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UTSD Resident Wins Pediatric Research Poster Prize

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 4:01pm

Dr. Brett Chiquet

Dr. Brett Chiquet

Brett Chiquet, DDS, PhD, a pediatric dentistry resident at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, has won first place at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s research poster contest.   

Chiquet, a second-year resident, presented “WNT Pathway and Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and Palate” for AAPD’s research poster competition during the organization’s annual session May 23-26 in Orlando.

He examined a gene-signaling pathway and its role in craniofacial development, particularly in cleft lip/palate defects.

“Instead of looking at one gene, I wanted to look at the all the genes in this pathway and how they interact to contribute to cleft defects,” Chiquet said. “Looking at the pathway as a whole can give us new ideas on how to study disease.”  

His advisor on the project was Jacqueline Hecht, PhD, professor and associate dean for research.

Chiquet worked concurrently on his DDS from UTSD and a PhD in human and molecular genetics from UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, receiving both degrees in 2011. He earned an undergraduate degree from The Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University.

Chiquet, who has been studying the genetics of craniofacial development since he was a doctoral student, has long been interested in cleft lip and palate and knew he wanted to pursue a career in academic research since starting dental school.

He will complete his certificate in UTSD’s Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry Program in June and plans to continue working in craniofacial development research.