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Published by Kailin Baechle, 2019-06-03 17:37:19

VBRS Spring 2019 Newsletter

VBRS Spring 2019 Newsletter

SPRING UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE VOLUME 

2019 PDM EXPLORER SIX
VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY

What is dental
research?

Exciting faculty profiles from the
School of Dental Medicine

Page 10

2019thReesiesasruceh Day the issue
VBRS Events  About Us
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PAGE 4
PAGE 8 PAGE 19

Dear Penn Dental Medicine,

I am delighted to introduce the 2019 Spring Edition of PDM Explorer by Vernon Brightman
Research Society (VBRS). For over 20 years, VBRS has worked hard to promote student interest,
participation, and appreciation of basic and clinical research at Penn Dental Medicine. PDM Explorer
provides a really exciting perspective from dental students who are performing research across a wide
variety of fields.
 
It is no secret that balancing research and dental school can be a challenge for many students. Dental
school is a demanding environment that involves seamlessly blending arts and sciences, all while
successfully mastering didactic and clinical requirements. It takes perseverance and enthusiasm for
students to overcome the obstacles that we face and find the spark in research. My desire is for PDM
Explorer to continue to excel and provide the school with inspirational stories of students who share
their passion for research.
 
We started this year with our annual Research Mixer event, where we brought faculty and students
together to discuss potential research projects and ideas. This was a successful event with over 40%
increase in faculty and student participation than we have had in the past. We also hosted a Research
Proposal Writing Workshop tailored towards students who are interested in applying for a research
position through the Summer Research Program or Research Honors Program.
 
Research Day 2019 highlighted the ongoing research activities by faculty and students. This year,
we worked closely with Dean Wolff to provide a poster template and fully cover the printing costs
for students who wish to present on Research Day. Lastly, the VBRS Travel Grant was awarded to a
student who will be presenting his work at the upcoming AADR/IADR/CADR Annual Meeting in
June.
 
Needless to say, any articles or stories that you wish to
submit are much appreciated and will make a substantial
contribution to the early development and success of
the newsletter. I sincerely hope that all dental
students will eagerly access PDM Explorer for the
stimulating scientific endeavors by friends and
colleagues who will shape the future of dental research. 
 
Alisa E. Lee
Vernon Brightman Research Society | Vice President

PAGE 2 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

TABLE OF On the Cover...

CONTENTS Did you know that lettuce can be
used to grow life-saving vaccines?
4 2019 Research Day Dr. Henry Daniell aims to tackle the
oppressively high cost of
2019 Poster Award 6 medications using a novel, plant-
Winners based platform for the production
and oral delivery of
8 VBRS Research Mixer biopharmaceuticals. He introduces
therapeutic proteins into lettuce
VBRS Proposal Workshop 9 cells, which are then freeze-dried
and encapsulated. These capsules
10 What is Dental can be taken orally, eliminating both
Research? the expense of injections and the
refrigeration required to transport
On the Cover... 16 and store the drugs, as well as the
Dr. Henry Daniell costly fermentation process
involved in traditional
biopharmaceutical production.  He
has produced insulin to treat
diabetes, as well as drugs targeting
pulmonary hypertension, hemophilia
complications, Alzheimer’s disease,
dental caries, and retinopathy.

19 Introducing the VBRS See Page 16 for more details!
Board

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY  PAGE 3

2019 PDM RESEARCH DAY

PAGE 4 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

2019 PENN DENTAL 

Penn Dental Medicine once again brought faculty and students together to share
their research activities with one another and spotlight the depth of the School’s
research enterprise at Research Day 2019, held on May 16th at Penn Dental
Medicine.

The day included a program of presentations by faculty and invited speakers, along
with poster presentations representing DMD, junior investigator, and faculty
research.

Student and junior investigator research was recognized with the selection of the
2019 AADR Travel Grants. This year’s recipients will present their work at the
2020 IADR/AADR/CADR General Session to be held in Washington, DC, in
March of 2020.

