First-Year DMD Student Wins CADR-IMHA Student Research Award

March 18, 2011

Leila Mohazab - CADR-IMHA

Leila Mohazab (C) receives her award from Dr. Jeff Dixon, CADR past-president, and Dr. Deborah Matthews, CADR president-elect.

First-year dental student Leila Mohazab won second place in the Junior category of the 2010 – 2011 CADR-IMHA Student Research Awards. These awards are cosponsored by the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR) and the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Her research project, titled “Critical role for αvß6 integrin in enamel biomineralization,” was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Hannu Larjava, professor, and chair of the Division of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene. Her work studied the consequences of the absence of a signaling protein (αvß6 integrin) in mice teeth. It was hypothesized that this protein plays a role in enamel formation. The study demonstrated that the absence of this protein in mice results in major abnormal enamel production, which in turn results in various symptoms such as fragile and hypomineralized teeth. The research can be extended to study human conditions that affect enamel formation and produce similar symptoms, such as amelogenesis imperfect, a tooth development disorder in which the teeth are covered with thin, abnormally formed enamel. The CADR-IMHA Student Research Awards were presented to winners in San Diego, California on March 17, 2011, at the annual meeting of the CADR held in conjunction with meetings of the International and American Associations for Dental Research.