Celebrating the breadth and depth of oral health research

In September 2022, the Melbourne Dental School hosted the 61st Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, Australia & New Zealand Division.

The Melbourne Dental School recently hosted the 61st Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, Australia & New Zealand Division at the University of Melbourne's Glyn Davis Building.

From 26 to 28 September 2022, over 200 oral health researchers and communicators from around the world gathered in Melbourne for this conference, which was made possible by the generous support of Colgate Australia.

The theme of the 2022 meeting was ‘Celebrating the breadth and depth of oral health research’. It was the first time our diverse scientific community had been able to gather face-to-face since the start of the pandemic and we celebrated the exchange of ideas and new information through presentations from renowned scientists and specialists in their fields. The event was also an opportunity for participants to network and develop new connections and collaborations.

Professor Sarah Baker from the University of Sheffield opened the first day of the conference as our invited eminent speaker and gave a presentation on the application and benefits of social and behavioural sciences research to oral health.

The first day featured some excellent symposia and presentations and highlighted the impressive research that is being undertaken in the Melbourne Dental School in many fields.

At the end of the first day, the Colgate welcome reception was held at the Melbourne Museum. The winner of the Colgate Travel Competition was Bansari Shah (BBiomed(hons)) 2020, a PhD candidate in the ACTV research team at the University of Melbourne. She will represent the Australia New Zealand Division in the global IADR Hatton Award competition in Columbia next year. We also hosted an ECR networking event at The Everleigh, enabling younger researchers to build relationships with their colleagues.

On the second day of the IADR, Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds (BSc(Hons) 1972, PhD 1978) of the Melbourne Dental School gave an expansive presentation on periodontal disease management by modulation of plaque microbial composition.

Professor Richard Watt from University College London also delivered a presentation, via Zoom, on future opportunities for addressing oral health disparities.

The second day concluded with a gala dinner at ZINC at Federation Square where the IADR ANZ research awards were presented by IADR ANZ President, Professor Saso Ivanovski, and global IADR Past President, Professor Paula Moynihan.

On the last day of IADR ANZ 2022, Professor Rachel Waddington gave the closing plenary presentation on using extracellular vesicles for regenerative medicine. A series of symposia and workshops highlighted the current research into dental education and curricula development.

The three-day conference was certainly a feast for both researchers and clinicians.

Written by Krystin Wu, Melbourne Dental School