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY  PAGE 5

Congrats!
2019

Poster Competition Winners

Sahil Gandotra Determining the immunologic profile of primary HSV-1 infections in
Jose De La Guerra humans
Autophagy in Host Response to Porphyromonas gingivalis
Grace Huang Cytolethal Distending Toxin Induces Macrophages to Release
Pro-Inflammatory Mediators
Alisa Lee Senescent Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Promote Head and Neck
Cancer Progression
Elaine Lee Effects of YAP & TAZ depletion on osteocyte mechanotransduction
Sujeong Lee Effects of MRGPRX2 Inhibitors on G-protein and β-arrestin Dependent
Yun Jee Lee Signaling in Mast
Peter Rekawek Orai Channels Mediate Antimicrobial Peptide and Neuropeptide-induced
Mast Cell Degranulation
Genetic Expression of Lef1, Axin2, Wnt9b and Wnt7b in an E10.5
Esrp1 (CL/P) KO Mouse Model

Congratulations to winners Jose De La Guerra, Yun Jee Lee, Sujeong Lee, Elaine Lee,
Peter Rekawek, Sahil Gandotra, Grace Huang, and Alisa Lee!

PAGE 6 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

Dr. Signe
Brightman

(center)
attended
Research Day,
pictured with
VBRS board
members Ryan
Cho and Alisa

Lee.

Alisa Lee D2
NIH Medical Research Scholar

What is your research about?
"My research is about head and neck cancer. Specifically, how fibroblasts near tumor sites
can promote cancer growth, which can lead to metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy."

Why did you get involved in research?
"I became involved in research during my second year of undergrad. It's important for us
to promote dental student research to keep dentistry a research-based profession."

Any advice for other students interested in research?
"Understand that science comes with failure. For research results, I always expect the
worst but hope for the best. Do not get discouraged if you don't get "good" data. Instead,
you should use the failures as a learning opportunity to guide your future projects."

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY  PAGE 7

Students and research faculty
gathered together to mingle over

hors d'oeuvres. 

VBRS
RESEARCH

MIXER

PAGE 8 VBRS hosts this event each spring
to help connect students with
potential PIs.

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

VBRS PROPOSAL
WORKSHOP

VBRS hosts a proposal writing workshop each
spring to help students work on their research
proposals for the Research Honors and Summer
Research Program. Dr. Kang Ko D'15 provided
guidance and feedback on the attributes of a

successful proposal.

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY  PAGE 9

WHAT IS

DENTAL RESEARCH?

A Collection of Faculty Spotlights from PDM

“IN THE DENTAL FIELD
WE USUALLY WANT TO
FOLLOW WHAT’S GOING

ON IN THE MEDICAL
FIELD AND SEE HOW IT
APPLIES TO DENTISTRY.

WHAT WE DO IN OUR
LAB IS WANT TO FIND
NEW THINGS THAT CAN
BE USED BEYOND IN

MEDICINE.”

- Dr. George Hajishengallis

PAGE 10 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

Dr. Dana Graves

INTERVIEWED BY JULIA JAGANNATH

What area do you perform research in? California, Vermont, New York

“I study how does diabetes affect bone? How BA in Chemistry, SUNY at Binghamton
does it affect inflammation? How does it affect DDS, Columbia University
wound healing?” Periodontology, Harvard University
DMSc in Oral Biology, Harvard University
How did you get involved in your current
research? Department of Periodontics
Vice Dean, Scholarship and Research
“I am a periodontist. I was interested in Director, Doctor of Science in Dentistry
pathogenesis of periodontal disease. I wanted to
look at a systemic disease that affected What do you enjoy most about doing
periodontitis, and when I looked at different research?
systemic diseases, I thought the disease with
the closest relationship to periodontitis was “It’s like a puzzle. I find crossword
diabetes. And that turned out to be true.” puzzles very tedious because the end
result doesn’t lead to anything. It just
What have been the most impactful findings? takes up your time and gives you
something to do. Treating patients is
“Under steady state conditions, transcription of interesting because you have a technical
FOX is relatively low. When you create a local problem and you have a human being
infection or fracture a bone, it goes up. What it and you have to interact with both. Doing
does when it goes up depends on the procedures is solving a problem and
environmental conditions, like having diabetes or doing research is similar.
a lot of inflammation.” I happened to do a summer research
project and I got interested in it. There
“The end goal is to figure out what happens, why are many more paths in dentistry than
it happens, and how we can use it. For diabetic students realize, and many of them start
wound healing, we have treated an animal and with summer research. I would
we can improve diabetic healing by inhibiting the encourage students to try it - you never
transcription factor, so that’s a potential therapy.” know what could happen. Academics is
very rewarding.”
VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY 
PAGE 11

Dr. George
Hajishengallis

INTERVIEWED BY SIMI SHAH What are the main goals of your research?

