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When I arrived at Penn, I knew I wanted to get involved in research, but without prior experience, I felt intimidated and lost on how to begin. However, with some guidance and time, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join a lab filled with projects that suited my niche interests (ex. oral-systemic link) and conduct research under the mentorship of Dr. Dana Graves at Penn Dental Medicine through PURM. The Graves Lab studies several aspects of oral biology, with recent interests focusing on the impact of diabetes, a systemic condition, and gene deletion in wound healing and in periodontal disease. During my time in Graves Lab so far, I have learned about the importance of the “re-” in “research,” gained experience and knowledge in both wet and dry lab techniques, assisted in oral surgery on mice, and more. I also cherish being able to work with, learn from, and create bonds with visiting scholars from around the world, dentists, postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers, and current dental students. I would love to guide aspiring student researchers in achieving their specific goals, finding research opportunities suited to their interests and passions, and realizing the exciting variety and tangibility of research at Penn!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about identifying personal research interests, reaching out to professors, the research process in general, and even getting to know about what research may look like as an undergraduate student! In addition to research, I would also be excited to talk about music, archery, and being a pre-dental student at Penn!

Additional groups/interests: Penn Symphony Orchestra, Penn Pre-Dental Society, Dental Bridges, Penn Archery

Affiliations: Creative and/or Performing Arts, Harrison, Community Engagement
Academic Major(s): Neuroscience
Alyssia Liu