Presidential Scholars Advance Research, Teaching, and Oral Health

November 22, 2019
Presidential Scholars Advance Research, Teaching, and Oral Health

Eight HSDM advanced graduate education students have been awarded Harvard Presidential Scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year. The full-tuition scholarship is awarded to DMSc students who have committed themselves to careers in public service or academia. This year’s accomplished recipient’s academic interests range from pursuing clinical and basic science research, to teaching and mentoring students, to furthering oral health policy and information systems.

HSDM Presidential Scholars group photo
Drs. Anna Yi, Yu-Chun Lin, Jevae L. Nelson and Chiho Ahn were among the Presidential Scholars in attendance at a reception hosted by President Larry Bacow at the Harvard Faculty Club
Students apply in their first year and receive the scholarship for years two, three and four. They “pay back” the scholarship by working in public service or academia full-time for as many years as they received the scholarship. The scholarship is awarded by a committee made up of School deans and a rotating schedule of faculty members.

Harvard School of Dental Medicine's 2019-20 Presidential Scholars are:

Dr. Chiho Ahn, a DMSc candidate in the Periodontology program, who is working in the Baron/Gori Lab investigating the role of Sfrp4, a Wnt signaling inhibitor in bone repair and regeneration. Ahn serves as a tutor for the Craniofacial Development and Genetics course and teaches the Treatment of Active Disease course for second-year DMD students. He also serves as an ambassador of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation.

Dr. Wonwoo Jang, a DMSc candidate in the Periodontics program, who is working in the Nagai Lab investigating the establishment of biomimetic soft tissue integration to zirconium surface coated with platelet-activating peptide.

Dr. Yu-Chun Lin, a DMSc candidate in the Prosthodontics program, who is working in the Bidlack-Pugach Lab at the Forsyth Institute investigating enamel development at different stages in developing mice ameloblast. She also conducts prosthodontic clinical research in occlusal vertical dimension with Drs. Sang J. Lee and Jie Sun, and serves as a tutor for the final restorative treatment course for predoctoral students.

Dr. Jevae L. Nelson, a DMSc candidate in the Dental Public Health (DPH) program, who is focused on using national data to deepen her understanding of fluoride and its impact on population health. She has authored several manuscripts, including a recent Journal of the American Dental Association cover story, and has served as a contributing author to the Surgeon General’s report of 2020. Nelson also volunteers as a teaching assistant for DPH core curriculum courses, and mentors predoctoral students.

Dr. Bunmi Tokede, a DMSc candidate in the Orthodontics program, who is conducting a clinical trial on the first fully-customized and 3D-printed orthodontic bracket system. He also completed a fellowship with the World Health Organization working on strengthening oral health information systems.

Dr. Diana Wang, a DMSc candidate in the Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology program, who is working in the Murphy/Lian Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) exploring early re-epithelialization and TET-mediated 5-hydroxymethylcytosine epigenetic regulation in oral mucosal wound healing. In her work she strives to build interprofessional relationships between predoctoral students and dentists from different specialties and also between physicians and researchers.

Dr. Fan Yang, a candidate in the Periodontology program, who is focused on synthesizing biodegradable nanoparticles for drug delivery to treat bacterial infections. She has authored several manuscripts in the last year.

Dr. Anna Yi, a DMSc candidate in the Prosthodontics program, who is working in MIT’s Han Lab and with Drs. Lee, Gibbs and Kay to investigate novel technologies and products involving electrokinetic flow and bone cement. Yi recently provided oral presentation on her research at the IFEA’s 11th World Endodontic Congress, and previously presented her research at the IADR, ACP and APS conferences.