Dental student wins basic science research award at Hinman Symposium

Thomas Nguyen presenting his poster at the Hinman Symposium.

School of Dentistry third-year student Thomas Nguyen won an award in basic science research at the 23rd annual Hinman Student Research Symposium in early November in Memphis, Tennessee.

Nguyen’s project project examined the interaction of human mesenchymal stem cells isolated from the apical papilla of extracted teeth with a human macrophage cell line in cell culture.  The stem cells altered the macrophage phenotype and induced production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.  The project was directed Nikita Ruparel, D.D.S., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Endodontics.

The symposium was sponsored by the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and co-sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society, which holds one of the nation’s largest continuing dental education meetings each March in Atlanta.

The event featured oral and poster presentations of research projects by dental students and graduate trainees from dental schools across North America. Ninety-four students represented an all-time high of 60 dental schools in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces.


Eight awards were given for the most outstanding student presentations, four in clinical research and four in basic science research, one of which went to UT Health’s Nguyen.


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