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Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology
Student Research

LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD) provides students with an opportunity to conduct independent research in biomedical or clinical fields as they relate to oral health. Research topics include composite and restorative materials, inflammation and infectious disease, periodontal disease and regeneration, craniofacial wound healing and implants, regulation of pain, and oral effects of systemic diseases. Research provides an added dimension to the dental curriculum and allows students to contribute to the field by conducting their own research and by submitting findings for publication. The experience enhances clinical performance by integrating the biomedical and clinical fields, and benefits students interested in pursing academic, research or post-graduate opportunities. The Student Research Coordinator is Dr. Thomas Lallier, tlalli@lsuhsc.edu .

Research opportunities currently begin the summer between the first and second year of classes. During this summer period, students work part-time in the laboratory to gain research experience in the fields of biomaterials or oral biology and are paid a stipend for their efforts. Students with a deeper interest in research are encouraged to continue their studies past the summer and enroll in the Honors in Research program.

Additionally, there are postgraduate research opportunities within the specialty programs at the school. For more information regarding post-graduate research opportunities, please contact Dr. Z. Tom Wen, zwen@lsuhsc.edu, who serves as the Resident Research Coordinator.

All research at the school, both undergraduate and graduate, is supported by the Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology. In addition to the funding each faculty member may have individually, the Center provides funding for research efforts and provides both equipment and assistance with statistical analysis to researchers at the school. The Center also helps support both the local AADR-New Orleans Chapter and the local student AADR chapter. Both venues provide students with a forum to discuss current findings and trends within research.

Honors in Research Program

Students who wish to conduct research during their tenure at LSUSD may enroll in the Honors in Research program. This program, which requires students to complete 150 hours of research prior to graduation, awards participating students by denoting the achievement of Honors on their diploma. Students enrolled within the program are encouraged to attend national meetings (either discipline specific or the annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research) and publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal. The director of the Honors Program is Dr. Mairi Noverr, mnover@lsuhsc.edu.

Travel Opportunities

In addition to conducting independent research studies, students are encouraged to present their research findings at national meetings. Since 2001, students have attended meetings held by the American Association of Dental Research (AADR), the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) and meetings specializing in their area of study in locations such as Honolulu, Miami, San Diego and Chicago. Students are required to present abstracts that may then be selected for either an oral or poster presentation at the meeting.  Students presenting at the annual meeting enter into a competition at LSUSD, where faculty judges rate the reserach presentations.  The top three finishers attend other national student meetings over the course of the following year.

Research Day

LSUSD Research Day occurs annually in May or June. It serves as a venue for faculty, students and residents to interact and to present the research.  There are oral presentations by faculty, senior residents and clinical/basic sciences students. Additionally, any students who attended meetings that year are encouraged to present their posters. Resident presentations are judged by a panel of faculty and awards are given to the outstanding postgraduate research projects.

Student winners of the 2017 research poster competition, (l-r) Nancy Ly, Brooks Hummel, and Tyler Mesa

Student Research Funding

Though the research mentors do support the cost incurred in conducting research, students may apply to receive funding of up to $1,500 to defray some of the costs incurred.  To apply for the awards, they are required to submit a formal written proposal; a panel of faculty members reviews these proposals and makes recommendations for awards.

Download guidelines and a template outlining the format required for research proposals. Student proposals should then be submitted to Dr. Z. Tom Wen, zwen@lsuhsc.edu.  Faculty proposals should be submitted to Dr. Paul Fidel, pfidel@lsuhsc.edu .

 Contact Information

Students wishing to conduct research may contact Dr. Thomas Lallier, talli@lsuhsc.edu who currently serves as the Coordinator of Student Research.  Dr. Lallier can advise interested students on research opportunities within the school and can provide information on faculty mentors, their research, and what projects are best suited for individual interests.

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Last Update 08/2017