Students form group to encourage participation in research

Two research students examine a petri dish

School of Dentistry learners have reinstated a student group dedicated to scientific discovery.

Ravi Maisuria, DDS ’26, has always been interested in research. During his undergraduate studies, as a Master of Science in Oral Biology candidate and in his years outside of school, Maisuria made research a part of his work and study. And he’s not the only student with those interests.

Headshot of Ravi Maisuria
Ravi Maisuria, DDS ’26

“I have met students who did research in their undergraduate careers or during their gap year, or were just really interested in what the next generation of dentistry might look like,” Maisuria explained. At the same time, he recognized the depth and breadth of research that takes place at the School of Dentistry, on what he calls “the mystery floors of Moos Tower.”

“A lot of work and research, ranging from investigating how social determinants of health impact one’s access to dental care, to understanding how immune cells can play a role in periodontitis, happens at the school,” he said.

Recognizing this interest, Maisuria joined with a group of fellow students to re-activate the Minnesota Dental Student Research Group, a student club that brings together learners interested in research at any level.

He was excited to make research part of the dental school journey for anyone who wants it to be. “Dentistry is a collaborative effort that is constantly changing,” he said. “Research enables us to think more critically about what is going on in our field, and how the latest innovations can improve patients’ lives and access to care, and ensure health care professionals are well prepared for the future of tomorrow.”

It was important to Maisuria and his co-leaders that the group be a space where science is accessible to anyone. “We want everyone to have a seat at the table,” he explained. “It’s time to let the community and the country know that the School of Dentistry has students who are ready to shape the future of the field.”

Getting the group back up and running was challenging, but inspiring and rewarding. Achievements like being recognized by the American Association of Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research as a new student group made those difficulties worth it.

Even more rewarding is the chance to change how students view research, and help them understand how they can implement it into their dental journey. “We’re just happy that people are starting to get a feel for how important research is in advancing the field and ensuring our patient populations get the best quality of care.”

As president, Maisuria knows he has a lot of work ahead of him—but he’s up for the challenge. “I want to make sure this group is set up for success in the long term,” he said. “More importantly, I hope we can inspire others and ensure that everyone who gives our group a chance walks away with a better understanding of the significance of research and evidence-based dentistry.”