Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology


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, clinical and public health fields as they relate to oral health. Research topics include composite and restorative materials, inflammation and infectious disease, craniofacial development, 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.

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, oral biology and public health 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 .

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.

Research Day

LSUSD Research Day occurs annually and typically is held within a few weeks of the conclusion of the AADR conference in the spring. It serves as a venue for faculty, students and residents to interact and to present the research occurring within the school. There are oral presentations by faculty and students alike, detailing the results and nature of the research they conduct. Additionally, any students who attended meetings that year are encouraged to present their posters. Posters are judged by a panel of faculty and awards are given to the outstanding postgraduate and undergraduate research projects.

Student winners of the 2015 research poster competition, (l-r) Lindsay Richard, Kyle Maldonado, and Jenny Herman

Funding Opportunities

Though the research mentors do support the cost incurred in conducting research, students may apply to receive funding of up to $2,000 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. All proposals should then be submitted to Dr. Z. Tom Wen zwen@lsuhsc.edu

 Contact Information

Students wishing to conduct research may contact Dr. Z. Tom Wen, zwen@lsuhsc.edu who currently serves as the Coordinator of Student Research. Dr. Wen 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 11/2015