Drs. Schlemmer and Lee receive top honors in national periodontology research competitions

Paula Cohen Schlemmer, DMD, and Joyce Lee, DDS, UNMC College of Dentistry.

Paula Cohen Schlemmer, DMD, and Joyce Lee, DDS, UNMC College of Dentistry.

Paula Cohen Schlemmer, DMD, and Joyce Lee, DDS, periodontics residents at the UNMC College of Dentistry, took top honors in national research competitions at the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Annual Session held in Austin, Texas on Nov. 9-12.

Dr. Schlemmer was the winner of the AAP Balint Orban Research Competition for Clinical Research. Named in honor of Dr. Balint Orban, who was influential in developing the scientific foundations of contemporary periodontics, the competition is open to periodontics residents from across the country. Eight finalists, selected based on written abstracts, are invited to give presentations.

Dr. Schlemmer’s presentation showcased her research project for her master’s degree in oral biology — “The Impact of Aging on Fibroblast Gene Expression in Post-Extraction Wound Healing: A Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Study.” The project explored the role that aging plays in the gene expression of fibroblasts and the subsequent healing of a patient’s extraction site.

Dr. Schlemmer’s mentors are Amy Killeen, DDS, MS, associate professor, and Richard Reinhardt, DDS, PhD, professor, department of surgical specialties.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award. I want to thank my mentors for their guidance and support,” Dr. Schlemmer said.

Dr. Lee received first place honors in the Clinical Science category of the AAP Research Forum Poster Competition. She also received the overall Clinical Impact Award. The competition included 136 posters from basic and clinical science researchers from across the country.

Dr. Lee’s presentation showcased her research project for her master’s degree in oral biology — “Associations between Periodontitis and Serum Anti-Malondialdehyde–Acetaldehyde Antibody Concentrations in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case-Control Study.” The project aimed to better understand the significance of serum anti-malondialdehyde–acetaldehyde antibody concentrations on the association between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Lee’s mentors are Jeffrey B. Payne, DDS, MDentSc, professor, department of surgical specialties, and Ted Mikuls, MD, MSPH, professor, department of internal medicine.

“It’s a great honor for me to receive this distinguished award. I want to thank my mentors for their invaluable help and encouragement,” Dr. Lee said.

These awards signify the caliber of research conducted at the UNMC College of Dentistry.

“We are proud of Drs. Schlemmer and Lee for representing the college on the national stage and receiving these prestigious awards,” said J. Bruce Bavitz, DMD, chair, department of surgical specialties.

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