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U of IL at Chicago College of Dentistry Student Amatul Salma Wins Research Award

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry third year dental student Amatul Salma won first place in the Basic Sciences category of the DENTSPLY/Caulk competition at the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) meeting.

 
PRLog - Aug. 26, 2014 - CHICAGO -- University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry third year dental student Amatul Salma won first place in the Basic Sciences category of the DENTSPLY/Caulk competition at the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) meeting in Charlotte, NC, earlier this year.

         “The students have to submit an abstract to the competition,” explained Dr. David Crowe, Interim Associate Dean for Research. “Only a few are selected to present a poster at the AADR meeting; those selected do a presentation to judges.”

         Salma’s research focuses on molecular targeted chemotherapy for head and neck cancers, involving telomeres--DNA-protein structures at the ends of chromosomes which shorten throughout life.

         “In order to compensate for telomere loss, head and neck cancer cells overexpress the telomerase reverse transcriptase enzyme which maintains telomeres in rapidly dividing cells thus contributing to the difficulty in killing these cells,” she explained.

         Salma tested the effects of two different telomere targeted chemotherapy drugs on human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma lines, and discovered that, “cells treated with both drugs stopped growing,” she said.

         Since many patients who receive traditional chemotherapy may have a recurrence of their cancer, “the application of this project allows us to specifically target cancer cells at the molecular level and diminish their ability to recur, thus improving the success of chemotherapy for patients,” Salma said.

         Salma believes her research at the College “helped me become a well-rounded professional,” she said.  “It was great to be able to present and compete at the AADR conference this year, and it was a great opportunity to interact with professionals and learn about different topics in dental research. It was a unique opportunity to discuss research with other students and learn more about the research at their schools as well.”

         Dr. Crowe was Salma’s mentor for the research project titled “PARP and telomerase inhibitors as targeted therapy for oral cancer.”

         Other DENTSPLY/Caulk competitors for the College at the AADR meeting were Spencer Schneider, Roma Siraj, and Sana Siraj.

         Members of the Student Research Group and College faculty also presented their research at the meeting.

Contact
William S. Bike
312-996-8495
billbike@uic.edu

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