Liam Safran

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Class of 2027

Liam Safran is a dental student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine where he is pursuing a doctorate of Dental Medicine. He graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2023, attaining a B.S. in Neuroscience and taking part in the Dana Scholars Honors Program. A key undergraduate experience for him was running a lab in the neuroscience department that explored the memory of a unicellular protist, Physarum polycephalum, commonly known as slime mold, under the advisorship of Dr. Gretchen Gotthard. Through integrating an understanding of microscopic, unicellular behavior and larger-scale philosophy of what it means to have memory, Safran gained an appreciation for interdisciplinary education and research. Continuing his educational path in dental school, he looks forward to broadening his horizons by zooming-out from his interest in mechanistic neuroscience by exploring how those concepts apply to broader policies and economic factors that impact people’s access to healthcare.

Safran appreciates the opportunity that the SUMR 2024 Fellowship offers to diversify his dental education by collaborating with his LDI mentor, Dr. Carrasco-Labra, and Dr. O’Brien. The project is an analysis of state regulations of moderate sedation in pediatric dentistry and their impact on practice and education. A data-visualized overview of moderate sedation will help inform how permitting requirements vary in complexity and provide easy comparison of geographical data.