Award Recipients 

2022

Junjun Jing – “Spatiotemporal single-cell regulatory atlas reveals neural crest lineage diversification and cellular function during tooth morphogenesis” Advisor:Yang Chai

Prerna Sehgal – “Role of Runx2 arginine methylation in functional interaction with its transcriptional co-factors.” Advisor: Jian Xu

Sam Sheridan & Sarina Taylor – “Skid Row Oral Health Disparities in People Experiencing Homelessness” Advisor: Mehdi Mohammadi

Antranig Mesrobian & Karam Korya– “A Catalyst for Patient Care Advancement: The Paradigm of Teledentistry” Advisor: Kamal Al-Eryani

Jian Xu, PhD

Mehdi Mohammadi, DDS, MPH, MS

Sam Sheridan & Sarina Taylor

Dominique Como – “Oral Health Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Black Caregivers” Advisor: Sharon Cermak

Elizabeth Goodman – “Primary Healthcare Encounters for Autistic Adults and their Caregivers” Advisor: Leah Stein Duker

Willa Ma – “Limb loading instruction does not restore knee loading post-ACL reconstruction” Advisor: Susan Sigward

Natalie McLain – “Human cortical alpha rhythm reflects activity of the salience network” Advisor: Jason Kutch

Most Disruptive – Jouliana Davoudi Chegani

Best Commercial Potential – Jane Law

2021

Lauren Bobzin – “Fgfr2 regulates establishment and commitment of fontanelle progenitor cells.” Advisor: Amy Merrill-Brugger

Prerna Sehgal – “Role of Runx2 arginine methylation in functional interaction with its transcriptional co-factors.” Advisor: Jian Xu

Christie Shen – “Targeted delivery of anti-microbial peptides in peri-implantitis.” Advisor: Casey Chen

Yuan Yuan – “Spatiotemporal cellular movement and fate decisions during mandibular arch morphogenesis.” Advisor: Yang Chai

Nicha Ungvijanpunya – “PRMT4-RUNX2 signaling regulates posterior frontal suture closure.” Advisors: Jian Xu & Stephen Yen

Kuan-Ming Chiu – “Does waxing impression technique distort the final impression?” Advisor: Winston Chee

Maile Osborne – “Opioid usage prevalence in older adults in a dental population.” Advisors: Piedad Suarez-Durall, Reyes Enciso, & Roseann Mulligan

Kuan-Ming Chiu, DDS

Jian Xu, PhD

Winston Chee, DDS

Joana Nana Serwaa Akrofi – “Decolonization of occupational therapy: a Ghanaian perspective.” Advisors: Stefanie Bodison & Tessa Milman

Yiyang Fang – “Developing a method to measure strain in dental hygiene work.” Advisor: Shawn C. Roll

Emily Campi – “Associations between child sensory reactivity patterns and caregiver responsiveness.” Advisor: Grace T. Baranek

Jordan Cannon – “Gluteal activation reduces acetabular contact pressure in femoroacetabular impingement syndrome.” Advisor: Christopher Powers

Sarah Kettlety – “Investigating speed-dependent changes in kinematics: comparing age-matched and post-stroke gait.” Advisor: Kristan Leech

Natalie McLain – “Analytic stability and neural correlates of peak alpha frequency.” Advisor: Jason Kutch

Nicha Ungvijanpunya

Zhang W, Yang SL, Yang M, Herrlinger S, Shao Q, Collar JL, Fierro E, Shi Y, Liu A, Lu H, Herring BE, Guo ML, Buch S, Zhao Z, Xu J, Lu Z, Chen JF. (2019) Modeling microcephaly with cerebral organoids reveals a WDR62-CEP170-KIF2A pathway promoting cilium disassembly in neural progenitors. Nat Commun. 2019.
Winner: Wei Zhang

Yuan Y, Loh YE, Han X, Feng J, Ho TV, He J, Jing J, Groff K, Wu A, Chai Y. (2020) Spatiotemporal cellular movement and fate decisions during first pharyngeal arch morphogenesis. Sci Adv. 2020.
Winner: Yuan Yuan

Yu M, Ma L, Yuan Y, Ye X, Montagne A, He J, Ho TV, Wu Y, Zhao Z, Sta Maria N, Jacobs R, Urata M, Wang H, Zlokovic BV, Chen JF, Chai Y. (2021) Cranial Suture Regeneration Mitigates Skull and Neurocognitive Defects in Craniosynostosis. Cell. 2021.
Winners: Mengfei Yu and Li Ma

2019

Nathan Nourian & Micah Tabanfar – “Advanced platelet-rich fibrin for soft tissue augmentation.” Advisor: Neema Bakhshalian

Fares Albalawi – “Effect of different barriers on output of light curing units.” Advisor: Jin-Ho Phark

Hayley Botwin

Clarice Lii

Denise Luna

Melissa Luna

Joanne Lee

Ryan Pham

Sop Yi Shin

Jacqueline Arceo

Victoria Rondinella

Mahdieh Kiany

Maryam Salarkia

Narega Bargian

Junjun Jing – “Antagonistic interaction between Ezh2 and Arid1a coordinates dental root patterning via Cdkn2a.” Advisor: Yang Chai

Mengfei Yu – “Regenerating sutures in craniosynostosis.” Advisor: Yang Chai

Casey Griffin – “Cranial pericytes derived from neural crest cells reveal a pericyte-specific functional defect in Alzheimer’s disease.” Advisor: Ruchi Bajpai

Garima Sandhu – “Quantitative light-induced fluorescence for visualization and quantification of coronal dentin mineral density.” Advisor: Janet Moradian-Oldak

Kyuwan Lee – “Effect of exercise on endothelial function during breast cancer chemotherapy.” Advisor: Christina Dieli-Conwright

Andrew Hooyman – “The learning process and neural substrates linked to a discovery task and a future for modulation.” Advisor: Carolee Winstein

Alexander Garbin – “Determining brain-behavior changes secondary to an internal focus during standing.” Advisor: Beth Fisher

Jordan Cannon – “Gluteus maximus activation improves hip biomechanics in femoroacetabular impingement syndrome.” Advisor: Christopher Powers

Aditya Jayashankar – “Comparison of two automated motion correction strategies in autism neuroimaging.” Advisor: Lisa Aziz-Zadeh

Dominique Como – “The anatomy of oral care habits of children with autism spectrum disorders.” Advisor: Sharon Cermak

Nathan Nourian & Micah Tabanfar – “Advanced platelet-rich fibrin for soft tissue autmentation.” Advisor:  Neema Bakhshalian

Lauren Yen – “3D printing of custom nasal stents for babies with cleft lip and palate.” Advisor: Stephen Yen

Simon Youn – “Microvasculature defects recapitulated in tooth pulp of rate AD model.” Advisor: Ruchi Bajpai

Sara Kahng – “3D reconstruction of muscle defects in mouse cleft soft palate.” Advisor: Yang Chai

Most Innovative: Esmat Sodagar

Best Commercial Potential: Lauren Yen

Nathan Nourian

Micah Tabanfar

2018

Ana Torres – “Programmable Orthodontic Expander for Treating Cleft Lip and Palate Patients.” Advisor: Stephen Yen

Ana Torres – “Programmable Orthodontic Expander for Treating Cleft Lip and Palate Patients.” Advisor: Stephen Yen

Jasveen Wadia – “A Novel Biofilm Mediated Osteolytic Infection Model-A Micro-T Analysis.” Advisor:  Homa Zadeh

Wei Zhang – “Modeling Wdr62-elated microcephaly disease in 3D cerebral organoid system.” Advisor: Jianfu Chen

Ryan Roberts – “Fgfr2 patterns cell fate at the tendon and bone interface.” Advisor: Amy Merrill

Stephanie Herrlinger – “Translational regulation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and brain development.” Advisor: Jianfu Chen

Casey Griffin – “Neural rest-Derived Forebrain Pericytes in Development and Disease.” Advisor: Ruchi Bajpai

K. Michael Rowley – “Trunk control in persons with recurrent low back pain.” Advisor:  Kornelia Kulig

Andrew Hooyman – “Piloting of Paired Associative Stimulation to Modulate Resting-state Intracortical Connectivity.” Advisor: Carolee Winstein

Aram Kim – “Learning and generalization of an obstacle negotiation task in VR.” Advisor: James Finley

Jeongah Kim – “Using Exploratory Learning to Encourage Selective Hip-Knee Movement in Infants.” Advisor: Linda Fetters

Christiana Butera – “Motor Ability Correlates with Neural Activity during Imitation in Autism.” Advisor:  Lisa Aziz-Zadeh

Kaori Ito – “Evaluating Automated Lesion Segmentation Approaches for Stroke MRI Data.” Advisor:  Sook-Lei-Liew

Nathan Nourian – “Multi-bacterial Biofilm and Bone Loss in Peri-implantitis.” Advisor: Neema Bakhshalian

Amrita Chakraborty – “Bio-remineralization with Quantitative Light-induced Fluorescence (QLF).” Advisor: Janet Oldak

Taewan Kim – “Functionalized Scaffold and Membrand for Ridge Preservation.” Advisor:  Seiko Min

Simon Youn -“Effects of Periodontal Disease on Transgenic Rate Model of AD).” Advisor:  Ruchi Bajpai

Co-editors, The Explorer:

Michelle Cho

Ruchee Jaffer

Neema Bakhshalian

Jianfu Chen

Donna Castillo

Most Innovative: Ana Torres

Best Commercial Potential: Casey Griffin

2017

Courtnie Yun “Flavonoids for CMV-Induced salivary gland tumor therapy.”

