The OSU SRG is glad to present D3 Lauren Mell as Student Researcher of the Month for September 2009.


Lauren Mell grew up in Chicago and in Avon Lake, Ohio. She graduated from Avon Lake High School in 2003, and received her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University in the spring of 2007. Hours spent observing dentists after her sophomore year solidified her desire to attend dental school. Being an OSU alumnus, it was only natural that OSUís College of Dentistry was her first pick for dental school, and she started the DDS program shortly after, in the fall.

Lauren knew research would be a great way to learn more about a topic of interest outside the lecture setting, and wasted no time getting involved in a project. The Student Research Group helped connect Lauren with periodontist Dr. Tatakis, who mentored her summer research experience.

Laurenís abstract: Gingival Morphology Differences among Determined Periodontal Phenotypes was based on a previous study that defined three periodontal phenotypes using cluster analysis of different variables. Lauren continued the study by measuring gingival characteristics, papillary height (PH) and lateral incisor distance (LID)*, to identify possible gingival differences between the pre-determined phenotypes. Differences in gingival morphology among periodontal phenotypes are important because gingival phenotype plays a role in prevalence and severity of gingival recession, which is an important symptom of periodontal disease and undesired result of periodontal therapy. PH was measured on casts with an electronic caliper and LID was measured on computerized photographs with scion imaging.  The LID differences were not statistically significant between the three determined phenotypes while the central incisor PH was significantly different between the phenotypes. These results suggest that particular gingival morphology differences among periodontal phenotypes are site-specific.

Her experience of attending the IADR conference to present her poster was fun, exciting, and rewarding, and she thought it was a great way to learn more about all aspects of dentistry.


* The distance between the zenith of the lateral incisor and the line connecting the central incisor and canine zeniths (gingival line).