UIC College of Dentistry MOST Students and Mentors

Multidisciplinary Undergraduate and Graduate Research Training Under Guidance of Leading Faculty Mentors

Students in the MOST program work with world-class faculty, use cutting-edge technology and explore new directions from the bench to the bedside. Participants gain valuable experience not only conducting laboratory research but also improving planning and presentation skills. Students get mentorship in preparing abstracts for scientific meetings and literature review, and learn new laboratory techniques. 

Student Researchers

MOST-Prashant-Bommi.jpgPrashant Bommi, PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Srilata Bagchi
Research Project: Hypoxia/ROS Mediated Regulation of DDB2 in Oral Cancer Progression
Previous Degree: MS, Murray State University


MOST-Marybeth-Francis.jpgMarybeth Francis, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Xianghong Luan
Research Project: Epigenetic Mechanisms in Periodontal Disease
Previous Degree: MS, University of Wisconsin at Madison


MOST-Elizabeth-Guirado.jpgElizabeth Guirado, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor:  Dr. Anne George
Research Project: Dentine mineralization
Previous Degree:  B.S. Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami


MOST-Veronica-Haywood.jpgVeronica Haywood, PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Luisa DiPietro
Research Project: Enzymatic Glycosylation and Wound Healing
Previous Degree: DPT, Marquette University


Stefanie-Kall1.jpgStefanie Kall, PhD Candidate
Mentor: Dr. Arnon Lavie
Research Project: Probing Multiple Methods of Cancer Regulation via Choline Kinase Alpha
Previous degrees: MS in Biotechnology, Northwestern University; BS in Biochemistry, The Ohio State University


Daniel Kulakowski, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Mentor: Dr. Guido Pauli
Research Project : Biocompatibility of plant-derived biomaterials
Previous Degree: Ph.D. - The City University of New York


MOST-Angelica-Lagunas.jpgAngelica Lagunas, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. David Crowe
Research Project: Telomere DNA Damage response regulates cancer stem cell phenotype
Previous Degree: BS, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign



Annette Merkel, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Anne George
Research Project: in Development 
Previous Degree: B.S. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


MOST-Joshua-Padovano.jpgJoshua Padovano, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Anne George
Research Project: Characterize DMP1 overexpression effects on endochondral and intramembranous bone development in a mouse model
Previous Degree: B.S. Bioengineering University of Illinois at Chicago


Russell P. Pesavento, DDS, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Mentor:  Michael Johnson, College of Pharmacy
Research: Dual Project:  Mechanistic study on VraS inhibitors in MRSA strains / Development of Lanthanide based Antimicrobial Agents for the Oral Cavity
Previous Degrees:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, PhD (Chemistry); University of Iowa College of Dentistry, DDS; University of Evansville, BA


Elizabeth Michalczyk, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Luisa DiPietro
Research Project: The Role of Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor as a Regulator of Wound Angiogenesis and Collagen Content Bachelor of Science, Neurobiology


MOST-Osama-Siddiqui.jpgOsama Siddiqui, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo
Research Project: Proteoglycans in the Aging Tooth
Previous Degree: B.Sc. University of Wisconsin Madison




Gabriella Szewczyk, DMD/PhD candidate
Mentor: Dr. Michael Federle
Research Project: Quorum Sensing and Virulence Expression by Streptococcus mutans
Previous degree: B.S. University of Michigan



Juhi R Uttamani, PhD/Periodontics residency candidate
Mentor: Dr. Salvador Nares
Research area: Characterization of the role of microRNAs in regulating immune cell responses of the oral inflammatory disorders.
Previous Degree: Bachelors Of Dental Surgery (B.D.S), India


Faculty Mentors

Guy Adami
Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

Satish Alapati

Srilata Bagchi
Oral Biology

Amelia M. Bartholomew

Ana Bedran-Russo
Restorative Dentistry

William Beck
Biopharmaceutical Sciences

Michael Colvard
Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

Lyndon Cooper
Oral Biology

David Crowe

Luisa DiPietro
Periodontics (Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration)

Xiaoping Du

David Eddington

Michael Federle
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

Leslie Fung

Richard Gemeinhart
Biopharmaceutical Sciences

Anne George
Oral Biology

Luke Hanley

Michael E. Johnson
Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Timothy Koh
Kinesiology and Nutrition

Lester F. Lau
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Arnon Lavie
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Xianghong Luan
Oral Biology

Richard Magin

Salvador Nares

Steven Olson
Center for Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases

Guido Pauli
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

Bellur S. Prabhakar
Microbiology and Immunology

Clark Stanford
Restorative Dentistry

Lin Tao
Oral Biology

Angela Tyner
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Terry G. Unterman
Medicine –Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Zaijie Jim Wang
Biopharmaceutical Sciences

Keiko Watanabe

Christine Wu
Pediatric Dentistry

Richard D.  Ye

Charles Zhou