Alec Simonson: UFCD Dental Students Shine at 2021 Hinman

UFCD Dental Students Shine at 2021 Hinman

Alec Simonson became involved in bioinformatics, neuropharmacological and dental neuroscience research while earning his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Florida Atlantic University. This article will look at some of the impressive achievements of University of Florida College of Dentistry (UFCD) students at the 26th Hinman symposium in 2021.

Staged virtually due to COVID-19, the 26th Hinman Student Research Symposium celebrated the achievements of five students who earned its Most Outstanding Presentation Award in the category of basic science research. UFCD was proud to congratulate Romina Homayoun from its DMD Class of 2025, who presented on her research program Impact of Cortisol on Surface Translocation of Porphyromonas gingivalis.

Romina Homayoun, whose mentor was Mary Ellen Davey, Ph.D., was selected to present alongside her classmate, Alec Simonson, with the duo having participated in the UFCD’s Summer Research Program in 2021. Mentored by Robert Caudle, Ph.D., Alec Simonson also presented his research project on the topic of Warm Temperature Effects on Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel, Subfamily M, Member 8.

Alec Simonson and Romina Homayoun are two of just 33 student researchers who were selected for the symposium from student-submitted abstracts from across the United States. Speaking at the event, Dean A. Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H, said that the university was proud to have been represented so well by students across the nation interested in pursuing research programs.

In addition to awards for best presentation, the 26th edition of the Hinman Student Research Symposium also included scientific sessions. The chief dental officer and assistant surgeon general for the US Public Health Service, Rear Admiral Timothy Ricks, D.M.D., M.P.H., FICD, was a keynote speaker at the Hinman symposium in 2021, presenting on prominent topics of research in dental public health.

In 2023, the Hinman Student Research Symposium celebrated its 28th year at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Over 100 students attended the event, representing 44 dental schools across 34 states, as well as the District of Columbia and two provinces of Canada.

Incorporating poster and oral presentations of research studies by graduate trainees and students from dental schools, the Annual Hinman Student Research Symposium was launched with the mission of raising and maintaining the quality of dental education and research by encouraging the participation of graduate trainees, dental students, and the wider dental school faculty in research to help improve oral care globally.