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Student Research Highlight | Amana Farrkh

Research Newsletter | April 2014

Amana Farrkh DDS '15 has been working with Dr. Closmann on a Clinical Pathologic Correlation study. Amana and Dr. Closmann have been analyzing a clinical case. A patient came in with the chief complaint of an ill-fitting denture due to a bump on his palate, a commonly heard complaint. What followed was close examination of a mass that’s uncommon.

“Essentially we biopsied the lesion, and used the pathology to determine a differential diagnosis for the mass,” says Farrkh.

The mass was a Polymorphous Low Grade Adenocarcinoma, a fairly rare tumor. Amana’s role in this project involved conducting a review of the literature to determine what information was already out there about the disease. Farrkh then put together a manuscript about the disease and this specific clinical case. Additionally, she helped the team submit the paper for publication.

Though she didn’t do research as an undergraduate, Farrkh has always been interested in doing research in dental school “That’s important to note,” she says with a smile, “You don’t have to have prior experience in order do research here at the dental school!”

Farrkh started her research path by doing bench research with Dr. Sheldon Newman, but wanted to find a path into more clinical based research. So, Farrkh approached Dr. Closmann, and he presented her with this project.

Farrkh's enthusiasm for both oral surgery and research is contagious. She happily chats about how important bench research is, but notes that she found clinical research more interesting.

“It’s easier to see how this research is related to the patient population,” she explains. “There are direct clinical correlations that can be drawn; the results are more visible.”

When asked how she does it all Farrkh shrugs and compliments the question.

“If it’s important enough you can find some time here or there, a few hours squeezed into your day," says Farrkh. "It’s possible.” 

And that time paid off, with a soon to be published paper in the Academy of General Dentistry, and an invaluable opportunity.

Amana Farrkh would like to thank Dr. Closmann for offering her this opportunity, as well as Dr. Borris and Dr. Parashar for their involvement in this project.

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