USC Stevens gives Most Innovative Award at Ostrow School of Dentistry Research Day

Members of the USC Stevens team judged competition entries for the $500 USC Stevens Most Innovative Award at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC’s Annual Research Day on March 9, 2016 at the Galen Center.

Vasiliki Anest (Senior Director, Corporate Collaborations), Michael Arciero (Director of Licensing), and Licensing Associates Dana Hutchison and Bonnie Wolfe joined from the USC Stevens Center for Innovation to attend and judge the event. USC Stevens has sponsored and judged a prize each year since 2007, when the Ostrow School of Dentistry launched the annual event.

More than 150 cutting-edge research projects – a record number of submissions – were showcased earlier this month by student, resident, and faculty researchers at the Ostrow School of Dentistry, as well as in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

In judging the Most Innovative Award, USC Stevens judges considered whether a submission demonstrated a highly novel dental healthcare solution that could positively impact society. The $500 prize was awarded to Kaushik Mukherjee, a graduate researcher with the Ostrow School of Dentistry’s Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, for his project offering a cutting-edge approach to repair dentin, the calcified tissue that is a crucial component of teeth and directly covered by enamel. The project was titled “Amelogenin-derives peptides for biomimetic repair of dentin,” and Mukherjee’s faculty advisor was Janet Oldak. Mukherjee (pictured here with Michael Arciero, USC Stevens Director of Licensing) also earned the high honor of the Dean’s Research Award by the Ostrow School of Dentistry for the same project.

“In evaluating the great work from this event, we really focused this award on novel technology, market understanding and on a project’s pathway to get to market,” said Arciero, who presented the honor to Mukherjee at the event’s award ceremony. “USC Stevens is glad to continue to support Research Day to highlight forward-thinking research at USC.”

The daylong event included poster presentations and judging, opening remarks and three keynote speakers, a poster viewing and vendor fair, and award presentations. Speakers included USC geriatric dentistry expert Dr. Roseann Mulligan (Associate Dean, Community Health Programs and Hospital Affairs and Chair, Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry) and Dr. Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For the full list of winners of Research Day, check out this article by the Ostrow School of Dentistry: http://dentistry.usc.edu/2016/03/14/five-things-i-learned-at-research-day/

–By Peijean Tsai, USC Stevens, published March 21, 2016. Photo provided by Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.