UWA Dental School Research Day 2021

17 Sep 2021 | 2 mins

The UWA Dental School Annual Research Day on Friday 18 June gathered students, staff, alumni and industry to highlight the exciting research being undertaken at the School, with a focus on improving dental practice and human health and integrating research into training to enhance the skill development of well-rounded dental practitioners.

Dentistry is often underappreciated within the community as an area for health research, despite oral health being a key indicator of overall health, well-being and quality of life. Most oral diseases and conditions share modifiable risk factors with the leading non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes) and the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study estimated that oral diseases affect 3.5 billion people worldwide (Learn more here).

This year’s featured speakers covered key areas such as innovative dental materials, dental techniques, oral lesions and cancer, quality assessment of radiography, dental education and scope of practice, patient satisfaction and more. We were honoured to have Professor Lakshman Samaranayake from Hong Kong University as our keynote speaker, with a fascinating presentation titled ‘Back to Basics: Research, Wisdom, and Morality’. Prof Samaranayake is an internationally, renowned clinical academic with expertise in oral microbiomics, clinical research, senior executive level administration, and dental pedagogy and has an impressive track record of highly cited work. While he joined us remotely for this presentation we hope to have him visit in person at a future time. We also appreciated having special guests Professor Tim Colmer (Deputy Vice-Chancellor- Research), Professor Anna Nowak (Pro Vice-Chancellor- Health and Medical Research), and Dr David Hallett (CEO- Australian Dental Association- WA) in attendance.

The presentations from the School’s Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent) students, were a highlight of the day. A total of 20 DMD student groups and 7 PhD students presented their research in short talks. These sessions emphasised the breadth of research occurring in the School, with representatives from all 7 research programs, under the guidance of their supervisors: Biomaterials and Nanodentistry (Dr Amr Fawzy), Craniofacial Biology (Dr Mithran Goonewardene), Oral Imaging (A/Prof Johan Aps), Endodontics (W Prof. Paul Abbott), Periodontics and Implantology (A/Prof Leticia Miranda), Oral Pathology and Medicine (Dr Omar Kujan) and Paediatric Oral Health (A/Prof Robert Anthonappa). The student presentations were to a high standard and generated a wealth of interesting questions, with prizes awarded to the following student presenters:

Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) category:

  1. Alice Gregory and Priyanka Raidoo, supervised by A/Prof Robert Anthonappa and Dr Jilen Patel, Enamel Microstructure of Primary and Permanent Teeth in Amelogenesis Imperfecta. 
  2. Susan Cai, Bryan Huong and Matthew Macdonald, supervised by A/Prof Robert Anthonappa and Dr Jilen Patel, Comparison of Tooth Staining between Competitive Swimmers and Non Swimmers. 
  3. Richard Tien, Tulrica Chen and Vraj Patel, supervised by The Predictability of Expansion with Invisalign – a Retrospective Cohort Study. 
  4. Serena Li, Mohar Mandal and Philip Tsen, supervised by Dr Igor Lavrin, Dr Steven Naoum, Dr Richard Lee and Dr Mithran Goonewardene,  Comparison of Skin Dosimetry between Intraoral and Extraoral Bitewing Imaging. 
  5. Colleen Westerman and Daisy Ma, supervised by A/Prof Robert Anthonappa and Dr Jilen Patel, An in vitro study of remineralization potential of children’s toothpastes. 

PhD category:

  1. Dr Zohaib Akram, supervised by Dr Amr Fawzy, Dentin bonding agents modified with functionalized nano-graphene to enhance stability and antibiofilm potential at resin-dentin interface. 
  2. Dr Majdy Idrees, supervised by Dr Omar Kujan, Dr Kate Shearston, Dr Simon Fox and Prof Camile Farah, Dentin bonding agents modified with functionalized nano-graphene to enhance stability and antibiofilm potential at resin-dentin interface.
  3. Dr Ravi Teja Chitturi, supervised by Dr Omar Kujan, Dr Kate Shearston, Dr Simon Fox and Prof Camile Farah. Development and validation of a 3D in vitro model of oral carcinogenesis using spheroid cultures of normal and dysplastic oral keratinocytes 
  4. Dr Cheryl Fu, supervised by Dr Amr Fawzy, Multiscale Characterisation of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Interaction with Dentin. 

We wish to congratulate the winners and all the students who presented on the day as the standard was high and our judging panel faced a challenging task.

The day would not have been possible without our trade display partners Amalgadent, Southern Implants, Henry Schein Halas, KavoKerr, Straumann, W&H Australasia, Geistlich, Dentsply Sirona and 3M and we thank them for their support.

Thanks also to Dr Kate Shearston, Dr Omar Kujan, the judging panel and all the staff and students who assisted with making the day a success. We hope to see you in 2022!

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