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Two orthodontic graduates win AAO research awards

Dr. Massey
Dr. Christopher C. Massey
For the second year in a row, two orthodontic graduates of Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry have won prestigious awards from the American Association of Orthodontists. The awards will be presented during the AAO annual session May 13-17 in Chicago.

Dr. Christopher C. Massey won the Harry Sicher Research Award, given to the best clinical research paper related to orthodontics. His study is titled “The effect of force on dentoalveolar bone surrounding miniscrew implants – a 3D µCT study.” 

Dr. Adam J. Ortega won the Thomas M. Graber Award of Special Merit for his project titled “Local application of the bisphosphonate Zoledronate for maximum anchorage during extraction space closure.” Both award winners will present their work during the AAO session.

“The projects would not have been possible without the collaborative support of several other TAMHSC-BCD departments and the financial support of the Robert E. Gaylord Endowed Chair in Orthodontics,” says Dr. Peter Buschang, professor and director of research in orthodontics.

The honors comprise two of the three awards for outstanding research that AAO presents annually. With more than 65 orthodontic programs participating, the awards are highly competitive. Drs. Hideki Ikeda and Cody Moore, both 2009 orthodontic graduates of TAMHSC-BCD, received the Graber Award last year.

“Each of the more than 65 orthodontic departments is allowed to submit only two candidates to the competition,” says Dr. Phillip M. Campbell, chair of orthodontics and holder of the Robert E. Gaylord Endowed Chair. “BCD is fortunate to have won two of the awards in consecutive years, which is most likely unprecedented.”

Massey received a bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University in 2004. He earned his dental degree from TAMHSC-BCD in 2008 and completed the orthodontic program in 2010. Buschang chaired his master’s thesis committee, which included Dr. Paul Dechow, professor and vice chair of biomedical sciences; Dr. Lynne Opperman, professor of biomedical sciences and director of technology development; and Dr. Reginald Taylor, associate professor and director of predoctoral orthodontics.

Massey and his wife, Kimberly, have one son, Austin. They live in Lubbock, Texas, where he practices at St. Clair Orthodontics.
Dr. Ortega
Dr. Adam J. Ortega
Ortega received a bachelor’s degree in geosciences and a certificate in Spanish from Princeton University in 1997. After college, he spent a year in San Diego doing community and national service in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps.  He received his dental degree from Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 2004, after which he spent four years as a Navy dentist. He completed the orthodontic program at TAMHSC-BCD in 2010. Buschang and Campbell co-chaired his master’s thesis committee, which included Dr. Robert Hinton, Regents professor of biomedical sciences; and Dr. Aparna Naidu, assistant professor of diagnostic sciences.

Ortega and his wife, Lauren, live in Dallas with their two daughters, Ava and Layla. He started White Rock Orthodontics in 2011.