BIO 299 Research in the Biological Sciences

Nicholas Seago

Instructor: Dr. Poonam Shores


I decided to research the link between oral health and systemic disease after spending two years working alongside Doctors of Dental Medicine and Registered Dental Hygienists.  Working in this capacity placed me face to face with patients and allowed me an opportunity to witness the general understanding of dental health.  My objectives were to increase the awareness of the relationship between oral health and systemic health, to promote a more interdisciplinary approach to patient care for both Physicians and dentists alike, and to increase the value placed on dental hygiene knowledge and technique.  After presenting my work at both the rehearsal and actual Greenville Technical College Student Showcase, receiving the questions and feedback that I did, and reflecting on the research process I am even more resolute in my conviction that this association needs to be understood.  The link is not uni- but bi-directional affecting every system in our bodies.  Therefore, I believe it is time that we begin more heavily promoting Dental health as a part of systemic and comprehensive health, educating the public on more complete methods of oral hygiene, and through this lowering the prevalence of diseases such as Chronic Periodontitis.

Initial post: Making the decision to take part in the Creative Inquiry program at Greenville Technical College was effortless.  After leaving the Army as a disabled veteran I decided that I wanted to continue my education with a Medical Degree.  The opportuNicholas Seagonity to continue serving my community while learning and being challenged in my career is very intriguing.  Prior to my time in the military I completed a B.A. at Mars Hill University in History and Education.  I realized very quickly that this goal of admission was not going to be easy to surmount; I had only completed one natural science course in the entirety of the history program!  Being offered this course and the extremely valuable mentor-mentee relationship of Dr. Shores aligns directly with my goals in preparing to be a competitive Medical School Candidate.

I currently fulfill a role as a Practice Administrator for a Dental Service Organization and have learned of the important correlation between a patient’s oral environment and general health.  Having spent many hours with the Doctor, hygienist, and patient I realize that this relationship is not always obvious.  As an aspiring Physician I want to increase the awareness with regards to the connection between general health and dental health by focusing on Periodontal Gum Disease (Periodontitis) and health complications including but not limited to glycemic control, cardiovascular issues, and overall inflammation of bodily tissues.

Along with a paper composition of my research I hope to present my findings at the 15th annual Upstate Research Symposium.  I hope to see you there!

Katelyn Thornton

Instructor: Dr. Lee Edwards


It is hard to believe that the semester is over. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this class, and I have learned many things. The main thing I learned is that bacteria can become resistant to triclosan quickly. During my experiment that I conducted in the laboratory, I tested to see how fast Escherichia coli can become resistant to the antimicrobial triclosan. My findings were surprising, and they showed significant resistance after five generations. I believe that if I had a few more days to continue the experiment, I would have been able to show complete resistance. I knew that bacteria could mutate quickly, but this experiment really showed me exactly how quickly they could become resistant as well as the importance of cleaning with the right products in order to prevent resistance. Another thing I learned is that methods listed in an academic journal may not give you all the details in order to conduct an experiment. It was necessary for me to make minor adjustments to the protocol, such as using 95% ethanol instead of 70% ethanol because the powdered triclosan did not dissolve well enough in the 70% ethanol. Not only did I learn practical skills in the lab and searching through the databases, I reinforced my communication skills. It was important for me to keep in contact with my mentor as well as the microbiology laboratory manager to make arrangements for lab time, experiment updates, research questions, etc. This semester really showed me that I like working in a laboratory and I am ready to start my next chapter in the medical laboratory science program at Georgia Southern University.


Initial post: My name is Katelyn Thornton. I have a B.S. in biology from USC Upstate and I am working towards transferring to Georgia Southern University for their medical katelyn thorntonlaboratory program. This class is important to me because not only is it a prerequisite for the program I am wishing to enter, but research in science is important. A scientist should know how to research, and this class will reinforce and strengthen my knowledge in researching. My Creative Inquiry topic will look at a compound called triclosan, which was an anti-microbial agent found in many cleaners. Triclosan was used to kill bacteria but, it was becoming ineffective at doing so. Triclosan has since been banned by the FDA in hand soaps. I am excited to be working with my mentor this semester and doing an experiment in the laboratory. While it is good to know how to research using other people’s data and articles, I also believe that is it important to know how to do research in a laboratory setting. I am anxious to see what I am able to learn this semester, about researching and about triclosan.