Cyprus “Before I retire, I want to see something I’ve worked
on in my career in the clinic. One of the missions of
DDS, University of Athens the university is not only treatment but the generation
PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham of new knowledge. If I see a product of our research
helping patient, this is the utmost achievement I can
Department of Microbiology think of.”
Thomas W. Evans Centennial Professor
What have been the most impactful findings?

What area do you perform research in? “We found that protein DEL-1 is required for
restraining inflammatory responses caused by IL-17
“We are interested in understanding mechanisms in periodontitis. Because IL-17 is also important in
that cause inflammation and mechanisms to multiple sclerosis (MS), we wanted to see if DEL-1 is
resolve inflammation, mainly in periodontitis.” also important in MS. We found that mice that lack
DEL-1 are much more susceptible to MS. In monkeys
How did you get involved in your current with natural periodontitis, we can block periodontal
research? disease by treating locally with a complement
inhibitor. After showing it in monkeys, the next step is
“When I graduated from dental school, I did not doing it in humans, so we just received FDA approval
want to miss the stimulus of constant learning. to test this drug and we’re ready for clinical trials!
Thus I came to the U.S. and worked on the dental That’s something that started from animal models and
caries vaccine, first as a PhD student and later as we may see in the clinic.”
a post-doc. Although the vaccine worked well in
animal models, for some reason it did not go all What do you enjoy most about doing research?
the way to humans, perhaps because caries is
not a life-threatening disease and a vaccine might “If you discover something new, it’s a wonderful
always entail some risk. I then decided to work on feeling. Sometimes the data you get is the opposite of
the other major oral disease, periodontitis. This what you expect. And this is a case where you
has proven to be an exciting journey, in which I discover something you never expected. If you follow
came to understand not only this oral disease but this data you may end up discovering something you
also inflammatory disorders in general.” have no idea about, and that’s even more exciting
than proving something you expected.”

PAGE 12 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

Dr. Qunzhou Zhang

INTERVIEWED BY PHYLLIS IMMITTI

What area do you perform research in? Sichuan, China

“We look at dental stem cells and regenerative A., Chongqing Medical College
medicine, specifically soft tissue regeneration. Sc., Guangdong Medical University
We explore the regenerative potentials of D., West China University of Medical Sciences
gingiva-derived mesenchymal stem cells
(GMSCs) and their derivative exosomes in taste Department of OMFS
bud regeneration and myomucosal Department of Pharmacology
reconstruction of tongue defects following
surgical removal of oral cancers. We also use What have been the most impactful findings?
stem cells and biomaterials to generate scaffolds
that mimic hard tissue and soft tissues including “The most important from our research would be
muscle and neural tissue. We have developed identifying stem cells from gingival tissue and
methods to reprogram dental stem cells back to reprogramming them to more potent and
neural crest stem cells and explored their homogeneous neural crest stem cells. Now we
potential application in nerve regeneration and can use these cells for regenerative medicine.”
the treatment of other neurological disorders. We
can successfully use these cells directly in 3D What do you enjoy most about doing
bioprinting scaffold-free nerve grafts to facilitate research?
regeneration of transected rat facial nerves.
“You have to be truly interested in research. You
Another topic is benign and malignant head and also have to be patient. Most often you have to be
neck tumors. We look at the signaling pathways focused on what you are doing. You cannot find
regulating the plastic transition between tumor something new daily, but if you continue to focus
stem cells and non-stem cells. We are trying to your effort on what you’re doing something
identify components of the tumor environment magical can happen. Research takes time and
and how they contribute to tumor growth.” effort based on your interest and ambition.”

How did you get involved in your current
research?

“I started stem cell research at USC. We were
the first to isolate human gingival-derived
mesenchymal stem cells.”

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY  PAGE 13

Dr. Elliot Hersh

INTERVIEWED BY EMMA CLAIRE FONTENOT

NYC, New Jersey course called clinical therapeutics. He was the best
lecturer that I ever had. Subsequently, two doctoral
BS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute fellowships became available, one in clinical
DMD, New Jersey Dental School, UMDNJ pharmacology. I thought it would be really neat to work
with him, so that was my entrance into clinical
MS and PhD, Graduate School of research. I was actually practicing part time. My
Biomedical Sciences, UMDNJ masters project was looking at respiratory effects of
relatively low doses of IV opioids. The opioid of choice
Department of OMFS was Demerol. Even low doses caused the patients to
Professor, Pharmacology be less sensitive to CO2. That was my first academic
publication. I realized after my MS if I wanted to be on
What area do you perform research in? the level of Steven Cooper or Paul Desjardins, I
needed to be trained more in science, so I jumped into
“The majority of my research is focused in clinical a PhD program.
pharmacology with a major emphasis on local
anesthetics and analgesic drugs. I’ve been For my PhD research I moved from humans to rats.
fortunate enough to mainly have been studying We were looking at a local anesthetic called 2-
analgesics that are non-addicting for most of my chloropropane. There had been a cluster of cases of
career. I have a really good feel of the tremendous patients who had received this molecule in epidural
efficacy of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in injections that inadvertently pierced the spinal space.
managing dental pain since the early 1980s. I’ve Some people developed prolonged neurological
also helped people in industry write protocols for deficits, so my thesis was about whether 2-
analgesic studies that go beyond dentistry chloropropane was neurotoxic. Short answer no, but
because the third molar model is recognized by another substance sodium bisulfite in the injection was
the FDA as a pivotal model for local anesthetics.” causing the prolonged reaction. 2-chloropropane is still
in use in anesthesiology, but it no longer contains
How did you get involved in your current sodium bisulfite.”
research?
What do you enjoy most about doing research?

“What drove me into the research end of the “I’m in an area where I can translate my research into
business was toward the end of junior year in the classroom. It makes my pharmacology teaching so
dental school. A new faculty member named much better when I can show students the well-
Steven Cooper arrived at Rutgers. He actually had controlled, blinded studies and their results. I still get a
a dental degree from PDM and a PhD in charge when a manuscript gets published. Getting
pharmacology from Georgetown. He taught a published is hard.”

PAGE 14 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

Dr. Chider Chen
INTERVIEWED BY PHYLLIS IMMITTI

What area do you perform research in? Taiwan

“Most of our research is focused on PhD, University of Southern California
mesenchymal stem cells to treat human Post-doc, University of Pennsylvania
disease. The goal is to identify how these
cells can function in human diseases. Stem Department of OMFS
cells can interact with immune cells and Assistant Professor, Cell signaling in
other cells. We are looking at extracellular oral cancer and wound healing
vesicles produced by stem cells that
mediate interactions and regulate immune What have been the most impactful
cells. The reason we are looking at dental- findings?
derived stem cells is because they are
derived from the neural crest, so they can “We have already done some clinical
produce neural-like cells for disease trials using mesenchymal stem cells to
treatment. We have modeled it in rat, and treat Lupus. It’s very exciting.”
now we are working in pigs. If that is
successful, we could go to clinical trials. I What do you enjoy most about
also work on biomarkers of oral cancer to doing research?
hopefully develop more targeted therapies.”
“The most interesting part is we can
How did you get involved in your current find something nobody knows - very
research? novel and very interesting. We can
cure disease in patients. We want to
“My PhD training. As scientists, we want to develop concepts for the science field
work on translational research. That’s why to advance the field to a new direction.”
we focus on mesenchymal stem cells- we
know they have the ability to treat disease.”

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY  PAGE 15

On the Cover... Dr. Henry Daniell, PhD

W.D. Miller Professor

Interviwed by Fez Motiwala

How did you get involved in your current research?

