College of Dentistry representation at IADR conference 2024

Celebrating Excellence: USask College of Dentistry Triumphs at IADR 2024 Conference

A group of USask College of Dentistry faculty members and students recently attended the International Association for Dental Research conference (IADR 2024) held in New Orleans USA in March 2024.

By Duane Krip

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR/AADOCR/CADR) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide. IADR represents the individual scientists, clinician-scientists, dental professionals, and students based in academic, government, non-profit and private-sector institutions who share our mission.

The College of Dentistry had several DMD students and PhD candidates who were recognized with awards during the IADR conference.  In addition to their awards they also to presented their research findings to an audience of around 7,000 conference attendees.

Dr. Walter Siqueira, DDS, MBA, PhD, FCAHS, dean of the college of dentistry said, “This is an exciting time for our college to showcase on the international stage. This is a highly regarded oral health conference, and their participation at this event will certainly provide our students with opportunities to engage with prominent oral health researchers, gain new knowledge, and gain experience in presenting to an international academic audience”.

The DMD students who presented their research and their respective supervisors were:

  • Luke Wandzura: Presented on “Retrospective analysis of biopsies in a college and a systematic review,”. Under the guidance of Dr. Felipe Sperandio. He also won a CADR-NCOHR Student Research Award.
  • Bahar Vatanparast: Delved into “Exploring sterilizer performance through external biological indicator testing: A retrospective study.” Her supervisor is Dr. Michelle Siqueira. She too received a CADR-NCOHR Student Research Award.
  • Feras Balbous: Explored the “Effect of Filter Sterilization on the Proteomic Profile of Human Saliva.” With guidance from Dr. Lina Marin.

In addition to these outstanding presentations, USask students also clinched prestigious awards, further underscoring the caliber of research emanating from the College of Dentistry:

Dr. Paras Ahmad (DDS, PhD candidate) received a CADR-NCOHR Student Research Award for his work investigating “Salivary protein homology between humans and dogs: Unlocking evolutionary secrets.” 

Dr. Andrea Escalante (DDS, PhD candidate) received the IADR Lion Dental Research Award for her draft abstract titled “Unveiling Proteomic Insights: Histatin 5 Degradation by Oral Bacteria” She earned a $2,000 USD prize. The Lion Dental Research Award is intended to support improvements in oral health sciences through the stimulation of junior researchers by recognition of outstanding and innovative research in basic dental science for the improvement of public dental health, and recognition of applied research achievements for improvement and development of oral care products for the prevention or oral diseases.

Dr. Luana Santana (DDS, PhD candidate) was honored with the IADR Colgate Research in Prevention Travel Award – her draft abstract title was “Histatins influence on Candida albicans and Streptococcus mutans dual-species biofilm. She also received a $2,000 USD prize. The objective of this award program is to encourage young investigators to undertake research in the prevention of oral diseases and to facilitate their presentation of this work to the international dental and oral health research community.

All three researchers are supervised by Dr. Walter Siqueira.

Dr. Siqueira was also an invited speaker at the symposium. His presentation addressed “Biobanking: Storage, Courier Transportation, and Lesson Learned from the COVID-19.” In addition, he served as a mentor for junior faculty members and postdoctoral fellows from around the world at an event organized by NIH/NIDCR called the IADR/AADOCR/CADR/NIDCR Mentoring and Networking Lunch. “I am extremely proud to be invited for the third consecutive year and to be the only Canadian serving as a mentor for the next generation of oral health researchers” said Siqueira.

The success of USask's faculty members and students at the IADR 2024 conference not only underscores the college's commitment to excellence in dental research but also highlights the significant impact of their work on shaping the future of oral healthcare worldwide. As they continue to push boundaries and break new ground in the field, their contributions promise to revolutionize dental practice and improve the lives of countless individuals around the globe.

Siqueira added, “All of these students exemplify the dedication and ingenuity driving USask's College of Dentistry forward in its quest to advance oral health research and contribute to global scientific discourse.”