SCADA Awards celebrate next generation of dental research


The 61st annual SCADA program honored 7 outstanding award winners in 2 categories.

The 2020 Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application Awards (SCADA) program took on a different look after moving to a virtual program due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nonetheless, the 61st annual SCADA program honored 7 outstanding award winners. Co-sponsored by Dentsply Sirona and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), all US dental schools were invited to nominate a student to participate in the research competition in 1 of 2 categories-Clinical Science and Public Health Research, and Basic and Translational Science.

The participants submitted a complete portfolio for review to an international panel of judges, including an electronic copy of their research paper, a slide presentation, and a video of their oral presentation. Research projects were submitted by 51 student clinicians and 7 winners were selected.

In Category I-Clinical Science and Public Health Research, first place was awarded to Patrick E. Donnelly from the University of Pittsburgh for his research on Acellular Hydrogel Regenerates Vascularized Tissue in Root Canal Therapy. Second place was awarded to Kathryn Teruya, University of Missouri – Kansas City, for her research on Changes in Dental Student Empathy During Training. Third place was awarded to Taylor Robertson, University of Detroit Mercy, for research on Spectral analysis of one- shade nanofilled resin composites under different lights.

The 2020 AADR / Dentsply Sirona Student Clinicians (from left to right): Category I: Patrick E. Donnelly, Kathryn Teruya, Taylor Robertson, Category II: Blake LaTendresse, Eric Mullins, Madison Aungst, Tanner Godfrey.

In Category II-Basic and Translational Science, first place was awarded to Tanner Godfrey, University of Alabama at Birmingham, for his research on BAF45A Mediated Chromatin Landscaping Controls Bone Formation. Tied in the second place, Blake LaTendresse, Creighton University, was awarded for his research on Testing Immunogenic Peptides Against Candida Albicans, together with Eric Mullins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for his research on Comparative Expression Of Exosome-Derived Dental Pulp Stem Cell (DPSC) MicroRNAs. Third place was awarded to Madison Aungst, University of Colorado, for her research on A Flow Cytometer Protocol for Quantifying Microbes in Dental Waterlines.

The SCADA Board of Directors also presented 5 additional awards recognizing leadership in dental research and academics. SCADA provides fellowship funding to promote continued scholarship and help support graduate education. Two post-doctoral students were awarded the Henry M. Thornton SCADA Fellowship-Dr. Nisarg Patel, University of California, San Francisco and Dr. Lauren Katz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In collaboration with the American Dental Association, SCADA also awarded ADA Foundation/Dentsply Sirona Research Award for Dual Degree Candidates to Dr. Joy Kirkpatrick, DMD/PhD candidate at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The SCADA Board of Directors also supports and acknowledges leaders for their commitment to the advancement of dentistry with two additional awards. Dr. Pandu Gangula from Meharry Medical College received the Burton C. Borgelt/SCADA Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Rada Sumareva, a private practice periodontists and long-serving SCADA judge, was honored with the Alan J. Davis/SCADA Achievement Award. Dr. Yoko Ishida-Okumura from the Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences in Japan was recognized for her service on the SCADA Board of Directors.

For more information about SCADA and other awards granted, visit

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