Student Research

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Research Day

The School of Dentistry begins each year with SOD Research Day. This event presents an opportunity for the UMMC community, and students and colleagues from other institutions, to learn about the diverse types of research being done at SOD and hear a lecture by a leading scientist in dental research.

Dental students, dental hygiene students, graduate students, residents and faculty are invited to participate in poster presentations. Dental students are also eligible to compete for sponsored awards and recognition.

School of Dentistry Research Day 2024

School of Dentistry Research Day 2024, held March 5, 2024, brought together School of Dentistry predoctoral students, graduate students, dental hygiene students, summer research UPSTART participants, and faculty for a program of poster presentations, Biomedical Materials Science lab demonstrations and student research awards.

Keynote speaker Dr. Marco C. Bottino from the University of Michigan-College of Engineering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, presented his work on "Personalized Solutions for Periodontal Tissue Regeneration."

The School of Dentistry Office of Research would like to thank everyone who participated in this event. The program proceedings are below. (A copy of the printed program with abstracts is available on the School of Dentistry's intranet site.)

UMMC School of Dentistry Research Day 2024

March 5, 2024


Portrait of Dr. Sreenivas KokaDear Colleagues,

Research Day is a chance to reflect on the importance of research in advancing the clinical professions of dentistry and dental hygiene while celebrating the work of our School's selfless scientists. From ideating to hypothesizing to designing to experimenting to interpreting to concluding to presenting to publishing, the work of a research scientist is continuously challenging. The rewards come from the thrill of discovery and the joy when one's peers recognize the effort and the impact of one's efforts. So, let us celebrate our discoveries and let us recognize the efforts of our colleagues who push us forward, make us better at what we do, and improve the lives of our patients as the ultimate goal.

Sreenivas "Sree" Koka, DDS, MS, PhD, MBA, FACD
Dean, School of Dentistry

Portrait of Dr. Jason GriggsThis has been an exciting year for research in the School of Dentistry. Our H-index increased by 7% and now stands at H=58! We also submitted 27 student abstracts to research conferences, which is the largest number of submissions that I can remember our school contributing in a single year.

It is a pleasure to have Dr. Marco Bottino with us as our keynote speaker this year. He is a distinguished investigator in the areas of regenerative dentistry and 3D bioprinting. He is a dentist as well as a researcher, so take advantage of his knowledge and learn from him while he is with us.

As usual, the abstracts that we received this year are excellent, and I look forward to hearing our students and faculty present their results and discuss the scientific impact with all of you. Thank you for joining us.

Jason A. Griggs, PhD, FADM
Associate Dean for Research, School of Dentistry
Professor, Department of Biomedical Materials Science


Faculty Research Mentors
Jennifer L. Bain, DMD, MSPH, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair, Periodontics and Preventive Sciences

Lauren Bain, RDH
Instructor, Dental Hygiene

John T. Bates, PhD
Associate Professor, Cell & Molecular Biology

Gene Bidwell, PhD
Professor, Neurology

Barbara Brent, MSAH, RDH
Assistant Professor, Dental Hygiene

Elizabeth Carr, DHA, MDH, RDH
Professor and Chair, Dental Hygiene

Ravi Chandran, DMD, PhD
Associate Professor, Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery

Yuanyuan Duan, BDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor, Biomedical Materials Science
Director of Admissions

Angelia Garner, PhD, RDH
Professor, Dental Hygiene

Catherine Gatewood, RDH
Dental Hygiene Educator, Periodontics and Preventative Sciences

Jason A. Griggs, PhD, FADM
Professor, Biomedical Materials Science
Associate Dean for Research

Rohan Jagtap, DDS
Assistant Professor, Care Planning and Restorative Sciences
Amol Janorkar, PhD
Professor and Chair, Biomedical Materials Science
Director, UPSTART Program

Kartikeya S. Jodha, PhD
Instructor, Biomedical Materials Science

Sreenivas Koka, DDS, MS, PhD, FADM

Alexa Lampkin, DMD
Assistant Professor, Care Planning & Restorative Sciences

James Lott, DMD
Associate Professor, Care Planning and Restorative Sciences
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Yue F. Lu, MD, PhD
Advanced Biomedical Education

Mary Marquart, PhD
Professor, Cell & Molecular Biology

Sara Jane McCrary, DMD
Assistant Professor & Chair, Pediatric & Community Oral Health

McKenzi McQuaig, BS
Instructor, Dental Hygiene

Firas Mourad, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor, Care Planning and Restorative Sciences

Kristin Nalls, MS, PhD
Assistant Dean, Student Affairs and Inclusion, Lead Director of Admissions