“Part of the reason I got into plants to begin with was because of what was around when I was growing up. My father
died when I was 11 years old. I’m number 10 of 12 children. My oldest brother was a professor at a college in
Madras. The college is in a densely wooded rainforest, and I was fascinated by the plant life. Some of the plants had
wildly huge flowers, some of them could capture insects. I was so fascinated by all of it. At some point when I was
young, I was actually afraid of plants. This is how I started dreaming of knowing more about them. There were some
crystallizing events to choose this path. When I saw children die, it had profound impact on me. The more I learned
about it, the more I thought plants could help. The basic concept of my whole life is this: affordability of medicine.

This is where I came after I finished my PhD in biochemistry at the Madrai University. The focus of my PhD was to
study the fundamental chemical equation of photosynthesis. I was told when I joined that there was 27 Nobel Prizes
from that one reaction. Even today it is true - all the global warming they are talking about, that is the only known
process that captures CO2. My PhD advisor said, ‘What more could be important - you get food, you get oxygen,
you clean up the environment.’ Since then, it’s been almost 35 years and I haven’t left chloroplasts.

How many people in India can afford an insulin pump if it is $6000+? 90% of the population cannot afford insulin.
That was my driving force. I went straight for doing pharmaceuticals to see whether we could use chloroplasts to make
other proteins. The skepticism was ‘why would a plant make something it doesn’t need?’ I took the photosynthesis
gene promotors and added them to genes for insulin and clotting factors. First we started with tobacco, but the FDA
did not really approve of that. Now we use lettuce. After harvest, we dry them and package them. The biggest
breakthrough is that you can store these for years and nothing happens. The plant cells are encapsulated. No other
protein drug can be stable like this. It’s pretty exciting.”

What are a few of the projects you’re currently working on?

“We use the same methods to produce enzymes for a variety of applications. One of the things the incubator company
does is to make enzymes to remove the coating on cotton so that it absorbs water. We wear cotton because it is
supposed to absorb water, but natural cotton has a waxy coating on it that prevents water from absorbing. The current
commercial enzymes used in this process are isolated from wood-rotting fungus, which is very expensive. They also
don’t have the ability to work continuously. We cloned the fungal genes and can produce them in plant cells. The
company in the Pennovation Center is making these enzymes, and these are the first commercial products made in a
lab at PDM that are going to be sold commercially. We also edit the enzymes to improve water absorption and make

PAGE 16 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

them more stable. Some enzymes, like lipase in detergent, are limited in their working ranges. Hot water in the
washing machine is about 60-70 degrees. None of the enzymes work in hot water. They also don’t work in alkaline
pH. Our enzymes are optimized so they work in a variety of conditions.

Currently all of the solutions for plaque buildup is mechanical - either scaling or an electric toothbrush. Biochemistry
is ‘can we do this enzymatically.’ Biologically, our approach is to potentially enzymatically soften plaque. FDA
classifies plaque as cosmetic, but in reality it is infectious because of the pathogens inside it. To remove it you have to
access it, and it fortifies itself with an extracellular matrix. Dr. Koo’s lab has all of the biofilm testing capability, and
my lab has the ability to make enzymes. Very unique to our lab is the delivery method. Typically for medical
purposes, I have used plant cells to deliver drugs to the gut and then into circulation. Encapsulation protects the drug
from breakdown in the stomach. We take advantage of the gut bacteria to release it. The dental project we are
working on utilizes topical delivery, which uses the same approach putting the cells in the chewing gum with
antimicrobial peptides.

Currently, people use something like Listerine. Listerine washes off The basic concept of my
good bacteria with the bad bacteria, but people feel good about it. This is whole life is this:
addressing the surface of the problem, but not the root of the problem.
Why is chewing gum better than Listerine? What is the limitation of affordability of medicine.
Listerine? There is a burning sensation that limits the amount of time
people can tolerate Listerine, and people often wash it out with water
afterwards. Chewing gum has the ability for slow release. When you
keep chewing gum, the plant cells are mechanically broken down and the
enzymes are slowly released, so there is a longer period of contact than
Listerine. It’s a totally different contact of delivery and biologically.
Some of the antimicrobials in Listerine are from menthol and other
things, so you can say it’s biological but it’s facing a physical barrier.
That’s the concept here, we’ve published a couple of papers together. It’s
also useful for mode of delivery. Not only can these drugs be used
topically, but they can also be utilized systemically.  We can also make
enzymes in chewing gum to deliver drugs for bone regeneration. This is
all cutting-edge. We clone the genes, shoot them in, and make seeds, and
there is a commercial facility 15 miles from here where robots grow the
plants.”

