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Kyle Gopffarth and Brandon Key, who are both second-year dental students, spent their summer in Bethesda, Maryland, participating in internships at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), one of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The NIDCR offers a summer research training opportunity for dental students from across the U.S. The NIDCR Summer Dental Student Award is designed to provide dental students hands-on research experience and exposure to the latest advances in oral health research. Dental student awardees are assigned to mentors who conduct research in the students’ areas of interest. Participation in the program results in presentation of research findings at a scientific meeting or co-authorship of scientific publications.
Gopffarth worked the bench in the Adult Stem Cell Section of the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch of the NIDCR. He studied the effects of various hormones on hematopoietic stem cells. The project laid the groundwork for future research.
Key, who was placed in the Office of Science Policy and Analysis, created his own research topic on analyzing how dental expenditures, services, and visits changed during and after the recession of 2008. To do this, he explored the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey using SAS software to analyze the data.