Lab Members

Postdoctoral Scholars

 


Graduate Students

 


Dental Students

Robbie Bettinger (Class of 2027)

Hometown: Bowling Green, OH

What made you interested in research: The ability to learn more about a field I have a passion for as well as being a small part in making a lasting impact on dentistry.

Career goal: To be a general dentist with an emphasis on cosmetic work.

Current favorite music artist/band: Morgan Wallen

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: Whether you are an employed graduate student or an undergraduate student volunteering, Dr. Kaspar treats you with the same respect and is always willing to help when you need it.

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: If modern artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose have a similar impact as real sugar on caries development and periodontal disease.

 

Nicole Fleming (Class of 2026)

Hometown: Canton, OH

What made you interested in research: I have always been excited about the possibility of discovering something new!

Career goal: Dentist —> Orthodontist

Current favorite music artist/band: Anything Country!

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: Everyone is 1) always willing to help out 2) so fun to talk to and learn from!

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: Does the addition of metal/porcelain brackets during orthodontic treatment significantly impact the oral microbiome?

 

Iris Shin (Class of 2027)

Hometown: Rocky River, OH

What made you interested in research: In undergrad, I began research in molecular biology, investigating gene functions of a novel bacteriophage. Here, I saw a glimpse of the potential impacts our research could have in the development of phage therapies as solutions for human disease. Furthermore, I enjoyed independent research as it gave me an opportunity to explore my own questions, apply the knowledge I gained in the classroom to real-world processes, and to learn from some of the most brilliant mentors.

Career goal: Dentist and/or Jazz Pianist

Current favorite music artist/band: Tom Misch

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: 10 min gel electrophoresis (w/ precast gels AND portable imager!!)

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: The efficacy of OTC allergy eye drops for the treatment of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

 

Jacob Tuckerman (Class of 2026)

Hometown: Hudson, OH

What made you interested in research: I did research in undergrad and I loved being able to learn about a subject, while simultaneously working to find out a new discovery. It’s extremely rewarding to be able to know you’ve made an impact in something you’re interested in.

Career goal: After dental school, my goal is to match into an OMFS residency and become an oral surgeon.

Current favorite music artist/band: Travis Scott

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: The mentorship that Dr. Kaspar provides. He is very eager to help everyone learn and always comes in with a positive attitude.

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: The effects of quorum sensing and associated products produced due to different environmental conditions. I worked on a project investigating this in undergrad and it was extremely interesting!

 


Undergraduate Students

Hamsika Arnipalli (Rising Junior)

Hometown: New Albany, OH

What made you interested in research: I am drawn to research because it allows me to delve deeper into niche topics that aren’t covered through class work.

Career goal: I hope to attend dental school and open up my own private practice.

Current favorite music artist/band: Travis Scott

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: Dr. Kaspar of course!

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: How can phage therapy can be used to fight oral diseases?

Allen Choi (Rising Senior)

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

What made you interested in research: I wanted to learn about and experience the research process and develop an understanding of the underlying mechanisms behind oral health.

Career goal: To become a dentist that communicates well with patients, understands their socioeconomic backgrounds, and stays up-to-date on scientific advancements and innovations.

Current favorite music artist/band: Jannabi

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: I love the welcoming and engaging learning environment Dr. Kaspar cultivates in our lab. His mentorship has been vital to my growth as an undergraduate student and researcher.

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: The role of environmental factors, such as diet and socioeconomic status, in shaping the oral microbiome and oral health, and the potential utilization of probiotics, prebiotics, and other therapeutic interventions to reestablish microbial balance and promote oral health.

 

Sarah Klingerman (Rising Senior)

Hometown: New Albany, OH

What made you interested in research: I became interested in research because I love to learn and challenge myself in new ways. I wanted to apply my knowledge in the classroom to real-world problems and discoveries, especially that relate to my future career in dentistry. I knew that the Kaspar Lab would not only help me achieve these goals but also encourage me in the process!

Career goal: Dentist!

Current favorite music artist/band: Morgan Wallen

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: The welcoming community of members involved in the lab. The support of Dr. Kaspar as well as the other members of the lab makes research that much more fun!

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: How can the development of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare be utilized to make the diagnosis and treatment plans of patients even more efficient?

 

Huizhen Lim (Rising Junior)

Hometown: Canton, MI

What made you interested in research: Being able to learn in a hands-on way outside of the classroom

Career goal: Dentist

Current favorite music artist/band: Bruno Mars

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: Being able to learn new things all the time and getting support from others in the lab

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: The relationship between neuroscience and oral health

 

Lindsey Pia (Rising Senior)

Hometown: Wethersfield, CT

What made you interested in research: To apply my current studies, as a microbiology major, with my future studies in dentistry.

Career goal: To make people smile!

Current favorite music artist/band: Lana Del Rey

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: The unconditional support from all of the members!

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: How the oral microbiome and overall oral health is related to genetics.

 

Isabella Williams (Rising Senior)

Hometown: North Hampton, NH

What made you interested in research: I wanted to get involved in research during my undergraduate years because of the hands-on and novel learning experience. More specifically, I knew that working in the Kaspar Lab would allow me to further develop my critical thinking and data analysis skills. I knew the Kaspar lab would provide me with an opportunity to practice manual dexterity using the micropipette. As an aspiring dental student, I hope that this experience will help me develop precise hand skills for the labs I’ll encounter in dental school.

Career goal: Dentist!

Current favorite music artist/band: Jack Johnson

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: The support and encouragement from everybody involved with the lab. I have loved hearing about other members success within and outside of the Kaspar Lab.

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: I am interested in the specific differences in the oral microbiome and overall oral health of patients with Crohn’s disease versus healthy patients. I worked on quantification of different strains commonly found in the oral microbiome this year, so it would be interesting to compare this data to a sample from patient with Crohn’s or a similar chronic disease.

 


Kyulim Lee, DMD, MS, PhD

Principal Investigator

lee.10122@osu.edu


Justin Kaspar, PhD

Principal Investigator

kaspar.17@osu.edu

Curriculum Vitae

 

Hometown: Blessing, TX

What made you interested in research: It wasn’t until I got involved in a phage biology class, taught by Dr. Ry Young at Texas A&M, that I realized I could have a career and impact in biomedical sciences that was outside of professional school, and that is where my passion was.

Career goal: Opening my own BBQ restaurant

Current favorite music artist/band: Koe Wetzel

The best thing about the Kaspar Lab: All the great people I get to hang out with every day and getting paid for it

A research question I’m interested in outside the Kaspar Lab: How to increase the effectiveness of universal vaccine candidates for some of our most common pathogens, which could include oral microbes


Previous Lab Members

Dental Students

Kacee Soehnlen, April 2023 – May 204, OSU CoD Class of 2026

Sohan Seth, April 2023 – August 2023, OSU CoD Class of 2027

Undergraduates

Michael Rose, October 2020 – August 2021, accepted into Rutgers’ DMD program

Nicole Wilson, January 2021 – May 2022, accepted into Temple’s DMD program

Stefanie Wyszkowski, January 2021 – August 2021, accepted into Penn’s DMD program

Jordan Batagower, January 2021 – May 2023, accepted into Texas A&M’s DDS program

Madisen Bangs, January 2021 – May 2023, accepted into Ohio State’s DDS program

*2nd Place Award in the 2023 OSU Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, Health Under the Microscope Category

 Emily Williams, January 2021 – May 2024, accepted into Ohio State’s DDS program

*3rd Place Award in the 2024 OSU Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, Health Under the Microscope Category

Kevin Dong, April 2021 – May 2024, accepted into Ohio State’s DDS program

*OSU College of Dentistry Melfi Fellow, Summer 2021

Paige Bending, April 2021 – August 2022, accepted into Ohio State’s DDS program

Tim Dang, April 2021 – December 2022, accepted into Ohio State’s DDS program

Adam Bouchendouka, April 2021 – May 2024, accepted into Columbia’s DDS program

Delaney Hancock, May 2022 – December 2023, accepted into Ohio State’s DDS program