Where do you want your work to be in 10 years?

“From everyday life, making biochemistry work in daily life. Can you use enzymes instead of using mechanical force?
Already enzymes for non-therapeutics have launched. But therapeutics are my goal. Reaching finalization for the
chewing gum will hopefully happen in a year or two. But I want insulin, clotting factors, and autoimmune diseases to
be tackled. That will probably take more like five years. I’m just jumping one hurdle after another. All of the production
facilities are already taken care of, and now it’s just clinical trials. To me the ultimate success would be to go back to
where it all started and see all of the countries that cannot afford the current drugs able to receive treatment. It’s quite
outrageous and I think if that is solved I will be quite happy.”

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY  PAGE 17

Dr. Francis Mante
INTERVIEWED BY SIMI SHAH

Accra, Ghana How did you get involved in your current research?

BDS, University of Ghana “For the radiation project, someone from the nursing school
MS, Marquette University came to speak about radiation treatment and how they get a
PhD, Northwestern University lot of caries after radiation treatment and the potential for
DMD, University of Pennsylvania using different kinds of fluoride treatments for reducing caries
after treatment. We needed to investigate different fluorides
Department of Restorative Dentistry and how they affect dentin and whether pre-treatment will
Course director, Dental Materials help prevent decay after radiation treatment.”
Dental Materials Committee
Faculty Advisor, VBRS What are the main goals of your research?

What area do you perform research in? “Improve properties of dental materials, design new dental
materials, and come up with treatment modalities that will
improve patient care.”

“We’ve done research in several areas. What have been the most impactful findings?
Trying to improve physical properties of
dental composites, one of the key studies “One of the things I’m most excited about is that we’ve come
tried to modify the resin matrix with rubber to up with surface treatments for titanium that are most
improve the toughness of the composite conducive to integration with cartilage. Also, we have a patent
resin. We also do some work with on endodontic root filling material that is also very exciting.
orthodontic materials. We continue to work This recent project, we’ve found interesting things for fluoride
with endo and orthodontic grad students. use in cancer and that’s interesting, too.”
We’re also interested in looking at titanium
implant surfaces and osteointegration. Lately What do you enjoy most about doing research?
we’re trying to do things with integrating
cartilage to titanium, which is an interesting “I’m always excited about the projects we’re doing because
concept. We also have a project going on we invariably find new things and find ways to explain why
involving patients receiving radiation materials are behaving the way they do. I enjoy finding things
treatment for oral cancer and different ways out for myself and I really enjoy the people who come to work
to reduce caries after radiation treatment.” here because we have a lot of good times talking about what
we’re doing and why and I’m able to help many students and
prospective students accomplish their goals in dental school
and what they want to do in their next stage.”

PAGE 18 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE

Introducing

   VBRS BOARD

President
Fatima Naqvi

Vice President
Alisa Lee

Secretary
Troy Thayer

Treasurer
Ryan Cho

Events Coordinator About Us
Iryna Mysnyk
The Vernon Brightman Research Society (VBRS),
Outreach Coordinator named in honor of Vernon J. Brightman, former Penn
Evelyn Spencer Dental Medicine faculty member and strong supporter
of student research, is the primary student research
D2 Representative organization at Penn Dental. Since its inception, VBRS
Spencer Tazumi has helped numerous students find their niche in
research at the School as it aims to promote interest,
D1 Representatives participation, and appreciation of the basic and clinical
Dane Kim oral health research that keep dentistry a science and
research-based profession. The society accomplishes
Noor Rehman this aim by hosting a number of events throughout the
Vu Tran year such as the Introduction to Research Seminar
Panel, Student Research Reception, and the Oral
Newsletter Editor Health Fair/Student Research Day which includes a
Kailin Baechle vendor fair as well as poster presentations from
students who participated in a variety of summer
research projects.

VERNON BRIGHTMAN RESEARCH SOCIETY   PAGE 19

Questions? Contact us at: [email protected]
Thomas W. Evans Museum and Dental Institute – dedicated 1915


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