as a routine category for presentation)

  • Eric Mencarelli, OMFS (mentor: Curtis) – Reconstruction of oral commissure defect: radial forearm free flap.

DMD Students

  • First: Nate Reuter, DS2 (mentor: Miller) – Dentistry and fatal outcomes: A systematic review. (Dentsply Award)
  • Second: Ashwin Ravisankar, DS4 (mentor: Kutkut) – Stability and crestal bone changes around implants immediately loaded for mandibular overdentures: A randomized controlled study
  • Third: Alexandria Maxson, DS2 (mentor: Hasan) – HIV testing in dental practices, is it practical? (ADA Research Conference) Nashwin Laungani, DS1 (mentor: Dawson/Aalboe) – Physical and psychological impact of periodontitis on perpetuation of negative factors for the underprivileged. (Hinman Conference)


View Poster Presentation Abstracts (PDF)      View Oral Presentation Abstracts (PDF)


  • First: Lee Zamos (Mentor: Kutkut) - Immediate Loading of Unsplinted Implant Retained Mandibular Overdenture: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Clinical Study
  • Second: Bradley Skelton (Mentor: Morford) – Progress Report: Co-Factors and Genetic Markers Influencing the Dual Occurrence of Ovarian Cancer and Dental Agenesis [ADA/DENTSPLY Student Clinician Research Program]
  • Third: Mike McQuinn (Mentor: Cunningham) - Predicting Outcomes of Open Joint TMJ Surgery [ADA Foundation Colgate Dental Students’ Conference on Research]
  • Fourth: Mike Rechtin (Mentor: High) - Chronic Trigeminal Pain Induces pERK Expression in the Spinal Cord [Hinman Student Research Symposium]

Graduate Students (Clinical/Translational)

  • First: Lucy Wachs (Mentor: Kluemper) - Comparison of Skeletal Classification, Facial Convexity, BMI, AHI, and Genetic Variants Among Sleep Apnea Patients
  • Second: Jonathan Francis (Mentor: Huja) - Screw Diameter and Orthodontic Loading Influence Adjacent Bone Response
  • Third: James Vellis (Mentor: Al-Sabbagh) - Xenogenic Collagen Matrix to Increase the Zone of Keratinized Mucosa Around Implants

Graduate Students (Basic/Applied)

  • First: Nathan Johnson (Mentor: Miller) - Rapid Assessment of Periodontal Disease using Salivary MMP-8 in a Lateral Flow Chromatography Device
  • Second: Fernando Exposto (Mentor: High) - Catechol-O-methyltransferase Inhibition Alters Pain and Anxiety-Related Volitional Behaviors Through Activation of β-adrenergic Receptors in the Rat
  • Third: Sudha Gudhimella (Mentor: Huja) - Effects of ageing and periodontitis on bone-related gene expressions in oral mucosal tissues in nonhuman primates
Make a Gift Your gifts help support the academic, research and patient care missions of the UK College of Dentistry. Make a gift now.