Mousa Ghannam

University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2023

Major: Dental Medicine

Mousa Ghannam is a Doctor of Dental Medicine and a Master’s in Public Health (DMD/MPH) dual-degree student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. A Michigan native, he earned his BS in Chemistry from Kalamazoo College in 2017. After graduation, Ghannam volunteered as a dental assistant at dental clinics in Southwest Detroit. He also used this time to help establish an oral health component to a yearly medical mission providing support to refugees from Ramallah in the West Bank. During the summer of 2018, he began studying salivary gland development in a matrix and morphogenesis lab as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Working for the NIH also afforded Ghannam the opportunity to work on data visualization using R for the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health 2020. Since then, he became passionate about informatics and its applications within dentistry, particularly public health. To this end, he started the Dental School’s first dental informatics club which aims to promote accessibility, exposure, and education about this growing field.  

Through SUMR, he worked with Dr. Austin Bean and Dr. Krzysztof Laudanski on two separate projects. With Dr. Bean, he used natural language processing to extract information about infant eating habits from electronic health records. The goal was to estimate a function that can determine the relationship between this and bodily size. Under the mentorship of Dr. Laudanski, Ghannam explored Intensive Care Unit (ICU) data to identify cognitive biases and practice patterns of health care providers, with an overall goal of devising strategies to improve decision-making processes and efficiency of health care delivery in the ICU. 

Outside of research, he plays on the intramural soccer team, and beatboxes for the Dental School’s acapella group, SoundBites. His favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 

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