Julie Reynolds is an assistant professor in Preventive and Community Dentistry and a vocal supporter of the Dental Student Research Program. She regularly mentors current dental students in the program.
What year did you graduate dental school?
Who was your mentor?
My mentor in the student research program was Dr. David Drake.
What was your research project?
I studied antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of S. mutans genotypes.
Did and if so, how did participation in student research influence your career decisions?
Though the focus of my research has changed significantly, early research experiences drove my interest in disease prevention and oral health promotion, and gave me great initial experiences with scientific writing and presenting.
Did and if so, how did participation in student research help you become a better dentist (i.e., clinical decision making, lifelong learning)?
It helped me understand research design more thoroughly and improved my ability to critically evaluate scientific literature.
How did participation in student research benefit you as a dental student?
I had a lot of fun working in the lab, and it was a nice change of pace from other dental school requirements. I also really enjoyed participating in a research conference with some of my peers. And the summer stipend didn’t hurt.😉
What was your favorite part of your student research experience?
Meeting and working with great colleagues in the lab, learning new skills.
What advice would you offer dental students considering participation in student research?
Do it! It will certainly unfold new opportunities, and might even be transformative in shaping your future career.