Dr. Chandrasekaran graduated earlier this year, but was a student when she won the award.
The competition accepts one abstract from each dental school in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. A panel of five judges reviews the abstracts, and 12 finalists are selected to make a 15-minute presentation, which is followed by a ten-minute question-and-
Dr. Chandrasekaran presented research on periodontitis and resultant inflammation.
“Periodontitis can lead to destruction of connective tissue attachment to the tooth, resorption of alveolar bone, and ultimately tooth loss,” explained Dr. Chandrasekaran. “One of the goals of periodontal treatment is to regenerate this lost tissue, and several clinical strategies have been tried to achieve this. But the current modalities are largely unpredictable. My research is focused on using dentin matrix protein (DMP1) to stimulate the stem cells in the periodontal ligament.”
Through her research, Dr. Chandrasekaran concluded that stimulation by DMP1 triggers morphological changes and differential regulation of osteoblast-specific genes, which may be valuable as a regenerative approach.
Along with winning the Volpe Prize, the competition gave Dr. Chandrasekaran an opportunity to interact with residents from other periodontal programs and listen to their presentations. It also provided her a good platform to talk about her research.
The Volpe Prize, Dr. Chandrasekaran explained, “brings to the limelight that UIC excels in clinical care and research, and each of us contributes our best to the continued development of our school.” This award can also inspire students in the College to present more of their research, she said.
Dr. Anne George, Professor, was Dr. Chandrasekaran's mentor.
Written by Lucia Gonzalez
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The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry grants the DMD degree and dental specialty degrees and provides oral healthcare to patients.