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Florida dual degree student named 2016-17 Quigley fellow

May 09, 2016

By Michelle Manchir


Ms. Lee
If KyuLim Lee's passion for dentistry and research isn't evident enough in her academic pursuits — she's enrolled in a DMD/Ph.D. dual degree program — then consider the recognition her research has earned.

Ms. Lee, now approaching her fourth year of dental school at the University of Florida, was in 2014 awarded first place at the Johnson & Johnson Hatton Competition after her work was given top honors at the 2014 AADR meeting.

In part because of her remarkable research, the AADR in April announced that Ms. Lee would be the 2016-17 Gert Quigley Fellow.

Ms. Lee said her research looked at characterizing the intracellular trafficking mechanisms of Porphyromonas gingivialis.

"In the future, I would like to continue to research and study host-microbial interaction of well-adapted pathogens and their contribution to diseases in the oral cavity," she said. "My goal is to successfully complete my trainings as a dual degree student to ultimately pursue a career in academia as both a clinician and research scientist."

Ms. Lee said she decided to apply to the dual degree program at the Florida university only after she started dental school, realizing the importance of "incremental research and effort of many researchers and other professionals investigating the causes and potential treatments of diseases.

"My passion for this and the understanding of the importance of research for the future of dentistry led to my decision to pursue the DMD/PhD degree," she said.

For the fellowship, Ms. Lee will spend six weeks at the American Association for Dental Research headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and complete a yearlong appointment to the AADR Government Affairs Committee.

"I will be able to learn how Congress is involved in the process of funding research, as well as have the opportunity to advocate and educate members of Congress on the importance of dental research and research funding," Ms. Lee said. "My involvement in research has increased my appreciation for the high quality of dental and medical care in today's society, so I am truly honored for this opportunity."

The Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship is designed to familiarize dental school, Ph.D. or dual degree students with the federal legislative process as it relates to basic and translational dental and craniofacial research, as well as research on the oral health care delivery system.

For more information about the fellowship, visit AADRonline.org and search for "Gert Quigley Fellowship."