Feature Stories

She's Headed to Dental School After Three Years at NJIT

Amira Esseghir is headed to dental school after spending just three years at NJIT. 

Amira Esseghir is headed to dental school after just three years at NJIT.

She was able to graduate a year early thanks to the accelerated B.A. Biological Sciences/DMD Program, run by the Albert Dorman Honors College. And she finished with a near perfect 3.98 GPA.

So in the fall she’ll begin studies at UMDNJ- New Jersey Dental School, in Newark. She's not sure what specialty she’ll pursue. But given her love of children, she'll consider specializing in pediatric dentistry.

While at NJIT, Amira distinguished herself by leading an Interdisciplinary Design Studio (IDS) team that is creating interactive toys to help autistic children. The four-student team, called AutisMind, is partnering with an outside firm to commercialize its sensor technology, which helps autistic children improve cognitively and physically. The team has filed an invention disclosure to protect its technology and has received industry funding for its research.

She was also able to conduct research projects at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s Child Health Institute. Through her research in its clinical immunology lab, Amira gained a better understanding of the physiology of the human body and oral preventative care. She was also a second author in two scientific papers that were accepted in peer-reviewed journals.

Amira is grateful to NJIT for giving her the chance to do cutting-edge research while an undergraduate and for also giving her the educational foundation she'll need to succeed in dental school. She's also happy to be arriving at dental school a year early -- thanks to the accelerated dental program.

“When I was twelve years old, my parents decided to invest in an orthodontic treatment," she says. "After three years of bimonthly orthodontist visits, and much discomfort, my braces were finally removed. I will forever remember the moment I viewed my new smile for the first time. I was amazed by the transformation of my teeth, and at that moment I decided that dentistry was going to be my future career.”

In the fall, Amira will begin her dental studies at New Jersey Dental School, and continue to work with her teammates at NJIT on the IDS AutisMind project.

Through her education at NJIT, her research, and her entrepreneurial experiences, Amira confirmed her commitment to become a dentist.

“My sincere hope is to one day impact the lives of my patients and sculpt happy and confident smiles,” she says. “I would like to use my knowledge to teach preventative care and contribute to making dental care accessible to all. Just as my dentists have impacted my life when I was a young girl, I would like to positively impact the lives of my patients.”

By Robert Florida