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Ben Swanson ’17 is the recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes for Health (NIH). This prestigious fellowship provides funding for pre-doctoral students enrolled in a program that integrates research with clinical training. The award will provide Swanson with full financial support for his remaining five years of graduate study. Last year, only 300 of these fellowships were awarded nationwide. Swanson is currently in his third year of the DDS (dentistry and dental research)/PhD program at the University of Michigan, working in the tissue engineering and polymeric biomaterial laboratory of Peter X. Ma, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering, biologic sciences, materials sciences and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering.

Swanson’s proposal, titled “Exosome-mediated Craniofacial Bone Tissue Engineering,” was ranked in the top five percent of all proposals submitted this year. His research focuses on creating ways that augment bone regeneration in the oral cavity to support dental implants. At Canisius, Swanson was a chemistry major/American Chemical Society Certified Track. He conducted research for three summers with Mariusz Kozik, PhD, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. While presenting a poster on his undergraduate research at the 251st American Chemical Society national meeting, Swanson discovered his interest in the dual DDS/PhD program at Michigan.

Submitted by: Phil Sheridan, professor and chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry