CDM Celebrates 67th Birnberg Awards and Symposium

The diverse student research projects that students of Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine have undertaken in the past year were on display during the 67th annual Birnberg Research Award Symposium.  

The award, which was established by the Alumni Association of the College of Dental Medicine in the early 1950s to encourage students to engage in research, features a keynote address by an eminent researcher. This year’s Birnberg Research Awardee was Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD, Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience; director of the Friedman Brain Institute; dean for Academic Affairs and chief scientific officer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who lectured on “The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction.”

Both pre-and postdoctoral CDM students presented research posters. Chang Lee, associate professor of craniofacial engineering and CDM’s director of research, said that the students who presented research this year are dedicated to creating new knowledge. “This is a very special group of students,” he said. “They are engaged with research and will be the next generation of dental scholars. Columbia is a research-intensive institution. We value this.”

Each poster is judged by members of the CDM faculty and the process is also a valuable part of the experience, Lee said. “Students presenting their research at this event benefit from interaction with a panel of faculty judges.”

The award-winning posters in the Biomedical Science Category are:

First place: Neeve Chen, Project: Micro-Scale Spatial Mechanobiology as a Potential Biophysical Marker for Oral Cancer

First place: Ann Hoang, Project: Nano-layered Tendon Patch Orchestrates Timely Interplay between Macrophages and Tendon Stem/Progenitor Cells

Second place: Albert Wang, Project: Epigenetic Editing through CRISPR Activation of Periodontal Regulators

The award-winning posters in the Social, Behavioral, Education, Geriatric Oral Health, Health Service and Global Oral Health category are: 

First place: Alan Mograby and Anthony Sulvetta, Project: Effects of a Supplemental Oral Health Mini-course on Columbia VP&S Students: A Pilot Study

2nd place: Kiara Infante and Caroline Salazar, Project: An Evaluation of CAMBRA Informed Health Education on a Child’s Caries Risk

The award-winning posters in the Postdoctoral category are:

First place: Gazelle Jean Crasto, Project: Oral Genesis & Radiant Rescue: Innovating Pharmacotherapy for Acute Radiation Syndrome

Lee noted that this year’s research topics were remarkably diverse, comprising social behavior, genomics, disparities in treatment and more. The research is also compiled in the Jarvie Journal, a student-edited publication.

Read the William Jarvie Journal 2024 to learn more about student research.