UFCD DMD/PhD Students Win Awards at AADOCR

faculty, staff and students at AADOCR 2023
UFCD faculty, staff and students at the 2023 American Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, in March 2023. From left: Denise Webb, Dr. Shannon Wallet, Dr. Isabel Garcia; James Jang and Natalie Atyeo, both DMD/PhD combined degree students; and DMD students Benjamin Marusko, Krishna Vekariya, Thomas Koby, Dina Desai and Peter Novotny, all of whom participated in the UFCD Summer Research Program.

Congratulations to two University of Florida College of Dentistry students in the DMD/PhD combined degree program who received awards during the 2023 American Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research, or AADOR, Annual Meeting.

Natalie Atyeo
Natalie Atyeo, who will graduate with PhD and DMD degrees in May 2023, speaks during the UF Health Vision Fest in February 2023.

Natalie Atyeo and Callahan Katrak are working toward earning their doctorates and their dental degrees through the UF DMD/PhD combined degree program, a collaboration between the colleges of dentistry and medicine. Atyeo won the National Student Researcher Award and Katrak Dr. Susan Hollingshead 2nd place award for the 7th Mini Symposium for Young Investigators in the AADOCR Microbiology/Immunology Subgroup.

Frank Gibson, Ph.D., a professor of oral biology who is the coordinator for the DMD/PhD program, was proud to learn that Atyeo and Katrak had earned awards.

Callahan Katrak
Callahan Katrak, who is earning DMD and PhD degrees, won a national award during the AADOCR meeting in March 2023.

“We have such extremely talented students in our combined degree program and we also have world-class faculty who help these students achieve excellence. National awards, like these from the AADOR, speaks volumes about the quality of the future oral health researchers we’re helping to develop,” Gibson said.

Atyeo graduates with her dual degrees in May 2023 and is mentored by Bernadett Papp, Ph.D., an assistant professor of oral biology. Katrak is mentored by Jacqueline Abranches, Ph.D., an associate professor of oral biology.

During the UFCD Annual Spring Synergy Research Day on March 31, Atyeo and Katrak also placed first and second, respectively, in the PhD/Postdoc Category for their research posters.

The AADOCR meeting was held in Portland, Oregon, in March 2023. AADOCR is the premier association for those involved with dental, oral, and craniofacial research across multiple disciplines.