Student Research Group

The Department of Dentistry Student Research Group (SRG) is a student run organization supported by Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR), Canadian Association of Dental Research (CADR) and the School of Dentistry. Our main purpose is to foster an environment that encourages undergraduate and graduate student interaction in research. We provide students with networking, leadership training and mentorship opportunities in addition to fostering research collaborations amongst students. Benefits in being associated with the SRG include opportunities for SRG-sponsored research activities and ability to provide suggestions, comments, and/or concerns regarding student life to the executive committee through your representative.

The SRG representatives are elected in Fall of every year and your student representatives for 2020-2021 are:

President & FoMD Council Representative

Wasif Qayyum
Position: President, FoMD Council Representative
Degree in Progress: PhD Medical Sciences (Oral Biology)

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, he moved to Edmonton in 2016 after securing admission at University of Alberta. He is a Dentist by profession and completed his Bachelors in Dental Surgery, Membership in General Dentistry, Fellowship in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Masters in Bioethics from Pakistan. He is a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Medical Sciences (Oral Biology Specialization) studying the interlink between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Periodontal Disease. He works in Dr. Daniel Graf’s lab and collaborate with several on campus clinical departments including the Departments of Periodontology and Oral Medicine. He plays and watches soccer during his free time.

Vice President & DDS Representative

Ryan Kelm
Position: Vice President, DDS Representative
Degree in Progress: DDS

Originally from Victoria, Ryan completed his undergraduate studies at Camosun College and the University of Victoria. In 2017, he was accepted into the DDS program at the University of Alberta. Ryan is currently focusing on research with the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery on new techniques to treat disorders of the jaws and temporomandibular joint.

Secretary & Graduate Studies Committee Representative

Pranidhi Baddam
Position: Secretary, Graduate Studies Committee Representative
Degree in Progress: PhD Medical Sciences (Oral Biology)

Originally from India, Pranidhi moved to Edmonton 12 years ago. She completed her BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Pranidhi is pursuing her PhD in Dr. Daniel Graf’s lab and her research focuses on the role of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 (BMP7) in cartilage biology, specifically how cellular and molecular defects in cartilage leads to nasal septum deviation. Apart from research, she devotes her free time to traveling, hiking, playing badminton and watching basketball.

Treasurer & Dental Hygiene Representative

Dominic Votta
Position: Treasurer, Dental Hygiene Representative
Degree in Progress: BSc. Dental Hygiene

Dominic completed a two year pre-requisite program at the Medicine Hat College where he received a scholarship to play for the Medicine Hat Men’s Rattlers Soccer Team. After this, he moved to Edmonton to attend the University of Alberta where he finished a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology in 2018. Along with this degree, Dominic also completed a Certificate in Engaged Leadership and Citizenship. With a passion and interest in teeth from a young age, Dominic pursued another BSc at the University of Alberta in Dental Hygiene and is now in his third year of the program.

Research Intensive Graduate Student Representative

Eliana Perez Rosero
Position: Research Intensive Graduate Student Representative
Degree in Progress: Masters of Science (Oral Biology)

Eliana, completed a Bachelor Degree in Dentistry at Universidad Central, in Ecuador, her home country. Later, she worked as a general dentist in private practice and for a rural community in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest for 2 years. She moved to Edmonton, in September 2019 to pursue a MSc. in Oral Biology, at the University of Alberta, motivated by the desire to venture into research, a non- existent field back home. Actually, she researches under the supervision of Dr. Shokrollah Elahi, in the field of Immunology, where her main project is Understanding the role of Neutrophils in the oral cavity of HIV patients.

Clinical Graduate Student Representative

Silvia Capenakas
Position: Clinical Graduate Student Representative
Degree in Progress: PhD in Medical Sciences (Orthodontics)

Silvia is originally from Brazil where she completed her DDS and specialty degree in Stomatology. After 20 years working as a general dentist she decided to shift her career to research and teaching fields. She moved to Edmonton in 2017 to pursue her Master’s degree at the University of Alberta. After the Masters she was accepted to the PhD program in Orthodontics. Her research topic is sleep apnea and she’s studying the effects of orthodontic treatment on breathing. In her spare time, she loves to be with her family, watch movies and travel.

GSA Representative

Harsimrat Kaur
Position: GSA Representative
Degree in Progress: PhD Orthodontics

Harsimrat completed her dental degree and Master in Orthodontics in India. She joined McGill University to pursue a Master in Science where her research was focused on Factors associated with chronic pain in Breast Cancer patients. After completing the Master program she started a PhD in Orthodontics at University of Alberta where her focus is on quantification of forces exerted by aligner mechanotherapy. In her free time, she would listen to music, and travel.

Member at Large

Nathalia Fernandes Fagundes
Position: Member at Large
Degree in Progress: PhD Medical Sciences (Dentistry)

Nathalia is from Brazil and she is living in Edmonton to pursue her PhD degree. In her home country, she attained a DDS degree, Residence in Orthodontics and a Master's degree in Dentistry at the Federal University of Para. At the University of Alberta, Nathalia develops clinical research focused on pediatric sleep apnea, studying the craniofacial risk factors and alternative management options for this disease. In her free time, Nathalia likes to stay with her daughter and to cook some Brazilian treats.

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Read our previous newsletters!

Spring 2020
Fall 2019
Spring 2019

To learn more about research opportunities and the summer research program within the Department of Dentistry, visit Dentranet.