Kyulim Lee, a first-year dental student at the University of Florida, took home a first place award in the highly competitive Hatton/Johnson&Johnson competition during the American Association for Dental Research meeting in Charlotte, N.C., on March 19, 2104. She competed against nine other national finalists during the meeting and, as the first place winner, will go on to compete at the international level during the International Association for Dental Research Annual Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, in June 2014.
Lee conducts her research in the Özlem Yilmaz laboratory and Yilmaz serves as her mentor and the clinician-researcher on the study, Porphyromonas Evades Ubiquitination-NDP52/p62 Machinery and Induces Autophagosome-like Vacuoles for Survival in the Oral Mucosa.
“This prestigious award is given to research with high translational/clinical research potential. I am very proud of Kyulim’s accomplishment and very happy to see her hard work and exceptional talent are being recognized at the national level,” said Özlem Yilmaz, D.D.S., Ph.D., an associate professor in periodontology and oral biology.
Lee entered dental school in August 2013 on a combined DMD/PhD track, having graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s in food science and human nutrition from the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with an emphasis on nutritional sciences. She is fluent in three languages – English, Spanish and Korean. Lee has co-authored several abstracts that were presented at the UF EPI Research Day and an oral presentation at the IADR meeting in Seattle, Wash., in 2013. She has been a volunteer undergraduate researcher in Yilmaz’s lab since May 2011.