Scott M. Phillips, DMD
Professor, Care Planning and Restorative Sciences, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs

Teresa Perkins, DMD
Professor, Pediatric & Community Oral Heath

Michael Roach, PhD
Professor, Biomedical Materials Science

Brittany Rogel, MSL, RDH
Assistant Professor, Dental Hygiene

Susana Salazar Marocho, BDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor, Biomedical Materials Science
Program Director, PhD in Biomedical Sciences

Reagan Spengler, RDH
Instructor, Dental Hygiene

Michelle A. Tucci, PhD
Professor, Anesthesiology

Joshua Speed, PhD
Professor, Cell & Molecular Biology

Niping Wang, DDS, PhD
Assistant Professor, Periodontics and Preventive Sciences

Kelsey Welch, BS
Instructor, Dental Hygiene

R. Scott Williamson, PhD
Associate Professor, Biomedical Materials Science
Director, Shared Equipment Facility


Presentation Judges

  • Sarah Adcock, MLIS
    Associate Professor, Academic Information Services
  • Saja A. Alramadhan, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery, Pathology
  • Michael Roach, PhD
    Professor, Biomedical Materials Science

Research Advisory Committee

  • Dr. Jason A. Griggs
  • Dr. Jennifer Bain
  • Dr. Ron Caloss
  • Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio
  • Dr. Rohan Jagtap
  • Dr. Amol Janorkar

School of Dentistry Administration

  • Dr. Sreenivas Koka
    Dean, School of Dentistry
  • Dr. Jason A. Griggs
    Associate Dean, Research
  • Dr. James R. Lott
    Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Kristin Nalls
    Assistant Dean, Student Affairs and Inclusion, Lead Director of Admissions
  • Dr. Scott Phillips
    Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs
Special thanks to The Steven James Foundation and McAlister's Deli County Line Road for sponsoring lunch. 
Manager: Taneshia Kimbrough


Lower Amphitheatre R153 – Keynote Lecture: Dr. Marco C. Bottino
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Nelson Student Union A and B – Breakfast & Poster Preparation
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Nelson Student Union C and D – Presentations & Judging

11:30 a.m. – Lunch

12:15 p.m. – Awards Presentations

Portrait of Dr. Marco Bottino

Keynote Lecturer

"Personalized Solutions for Periodontal Tissue Regeneration"

Dr. Marco C. Bottino, DDS, MSc, PhD, FADM

Robert W. Browne Endowed Professor of Dentistry

Director of Research in CRSE and Director of the Postgraduate Program in Regenerative Dentistry

University of Michigan School of Dentistry - Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Bottino is the Robert W. Browne Endowed Professor of Dentistry in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, and Endodontics (CRSE) at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry (U-M). He is currently the Director of Research in CRSE and the Director of the Postgraduate Program in Regenerative Dentistry at U-M. As a principal investigator, Dr. Bottino has received research grants related to regenerative medicine from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), several foundations, and private industry. He has received the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Centennial Emerging Leader Award and was the recipient of Young Investigator Awards from the IADR Pulp Biology and Implantology Research Groups and a prestigious Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at NIH. He also serves as the reviewer for nearly 30 journals in regenerative medicine and biomaterials and, between 2018-2023, served as a standing member of the Musculoskeletal and Tissue Engineering (MTE) study section for the NIH. Dr. Botino is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Dental Materials (ADM) and a board member. He was the 2019-2020 President of the Dental Materials Group of the IADR and is currently the President-elect of the Pulp Biology Research Group (PBRG). He has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers in drug delivery, scaffolds for pulp-dentin complex regeneration, personalized scaffolds for craniomaxillofacial bone and periodontal regeneration, and soft tissue reconstruction.

Research Opportunities at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry

Dr. Jason Griggs in the laboratory.
Griggs recognized for decades of dental materials research. Dr. Jason Griggs has devoted his career to advancing dental health by analyzing broken dental implants and prostheses and by designing better test methods. His thirst for knowledge and dedication to educating the next generation has been recognized by the International Association of Dental Researchers (IADR) with its Wilmer Souder Award.

Honors in Research Program

The Honors in Research Program (HRP) provides an opportunity for eligible students to choose advanced study in dental research or basic health science and receive recognition for their accomplishments on their diplomas and at graduation. Honors work consists of hypothesis-driven research in some aspect of dental or basic health science. Students conduct laboratory research, clinical research, or population research (e.g., improving current clinical practices, exploring controversies in dentistry, or engaging in basic and biomedical materials research) with the guidance and supervision of a UMMC faculty member.

