The UWA Dental School Research Day was held on Friday 22 June at the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research to showcase the exciting research being undertaken within the School. With 150 attendees, the day was extremely well attended, and maintains the increased interest in our research activities.
We were lucky to have Professor Alistair Forrest as our guest speaker, who commenced our program with a fascinating presentation on ‘Systems Biology and Genomics’. He spoke about his work as part of the FANTOM5 (Functional Annotation of the mammalian genome) consortium in generating maps of promotors and enhancers across a range of tissues and cell types. He then outlined a number of examples of where this type of data could be used to answer questions of clinical relevance across diseases such as muscular dystrophy and cancer, including oral cancer, in which he is collaborating with Professor Farah and the Oral Oncology group.
Professor Linda Slack-Smith, Dr Amr Fawzy and Dr Simon Fox (on behalf of Professor Camile Farah), then presented an overview of the research occurring in their respective research programs. These included cutting-edge clinical trials guiding surgeons to more accurately excise oral cancers, innovative programs to address oral health issues faced by vulnerable populations and exciting nanoparticle approaches to drug delivery to the dental pulp.
The presentations from the School’s Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DCD) students, was one of the highlights of the day. A total of 19 DMD groups and 7 DCD students presented their research in short five minute talks. These sessions emphasised the breadth of research occurring in the School, with representatives from all seven research programs: Biomaterials and Nanodentistry (Dr Amr Fawzy), Craniofacial Biology (Dr Mithran Goonewardene), Endodontics (W Prof. Paul Abbott), (Reducing) Oral Health Inequities (Prof. Linda Slack-Smith), Oral Implantology and Periodontics (A/Prof. Alessandro Quaranta), Oral Oncology (Prof. Camile Farah) and Paediatric Oral Health (A/Prof. Robert Anthonappa). The student presentations were to a high standard and generated a wealth of interesting questions.
This year Perth is hosting the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) ANZ Division conference in September and students were competing to represent the School. Our judging panel consisted of Dr Susan Cartwright, Scientific Affairs Manager at Colgate Oral Care; Dr Fawzy and Dr Omar Kujan and they faced the challenging task of selecting our entrants for the Colgate competition. As part of the Head of School’s overall investment in research, an additional 15 travel awards were funded by the School to allow DMD and DCD students to present their work at the conference. A full list of the awardees can be found below, and we wish to congratulate both the winners and all the students who presented on the day.
Colgate Competition Entrants
- Monisha Vijayan, Gareth Huang & Ashwati Ravindran, supervised by Dr Omar Kujan and Prof. Camile Farah.
- Yasmin Huber, Cina Yaqub & Grace Cooper, supervised by W/Prof. Paul Abbott.
School Travel Awardees
- Peter Terzi, Kent Boon & David Duan, supervised by A/Prof. Anthonappa and Prof. King.
- Anjuli Kaney & Natasha Koelmeyer, supervised by Prof. Farah.
- Vanessa Ho & Samantha Kan, supervised by Dr Zafar and A/Prof. Anthonappa.
- Jeremy Lau & Lei Ng, supervised by Dr Zafar and A/Prof. Anthonappa.
- Phil Au, Kevin Kwok, Ka Yeon Park & Xin Min Ang, supervised by A/Prof. Frydrych, Dr Kujan and Prof. Farah.
- Behrooz Fateh, Dzikamai Hove & Shixiong Tai, supervised by Prof Farah and Dr Shearston.
- Sophia Hawes, Andrea Rajwani & Amanda To, supervised by Dr Rincon and A/Prof. Quaranta.
- Sanjana Mehta, Sarmah Bin Nayeem & Mazvita Mataranyika, supervised by A/Prof. Anthonappa and Prof. King.
- Christopher Vu, Christopher Bartlett & Aaron Wong, supervised by Dr Goonewardene and A/Prof Razza.
- Matthew Tan & Amanda Chee, supervised by A/Prof. Anthonappa and Prof. King.
- Femi Moradi & Michelle Luu, supervised by Dr Rincon and A/Prof. Quaranta.
- Jamie Leung & Ida Khosraviani, supervised by Dr Goonewardene and A/Prof. Razza.
- Alice Wong, supervised by Dr Goonewardene.
- Luke Chow, supervised by Dr Goonewardene.
- Vivien Lum, supervised by Dr Goonewardene.
The day would not have been possible without the support of our major sponsors Henry Schein Halas and Colgate Oral Care, and we would like to sincerely thank them. We would also like to thank our additional sponsors Thermo-Fisher Scientific, Ivoclar Vivadent, Amalgadent Dental Supplies, Kerr Australia and Gunz Dental. As always the trade displays were extremely popular and provided a great opportunity for our sponsors to showcase their products.
The feedback from staff, students, guests and industry has been extremely positive and it is encouraging to see the expansion in research capabilities within the School since last year’s Research Day. We hope to see you for Research Day 2019!
Dr Kate Shearston, Senior Scientific Officer: +61 8 6457 7878