Kazemi receives AADOCR Student Research Fellowship

Parandis Kazemi poses with the AADOCR Oregon Welcome sign

Parandis Kazemi, MS/DDS ’25, received a 2023 American Association for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Student Research Fellowship for her project, Investigating the downstream substrates of p38α in Monocytes.

Kazemi received the award based on a project proposal she presented at the AADOCR’s Annual Meeting in March 2023. The fellowship is designed to “encourage dental students living in the United States to consider careers in oral health research,” according to the AADOCR’s website.

The fellowship provides support for dental students to complete a research study in basic or clinical research related to oral health and present their findings at a future conference.  She is one of seventeen recipients representing eight dental schools, and the only recipient from the University of Minnesota.

Kazemi presents at AADOCR

Kazemi proposed a study using Kinase assay linked with proteomics (KALIP) to identify novel p38α targets in osteoclasts and better understand the kinase’s role in inflammation and periodontitis. “As part of my previous research, we had been able to establish and optimize the KALIP method for understanding downstream kinase substrates in osteoclasts, and now we wanted to apply the technique to understand targets of new kinases that we thought were significant in periodontal disease,” she explained.

Presenting at AADOCR was a great experience in and of itself for Kazemi, who had the opportunity to connect with fellow research students and exchange ideas. “Presenting on an international level was an exciting experience, and I got to meet a lot of other people who are passionate about science,” she said.

But when she found out she had received the fellowship, Kazemi was surprised—and encouraged. “Seeing my name on that list alongside fellows from prestigious institutions was encouraging,” she said. “The fellowship provides the resources and encouragement to help me continue my research.”

Kazemi is excited to dive in and to get some real, meaningful results from her study. “I’m really excited to see the main findings,” she said. “As you research, there are always surprises, which can open new doors for asking novel questions and redefining the perception of the unknown.  I'm excited to see where this research can lead."

And Kazemi is confident that, no matter whether the research goes the way she hopes or not, her research will matter and will make a difference. After all, that’s what scientific discovery is all about.

“It’s important to be persistent in research,” she explained. “There may be some periods of long, unappreciated effort. There are also always drawbacks and disappointments when learning a technique or acquiring a new skill in research. There are periods when you will fail and have to repeat and revise your work... but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Every bit of progress counts. We accumulate knowledge slowly as we move towards bigger scientific discoveries.”