Image of the publication book cover

Alumni Carleigh Fraley, '19, and Jennifer Rodríguez, '19, made Hostos history this year when they had their research published in the peer-reviewed dental hygiene journal, Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.  

Titled "Host Modulation and the Inflammatory Response," Rodríguez and Fraley's article appears on the March cover of the journal. It considers how host modulation therapy may be useful in controlling the immune response responsible for periodontal diseases.  

Their research was born out of a project assigned by Professor Diana Macri, assistant professor in the Dental Hygiene unit, in May 2018 for her DEN 112 Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice I and DEN 120 Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice II courses. Conducting research and ultimately publishing the article was an intensive collaborative effort between Rodríguez, Fraley, and Professor Macri.  

"Jennifer and I read dozens of articles and wrote our initial literature review," explained Fraley. "Most of writing is rewriting, and Professor Macri became key in the editing process as we groomed and revised our work, tailoring it for publication. All three of us brought something valuable to the table. Jennifer has enhanced understanding of cell signaling because of her previous lab work, I have a passion for writing and organization, and Professor Macri is an experienced writer that was able to mold our research for publication." 

They submitted their research to the journal in the fall of 2018. After a yearlong peer review, the article was published.  

"I am very proud of their accomplishment," said Professor Macri, noting the alumni pair have made College history.  

"There are some Hostos alumni who've become faculty at Hostos and who've had their research published in the same journal, but this is the first time students' work has appeared in any dental hygiene peer-reviewed journal," Professor Macri explained. 

Rodríguez said having their research published has been exciting, but admits the publishing process was a little daunting. She credits Professor Macri's support and guidance with helping her and Fraley bring their efforts to fruition and urges other students to follow suit. "I think there are many talented students at Hostos who are very capable of getting work published," she said. "If a student is interested in such an endeavor, they should definitely work together with a faculty member in their chosen field."  

Fraley echoed her co-author's sentiments, thanking Professor Macri and encouraging others interested in submitting their work to journals to go for it. "Find a mentor that you admire, a research area you are passionate about and don't be afraid to share your findings," she advised. "As a student, it is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to 'get it right,' but the beauty of science is sharing your ideas and research so that others can learn."  

Rodríguez and Fraley are both currently working as dental hygienists. Congratulations to them!