Wongelawit Tadesse graduated from the College of William and Mary in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology & Health Sciences. In 2017, she started volunteering in the Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology while also working as a dental assistant in Alexandria, VA. She is now a post-baccalaureate student in the lab and hopes to begin dental school the fall of 2019.
In the lab, Wongel works with Dr. Atsuhiro Nagasaki on his research pertaining to the molecular biology of dental development. One project focuses on the effect phosphate and pyrophosphate regulators, such as ANK and ENPP1, have on the structure of the periodontium, namely the cementum and bone. The focus of the second project is use of alkaline phosphatase to reconstruct periodontal tissue in animal models. The aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of how these factors affect periodontogenesis, with the hope of developing new therapies for periodontal tissue regeneration.