2023 Summer Research Program

2023 Summer Research Program
2023 Summer Research Program Cohort (l to r): Ben Glezer, Andrew Simonson, Zully Beck, Natasha Patel, Lauren Lamoutte, Madison Hersch, Alyssa Gamboa

As the 2023 UF College of Dentistry Summer Research Program comes to a close, seven incoming first-year Gator Dentists in the DMD Class of 2027 will wrap up the program by presenting abstracts of their research to the college on Friday, July 28.

The UFCD Summer Research Program, or SRP, provides students with a structured research experience the summer before their D1 years begin, allowing students to form relationships with faculty and become familiar with the college prior to starting dental school.

Congratulations to this year’s Summer Research Program students and their faculty mentors:

  • Zully Beck | mentor: Dr. Nadeem Khan | Project: Epithelial IFN-RA mediated regulation of influenza control and lung inflammation
  • Alyssa Gamboa | mentors: Dr. John Neubert and Dr. Niall Murphy | Project: Cannabidiol-oxycodone interaction with pain in rats measured by place conditioning
  • Ben Glezer | mentor: Dr. Lin Zeng | Project: Genetic characterization of glyoxalase pathway in oral streptococci
  • Madison Hersch | mentor: Dr. Luis Martinez | Project: Understanding Cryptococcus neoformans capsular gene expression during interactions with microglia
  • Lauren Lamoutte | mentor: Dr. Dayane Oliveira | Project: Effect of short- and long-wavelengths on physical and chemical properties of light-cured resin cements
  • Natasha Patel | mentor: Dr. Shannon Wallet | Project: Oral keratinocyte extracellular vesicles immunomodulate periodontal ligament fibroblasts
  • Andrew Simonson | mentors: Dr. Jose Lemos and Dr. Jaqueline Abranches | Project: Investigation of a novel surface-associated cyclic-di-AMP phosphodiesterase in Enterococcus faecalis

Student discussion groups throughout the SRP additionally provide a more casual environment for participants to get to know one another, interact and confer regarding their research projects. At the beginning of the program, participants receive a schedule of activities for the 10-week program. Each year, guest speakers provide an overview of various topics which include, but are not limited to:

  • Highlights of current faculty research projects
  • Laboratory safety
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Human and animal contact
  • Responsible conduct in research
  • Abstract preparation
  • Library resources

As part of the program, faculty mentors and staff contribute their time and effort to assist in the design, operation, data acquisition, data analysis phases and in the interpretation of experimental results. Summer Research Program students can additionally participate in local, national and international dental research meetings.