DMD student wins second place in international research competition

Kyulim Lee, a second-year dental student at the University of Florida, earned second place in the International Association for Dental Research Unilever Hatton Competition in the Junior Category during the IADR Annual Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, in June 2014. Lee entered the competition after winning first place at the American Association for Dental Research in March 2014.

Lee conducts her research in the Özlem Yilmaz laboratory. Yilmaz, D.D.S., Ph.D., is an associate professor in periodontology and oral biology and serves as Lee’s 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.

“I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to compete at both the national and international levels. Our college is very well known for quality dental research and I am honored to be part of it. I really want to thank Dr. Yilmaz for all her guidance and mentoring, couldn’t have done any of it without her,” Lee said.

The IADR Unilever Hatton Competition and Awards is designed to provide an opportunity for the best junior investigators from all IADR Divisions and Sections (around the world) to present their research at the annual IADR General Session.

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.