Haifa Alsobiyl “Influence of a novel self-printing etchant on bond strength to glass-ceramics.”

Sabina Hameed “Does the maxillary sinus pneumatize following maxillary molar tooth extraction?”    

Jade Sha “Synergism and antagonism between Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and other oral species.”

Olan Jackson-Weaver “Protein methylation in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of epicardial cells.”

 

Ryan Roberts “Fgfr2 regulates formation of attachment units in the craniofacial complex.”

Kaivalya Shevade “Nuclear reorganization deiving cell fate transition in neural crest cells.”

Yi-An Chen “Mobile-based ecological momentary assessment of paretic hand use following stroke.”

Jaqueline Kiwata “Resistance exercise improves skeletal muscle outcomes in prostate cancer survivors.”

Helen Bacon “An exploration of skill transfer in the DOSE study.”

Rini Varghese “Arm-use patterns in chronic stroke survivors:  observations from covert bimanual task-performance.”

Christine Tran “Barriers and facilitator to primary care for individuals with ASD.”

Dominique Como “Strategies for improving dental encounters for children with ASD.”

Courtnie Yun “Flavonoids for CMV-Induced salivary gland tumor therapy.”

Taewan Kim “AMOR in the repair for extraction with dehiscence defect.”

Armin Afshar “The potential in development of dental technology USC students.”

Tan Khuu “Comparative performance in composite-resin inlays vs. short-fiber reinforced direct restorations.”

Most Innovative: Jade Sha – “Synergism and antagonism between Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and other oral species.”

Best Commercial Potential: Yongchao Gou – “PRMT4-mediated methylation of RUNX2 regulates cell migration and invasion.”

Courtnie Yun – “Flavonoids for CMV-Induced salivary gland tumor therapy.”

Master of Science: Nikki Colclazier

Dental Hygiene Students: Mariesa Abad, Choa Dong, Edward Lee, Carolina Montoya

2016

Kaushik Mukherjee – “Amelogenin-derived peptides for biomimetic repair of dentin.” Advisor: Dr. Janet Oldak

Hamad Alqadhi – “Periodontal Regeneration Utilizing Antibody Mediated Osseous Regeneration (AMOR).” Advisor:  Dr. Homa Zadeh

Cheryl Park –  “3Dimensinal Digital Teeth Arrangement for Complete Dentures.” Advisor: Dr. Winston Chee

Jifan Feng – “BMP activity regulates mesenchymal lineage commitment and tooth root initiation.” Advisor: Dr. Yang Chai

Sofya Abazyan – “Small molecule screen for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1E/1A.” Advisor: Dr. Pragna Patel

Kaushik Mukherjee – “Amelogenin-derived peptides for biomimetic repair of dentin.” Advisor: Dr. Janet Oldak

Ryan Roberts – “Fgfr2 regulates attachment of tendon-to-bone in the craniofacial complex.” Advisor: Dr. Amy Merrill-Brugger

Tzu Liao – “Patellofemoral Joint Stress in Recreational Runners with Patellofemoral Pain.” Advisor: Dr. Christopher Powers

Soo Yeon Sun – “Does ankle flexor proprioception modulate muscle recruitment in chick embryos?” Advisor: Dr. Nina Bradley

Helen Bacon – “Is task similarity reflected in modified Reaching Performance Scale scores?” Advisor: Dr. Carolee Winstein

Ivan Trujillo-Priego – “Infant Kinematic Differences: Typical Development vs. At Risk of Developmental.” Advisor: Dr. Beth Smith

Alison Cogan – “Systematic Review of Interventions to Prevent Pressure Ulcers.” Advisor: Dr. Florence Clark

Kaori Ito – “Lateralizaton of action observation network activity after stroke.” Advisor: Dr. Sook-Lei Liew

Shant Aharonian – “A Novel Biofilm Mediated Osteolytic Infection Model.” Advisor: Dr. Homa Zadeh

Yuting Alice Yang – “Expression of an A. actinomycetemcomitans catalase gene in A. aphrophilus.” Advisor: Dr. Casey Chen

Omar Kholaki – “The Mylohyoid Nerve Block in Failed Mandibular Anesthesia.” Advisor: Dr. Natalie Tung

Jonathan Nguyen – “Dental Students’ Perceptions of LGBTQ Patient Care and HIV testing.” Advisor: Dr. Piedad Suarez

Most Innovative: Kaushik Mukherjee – “Amelogenin-derives peptides for biomimetic repair of dentin.” Advisor: Dr. Janet Oldak

Omar Kholaki – “The Mylohyoid Nerve Block in Failed Mandibular Anesthesia.” Advisor: Dr. Natalie Tung