Jake Lensing, Doctor of Dental Surgery student
Enhances dental repair
• Hometown: Pella, Iowa
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Erica Teixeira, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Operative Dentistry
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? University of Iowa College of Dentistry – May 2023
• Please describe your research: My research involved looking at the mechanical properties of newly developed dental biomaterials and analyzing the effect of different factors in the way researchers have been testing these materials in a laboratory setting.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? New dental biomaterials are continuously being brought to market and they need to be tested for comparison. However, with so many different factors affecting the outcome of each study, researchers need to find a way to standardize the data to accurately interpret the results and compare the properties of the materials from study to study. My project helps researchers to compare these different materials.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started my research the summer before my first semester at Iowa.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Throughout the research process I had to dive into the dental literature, and it was like drinking out of a firehose. I knew nothing, but as time progressed, I felt like it gave me an excellent foundation of understanding and appreciation for dental science before the school year had even started. It also let me expand my network of mentors and professors that I can go to for help or advice.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? After receiving my DDS, I would like to further my education through a specialty program, Ph.D. program, or both. Eventually, I want to end up teaching and doing research for a dental school, but before then I would like to try out private practice.
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