Honors in Research Graduates – 2009-2023

Jiman Nelson, Kendra Reed Clark, Jennifer Bain, Jason Brown, Reid Lester, Kristin Balius, Curtis Caskey, Lacey Harris, Stacey Ritter, Camille Sandifer, Corey Shook, Phebe Winters, Caleb Hardman, Ambika Srivastava, Alexa Engel, Quynh Nguyen, Graham Garvey, Holly Raymond, David Spencer Remley, John Sinclair, Catie Lee Bruni, Christopher Enger, Sean Kang, Thien-Trieu Nguyen, Casey Park, Andrew Burnham, Dalton Snyder, Hunter Horton, and Landon Wilson.

School of Dentistry Intramural Research Support Program (IRSP)

The goal of the Intramural Research Support Program is to provide seed funding for research activities in the School of Dentistry. In addition to faculty, pre-doctoral students and residents who develop a faculty-mentored research project are eligible to apply for small grants to cover materials and supplies. Priority is given to those research projects which that School of Dentistry students.

Student Research Group (SRG)

The School of Dentistry Student Research Group is a branch of the American Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research (MDOCR) National Student Research Group (NSRG) and is composed of students committed to research and the advancement of further education. Goals of the organization are to expose students to various student research projects, aid in the application process for residencies to dental specialties, and to encourage student participation in dental research. Meetings allow students to share and evaluate ongoing research projects within the School of Dentistry.

Student Research Group Officers for 2023-2024

  • President - Tamara Vujanovic
  • Vice-President - Mary Agnes Mestayer
  • Treasurer - Jacob Fortenberry
  • Secretary - Dutton Day
  • Graduate Student Advocate - Laura Alberto
  • Dental Student Advocate - Colton Terrell
  • Dental Student Advocate - Paul Savage
  • Faculty Advisor - Susana Salazar Marocho, PhD, MS, DDS
Michael Bierdeman poses with two gentleman while holding a certificate.
Congratulations to D3 student Michael Bierdeman on delivering the top research presentation in North America at the 2023 Hinman Symposium! Dental students gather every year at the historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN for a weekend of research presentations. Michael's presentation was chosen as the "Most Outstanding" among all who participated in the continental conference. Michael's research mentors are Jennifer Bain, John Bates, and Michael Garrett.

"Prevalence of Fusobacterium Nucleatum Among Various Periodontal Disease Severity States"
Michael A. Bierdeman, Charlie G. Cook, Kaitlin A. McNeely, Jennifer L. Bain, John T. Bates

Undergraduate and Professional Student Training in Advanced Research Techniques (UPSTART) Program

The UPSTART Program provides an opportunity for eligible dental, dental hygiene, pre-dental, pre-graduate, and high school students to be involved and trained in research at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. The program is designed to initiate students in research by pairing them with research mentors, teaching general laboratory safety, and instilling essential research skills through hands-on learning. The research experience is provided under the mentorship of a dental faculty member actively engaged in research throughout the summer. The program promotes the teaching of the students in the design and successful implementation of research projects through a didactic seminar series, hands-on laboratory research, and peer-judged research presentations. The students can present their research findings as an oral seminar in the "UPSTART Symposium" organized at the end of the UPSTART program. Additionally, the students are expected to present the research performed during the UPSTART program and progress since the following School of Dentistry Research Day. Since its inception, 275+ students (dental students, undergraduates, and high schoolers) have benefited from this program.

For information, contact:

Indoor group shot 2023 UPSTART program participants with their faculty mentors stanning at the intersection of two flights of stairs.
2023 UPSTART program participants with their faculty mentors.


Research Awards & Honors at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry

A student explains her presentation poster to an onlooker.
Base Pair student Anabel Morgan won first place at SHRP Research Day for her poster presentation: "Dental Implant Stability Quotient in Simulated Bone of Varying Quality" – Anabel O. Morgan, Rose M. Jose, Megha Satpathy, Kartikeya S. Jodha, Firas Mourad, Jason A. Griggs. Anabel started the experiment as a junior at Murrah High School and graduated in May 2023.

2023 AADOCR/Dentsply Sirona Student Clinician Research Award – Paul Savage and Colton Terrell were the MDOCR/ Dentsply Sirona Student Clinician Research Award winners. They were chosen to represent the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry during the annual SCAD A Award Program and Reception, which is typically held during the AADOCR Annual Session.

2023 Ivoclar Vivadent People's Choice Award – 2023 PhD student Aya Ali was presented this award for making the best presentation at the annual SOD Research Day chosen by UMMC Faculty, staff, and her peers.

2023 Hinman Student Research Award – Michael Bierdeman received this award and was chosen to represent UMMC at the 2023 Hinman Student Research Symposium in Memphis, TN. The symposium was held in November at the historic Peabody Hotel.

Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Research Award of Excellence – The OKU Research Award of Excellence is presented to the dental student who makes the finest presentation at the annual SOD Research Day. This award comes with a $250 cash prize that is sponsored by the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society. The 2023 winner of this award was Logan Pitfield.

2022 Quintessence Award for Research Achievement - Catherine Lee Bruni received the School of Dentistry Quintessence Award for Research in 2022. Bruni received this honor for her many combined achievements in research during her time in the DMD program. She presented her research at the 2018 and 2019 University of Mississippi School of Dentistry Research Day and the 2019 IADR /CADR Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Vancouver, Canada. Bruni served as President of the Student Research Group and capped off her dental student career by graduating with Honors in Research in 2022.

Mississippi Academy of Sciences – Amisha Rarekh from the Biomedical Materials Science Department was recognized during the 2023 MAS Summer Science & Engineering Symposium held in Starkville, MS. Amisha, a PhD student in the Biomedical Materials Science Department, gave a three-minute thesis presentation that won her first Prize statewide.

Portraits of Purva Rasane and AMUB Mahfuz
We are excited to welcome new Biomedical Materials Science PhD students! Pictured left to right: Purva Rasane and AMUB Mahfuz.
Portrait of Amisha Parekh
Congratulations to Amisha Parekh on her 1st Prize state-wide win at the 2023 MAS Summer Science & Engineering Symposium! Her three-minute thesis presentation titled, "Titanium Anodization to Form Hydroxyapatite and Tricalcium Phosphate Combination Surfaces," is impressive because there was a lot of data she could not present because her research mentor is planning to patent their research.

Faculty Excellence in Research (as of December 31, 2022)

Bold print signifies an NIH Early Stage Investigator.

Cumulative Publications
1Sreenivas Koka117
2Jason Griggs88
3Amol Janorkar81
4Yuanyuan Duan63
5Michael Roach56
6Scott Williamson31
7William Buchanan30
8Susana Salazar Marocho29
9James Fitchie27
9Niping Wang27
10Bulem Tutunculer26
Cumulative Hirsch-Index
1Sreenivas Koka28
1Jason Griggs28
2Amol Janorkar25
3Yuanyuan Duan16
4William Buchanan15
4Michael Roach15
6Jennifer Bain12
6Bulem Tutunculer12
7Ron Caloss11
8Susana Salazar Marocho10
8Niping Wang10
8Scott Williamson10
9James Fitchie9
Annual Publications
1Sreenivas Koka7
1Yuanyuan Duan6
2Rohan Jagtap6
3Jason Griggs5
3Amol Janakar4
4Pia Chatterjee Kirk3
5Susana Salazar Marocho3
5Michael Roach2
5Elizabeth Carr1
5Alexa Lampkin1
5Niping Wang1
UPSTART Student Mentoring (2008-2023)
1Amol Janokar2046
2Jennifer Bain2816
3Michael Roach1316
3Jason Griggs1316
4Yuanyuan Duan1117
5Susana Salazar Marocho187
6Rohan Jagtap131
7Mitch Hutto59
8Steve Magee46
8Scott Williamson46
9Elizabeth Carr5

Portrait of Kartikeya JodhaWelcome to the School of Dentistry

Kartikeya Jodha, PhD

Instructor, Biomedical Materials Science

The School of Dentistry is proud to announce the addition of new faculty member and 2021 graduate of Department of Biomedical Materials Science, Dr. Kartikeya Jodha. Dr. Jodha is joining the Department of Biomedical Materials Science as an Instructor.

Portrait of Jaccare Jaurequi-UlloaCongratulations, Jaccare Jauregui-Ulloa on your 2023 Academy of Dental Materials (ADM) Student Travel Award! Each year, the Academy chooses one student from North America for excellence in research in Dental Biomaterials Research.

Title: "High-power Laser Irradiation Produces Morphological Changes in Ultra-translucent Zirconia" - Authors: Jauregui-Ulloa J, Griggs J, Salazar S.

Also congratulations to Jaccare on her second first-author manuscript, which was accepted by the International Journal of Prosthodontics without any reviewer comment.

Research Day 2023

Lecturer: Dr. Richard Price

Dr. Richard Price poses with plaque. Dr. Jason Griggs is to his left.Dr. Richard Price speaking with an overhead projector bihind him displaying scientific illustrations.
Dr. Richard Price standing at a podium. Dr. Jason Griggs is to his right speaking.
Dr. Jason Griggs poses with five graduate students.
A student points out an item on a presentation poster as three other students look on.A graduate student explains a presentation poster to Dr. Scott Rodgers and Dr. Natalie Gaughf.