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Gibson To Receive Clendenin Award

Chris Gibson, a second year dental student, will receive the Dr. George B. Clendenin Award on Thursday, November 18, 2010. This acknowledgement is presented annually in conjunction with the Certificate of Merit by the Maryland Constituent Chapter of the International College of Dentists.

"I was very surprised because I did not know about the award," says Gibson. "It's a huge deal and honor to be recognized for my academic achievement. It is equally gratifying to know all the hard work is acknowledged and the monetary portion is also appreciated."

The award was established in 1984 by Clendenin's children, in memory of their father. The purpose of the endowed scholarship is to provide financial support to a dental student who achieves the highest scholastic average at the completion of the first year.

Chris graduated from Duke University with an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. Gibson seeks to expand his theoretical and clinical knowledge of biomedical engineering to the profession of dentistry. While working in a program with dental school research professor Dr. Radi Masri, Gibson was presented with a challenge that immediately caught his interest. The lab needed an efficient device to record important data to evaluate human response to pain.

"I jumped on the task because I was able to incorporate my engineering background," explains Gibson. "There was a study that required tedious manual observation. Although it is important, this kind of work is usually time consuming and boring to the researcher." In response to this challenge, Gibson built an automated system that eliminated the need for human observation.

"I wrote a program for a computer to record the action and report the data," says Gibson. "I spent the entire summer on this project . When the device actually worked, it was an awesome feeling of accomplishment. I hope to have an innovative approach to dentistry," reflects Gibson.

"The one thing I know about myself is anything that I am interested in, I will always work to improve it. For example, I imagine myself buying a dental drill and wondering why it doesn't do it for me."

Gibson wants to explore other avenues in dentistry, including orthodontics and prosthodontics, in the near future.

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