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Kenly native to present dental research

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GREENVILLE — A Kenly native and first-year student at the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine is among a select group of U.S. dental students and the only student from North Carolina to receive a travel grant to present research at the International Association of Dental Research General Session & Exhibition in Vancouver, Canada from June 19-22.

Colby Godwin will present “Understanding the Effects of Arrabidaea chica on Inflammatory Signaling Pathways” at the international conference due to the 2019 American Association for Dental Research Bloc Travel Grant.

Godwin graduated from East Carolina University in 2018 as a student in the honors college with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry. He joined the School of Dental Medicine’s Summer Research Scholars prior to beginning dental school classes.

“The Summer Research Scholar program allowed me the time and resources to focus on my project and learn new lab techniques and information before the rigors of dental school,” said Godwin. “Having that head start helped me with continuing my research during the school year.”

Godwin’s research mentor is Dr. Ramiro M. Murata, an assistant professor in the dental school’s Department of Foundational Sciences. Godwin and Murata study the medicinal properties of Arrabidaea chica, a Brazilian plant with an extract that shows promise in relieving the inflammation and ulceration of tissues in the mouth that can occur after cancer therapies. The project is an extension of the school’s international collaborations with Dr. Mary Ann Foglio, University of Campinas, Brazil.

“Colby’s project was selected on the basis of the quality of the abstract he submitted to the meeting,” said Murata. “The research was recognized by the American Association for Dental Research as significant work with original research design, technical innovation and scientific merit.”

Murata said that the Vancouver conference will expose Godwin to the largest gathering of dental researchers in the world, where he will be able to speak with other dental students from across the nation and the world about their experiences in dental research and more.

Godwin said he has always had a passion for science and discovery, but his interest in research was ignited during his senior project as a student in the honors college.

“The School of Dental Medicine continued to support me with the Summer Scholars Program, and I am extremely grateful to be here at ECU where my interests are supported,” he said.

Godwin hopes to complete dental school in the next three years and go on to work in North Carolina.