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Release: Immediate

UI College of Dentistry hosts student research conference

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dental students from across the United States and Canada will gather in Iowa City April 12-15 to explore opportunities in dental research, meet scientists and educators, and present their work to colleagues.

Hosted by the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, the 33rd Annual Dental Students Conference on Research will draw some 62 participants from dental schools throughout North America. The event is sponsored by the American Dental Association and the Warner-Lambert Company.

"It is quite an honor for the UI to host this annual meeting," says Dr. John Keller, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and director of the college's Student Research Program. "We will introduce the breadth of oral health research under way at the college and help encourage students to pursue careers in academics and research."

The conference will feature lectures on topics like genetics, computer-aided research methods, dental implants and the oral health effects of tobacco, as well as a symposium on career opportunities in research. Students will present their own work during a poster session April 14.

The UI College of Dentistry is a noted leader in student research. Last year, it was recognized with an award from the American Association of Dental Schools to support students engaged in faculty-mentored research. In March, nearly 50 of the college's students presented their work at meetings of the major American and international dental research associations.

Involvement in research during dental school prepares students for academic or scientific careers, but it also helps make them better clinicians. Students who learn research skills enter practice trained to evaluate new technology and procedures with a critical eye.

Student representatives to the conference are selected by their schools based on involvement or interest in research. Students Pamela Bhalla, Deborah Clark-Holke, James Morgan and Brett Quackenbush will officially represent the UI College of Dentistry.

"This is an opportunity to meet with fellow dental students, share ideas and learn about all the different and exciting types of research taking place here and across the country," Clark-Holke says.