Current Students

Kristina Astleford

Kristina Astleford is pursuing a DDS and PhD in Oral Biology. She works in the laboratory of Kim Mansky, PhD, studying osteoclast differentiation and function. Her specific research focuses on understanding the epigenetic role of lysine-specific demethylase 1 in osteoclast differentiation.

Nicholas Fischer

Nicholas Fischer graduated from Creighton University in 2017 with a BSEvs in Environmental Science where he studied dental adhesives and surface characterization. Nicholas is pursuing a dual DDS and PhD in the lab of Conrado Aparicio, PhD, MSc Eng. His current research interests include the biofunctionalization of dental restorative materials for soft tissue integration. Nicholas has a rabbit named Silvia.

Parandis Kazemi

Parandis Kazemi, a DDS/MS student, is advised by Eric Jensen, PhD, her research focuses on the role of Protein Kinase D in osteoclast differentiation and function using proteomics and bioinformatic approaches. She earned her honors bachelor of science at the University of Toronto and is very keen on scientific communication.

Dr. Flavia Saavedra

Flávia Saavedra, DDS, MS is an endodontist trained in Brazil. Her interest the impact of our immune system on the pathophysiology of oral diseases led her to the University of Minnesota and the laboratory of Mark Herzberg, DDS, PhD. Her research investigates the modularity effect of calprotectin on immune cells and it may affect the pathophysiology of oral diseases, including periodontal disease and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Dr. Saavedra loves Minnesota weather (really!) and in her free time enjoys hiking with her husband and dog and following all kinds of sports events.

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Sarah Shueb, DDS, MS is in her final year of her PhD. She studies the mechanisms of pain, especially in oral cancer, in the laboratory of Don Simone, PhD. Trained as a dentist in Libya, she has a MS and specialty in oral and maxillofacial pain.

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Nora Willkomm is pursuing a dual DDS and PhD in Oral Biology, studying retroviruses in the laboratory of Lou Mansky, PhD. She earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside and is a licensed dental hygienist.