Ophthalmology faculty wins 'southern' distinction; MAS honors SOD presentations; dentistry students garner research awardsPublished on Thursday, March 12, 2020SECOI selects UMMC ophthalmology faculty for ‘southern’ award AttarDr. Roya Attar, UMMC assistant professor of ophthalmology, has been named the 2020 Young Optometrist of the South by the Southern Educational Congress of Optometry International.Each year, the award goes to an optometrist in the Southeast who has been practicing no more than 10 years and who has made significant contributions to the profession of optometry and the general public.Beyond her professional accomplishments, Attar has volunteered with various nonprofit organizations and has served as a vision screening volunteer for high school athletes and for employees at the Mississippi State Capitol.“I am beyond grateful to be selected as the recipient of this remarkable honor,” Attar said. “I have always believed that being an active member of my profession and community leads to being a better physician and citizen.”Attar received her Doctorate of Optometry from the Rosenberg School of Optometry in 2013. She has double Bachelor of Science degrees (biology and chemistry) from the University of Memphis and an M.B.A. from the College of Business at the University of Pikeville in Kentucky, where she helped found the Kentucky College of Optometry.She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the American Optometric Association, the Mississippi Optometric Association and the Mississippi Public Health Association.In 2018, Attar became the first faculty optometrist to be hired at UMMC in the Department of Ophthalmology. She provides clinical services as well as training and lectures for ophthalmology residents.“I was responsible for the selection of the person to fill this newly created position, and choosing Roya was one of the best decisions I have made as chair,” said Dr. Kimberly Crowder, UMMC associate professor of ophthalmology and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. “Dr. Attar is loved and praised by her patients, staff and colleagues. She is a woman with solid ethics, principles, and one who understands the importance of fostering relationships to move forward.”Presentations by SOD faculty, students earn MAS prizesThree presentations given by School of Dentistry faculty and students recently won prizes in the Physics and Engineering Division at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences Conference in Biloxi.Megha Satpathy, Ph.D. student in biomedical materials science; Dr. Yuanyuan Duan, assistant professor of biomedical materials science; Dr. David Felton, School of Dentistry dean; and Dr. Jason Griggs, chair of biomedical materials science, earned first place for the oral presentation, “Validating the Accuracy of Micro-computed Tomography in Implant Measurement and Screening of Significant Implant Design Parameters.”Katia Weber, visiting Ph.D. student from the University of Passo Fundo; Dr. Daniel Meneguetti, professor at the University of Passo Fundo; Dr. Paula Benetti, professor at the University of Passo Fundo; Griggs; and Dr. Marcia Borba, professor at the University of Passo Fundo, received first place for the poster presentation, “Influence of the Type of Piston Material on Glass-ceramic Fatigue Behavior.”Kadie Nobles, a Ph.D. student in biomedical materials science; Dr. Pallabi Pal, postdoctoral research fellow in biomedical materials science; Dr. Amol Janorkar, professor of biomedical materials science; and Dr. Randall (Scott) Williamson, assistant professor of biomedical materials science, collected third place for the oral presentation, “Evaluation of the Pre-Osteoblastic Cell Response on Hydroxyapatite Coated PEEK and Titanium Alloy Surfaces.”Three dentistry students receive Research Day honorsA trio of School of Dentistry students received awards during the schools annual Research Day event March 3.The School of Dentistry’s Research Day provides an opportunity for students and other members of the UMMC community to hear about the research being done at the school and to hear a lecture by a leading scientist in dental research. This year’s speaker was Dr. Sharukh Khajotia, associate dean for research and head of the Division of Dental Biomaterials at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry.BruniA study by Catie Lee Bruni, D2, “Photocatalytic Activity of Silver-enhanced Crystalline Titanium Oxide Coatings,” won the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Award and the American Association for Dental Research Award. Bruni will receive $250 from the local OKU chapter and will travel to Boston, Massachusetts in March 2021 to represent the school in a national competition. AllenA study by Katelyn Allen, D3, “Resolution Effect on the Fractal Dimension of Simulated Fracture Surfaces,” won the AADR/DentsplySirona Student Clinician Research Award. Allen’s name will be affixed to a plaque outside the SOD’s fifth floor bench lab and she will travel to Boston, Massachusetts in March 2021 to represent the school in a national competition. NguyenA study by Thien-Trieu Nguyen, D2, “Color Changes of Y-TZP Ceramics after Gas Fluorination,” won the Hinman Student Research Award. Nguyen will travel to Memphis, Tennessee in late October/early November 2020 to represent the school in the Hinman Student Research Symposium.