Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

With a goal of correcting oral imperfections and diseases to boost the confidence of an individual, my interest in Dentistry started in high school when I received my treatment for an underdeveloped jaw and maligned teeth. Venturing beyond the confines of my curriculum and didactics to take up dental research at our school is my inspiration and guiding force to pursue MS in Oral Biology.

During my dental school, I was exposed to the devastating effects of oral diseases and the burden it poses physically, mentally and financially. This made me gain in-depth knowledge of the ways and methods of early detection, prevention, and treatment. Through presentations on early diagnosis and prevention of various oral diseases, I have shared this knowledge with my peers and worked on a project which dealt with providing information on various types of tobacco, cancer prevention, screening, and rehabilitation.

My interest in research started when I was working as a teaching assistant to Dr. Uppala. It is through her that I got introduced to the literature review, experimental design and scientific writing. Under her guidance, I have worked and presented a poster on a research titled “Evaluation and Correlation of Salivary and Serum Alkaline Phosphatase in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Patients”. Also, I have been introduced to immunohistochemistry techniques while working on the research project titled- “Detection of Human Papilloma Virus in Oral and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using P16 Immunohistochemistry”. This experience made me develop a “research mind” and was an eye-opener for me in choosing my next career move; to pursue graduate studies in dental research.

My goal now is to gain comprehensive knowledge regarding the molecular biologic aspect of the oral diseases to comprehend the pathologies at a cellular level. Research in this field helps me to understand the disease in terms of inflammatory pathways, bacterial interactions and effects of factors like cigarette smoke on cells for early diagnosis, prevention, and better treatment methods. I believe that the Masters in Oral Biology would help me understand the fundamentals of biological phenomena, development of new strategies for disease prevention, diagnostic tools, and treatment of various oral diseases.

Rohit from Kentucky
University of Louisville School of Dentistry