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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine

Filling You In: Student Highlight

David Currie, DS2

What is your research focus?

“The goal of our study is to examine the possible interaction between Sodium-Lauryl-Sulfate (SLS) and fluoride uptake by the tooth by evaluating the amount of loosely-bound and tightly-bound fluoride taken up by hydroxyapatite discs as a function of varying concentrations of SLS”. 

How did you initially get interested in research?

“I have always enjoyed chemistry and when I heard Dr. Carey give a presentation on how fluoride affects the structure and resilience of hydroxyapatite to erosion my curiosity got the best of me. One thing led to another and now I find myself enjoying what I am doing while learning a tremendous amount about dentifrices impact on dentistry”.

How do you balance school work with research?

“Obviously dental school and my patients come first, but there are always breaks in our schedules. Throughout every week there are numerous two to four hour breaks that I can dedicate to my project. Even then I schedule myself so that I am only in the lab every other week for about eight hours so that I can stay caught up on lab work. If you can manage your time, research is definitely a viable option while in dental school”.

What are your hobbies?

“In my free time I enjoy anything related to the outdoors or the mountains. In the past year I have become extremely active in mountain biking and have been getting ready to hit the mountains as soon as the snow melts. I also love skiing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, but all in all I just want to be outside”.

Many students are curious how they too can get involved in research. How did you approach it, and what advice would you give to those interested in doing research as

a dental student?

“I personally am not interested in specializing so I am involved in research purely for the enjoyment, education, and novelty. For me finding a topic you can enjoy and be passionate about is the most important thing. Once you discover a topic that you’re interested in and wish to learn more about, go and talk to the faculty and find out who has a similar focus. They can help you in discovering some focuses and specific questions for your research to answer, in addition to assisting you in implementing a procedure”.

Is there anyone you would like to personally thank in the newsletter?

“If it wasn’t for Dr. Clifton Carey and Stacey Coleman’s help my project would not have been possible. Without Dr. Carey’s encouragement, support, and patience my questions about fluorides effect in toothpastes would never have been answered.  With Stacey’s support I have been able to run my experiments in-between classes, trouble shoot problems, and analyze my results. They have been there for me every step of the way and I am truly grateful to for the opportunity to work with them every week”.

April 2013