To celebrate NDCS’ research work and to encourage greater research collaborations, the Oral Health ACP (the latest ACP formed, launched in August this year) re-launched its annual Research Day on 21 November 2014.   The theme for the event was “Research in Oral Health: Transforming Care, Improving Lives”.

NDCS Research Day serves as a platform for sharing and network of research ideas and findings.   It aims to cultivate a vibrant research culture and to nurture young clinicians in NDCS to embark on a research pathway.

This year, the Centre launched the inaugural Young Investigator Award to be given to the best poster presentation on Research Day.   The competition saw an overwhelming participation from 11 young clinicians and a dental surgery assistant (DSA) team. The top three winning poster presentations were from Dr See Toh Yoong Liang (winner), Dr Leonardo Saigo (1st runner up) and Dr Yu Na (2nd runner up). 

Dr See Toh’s poster on quantifying the dose of radiation which is delivered to the teeth and jaws as a result of radiotherapy for different types of cancers won him the best 2014 Young Investigator Award. It is an ongoing research collaboration between NDCS and the dental service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre.   An elated Dr See Toh was pleasantly surprised he had actually won.   “I was looking at all the other research projects and there was definitely very strong competition.   This award helps to inspire young investigators like myself in doing more research and I hope this award will continue in years to come.”

Recognising outstanding research work at NDCS, Dr Goh Bee Tin, Deputy Director (Research & Education), added “This year, we started the Young Investigator Award to recognize recognise young talents and to encourage and promote quality research. It is very heartening to see an enthusiastic participation of young researchers at the poster competition. “

To inspire more nurses in research, a commendatory award was given to the team of DSAs.   Their five-year retrospective analysis on why parents cancel paediatric day surgery appointments reinforced the team’s purpose that more dental health education is needed as parents still wait for pain to happen before taking their child to seek treatment.   The nurse team from the Paediatric Dentistry Unit were grateful, “It’s impossible for us to complete this study without Dr Tan Wee Kiat, Dr Bien, Dr Tabitha and Dr Badrun’s support.   We are especially thankful to Dr Tan for uncovering the potential in us, without her taking us out of our comfort zone we wouldn’t be who we are today. Just like the light sticks, they cannot shine if they were not bent out of form.”

At the event, in her opening speech, Dr Goh outlined NDCS research achievements along with aspirations to propel research efforts to greater heights.

Special guest speaker, Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds, the Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Head of the Melbourne Dental School, delivered a series of lectures.   He spoke about the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations and the strategic approaches to research translation in his lecture entitled “From Bench to Chairside: Strategies for Successful Translation”.   Prof Reynolds then presented emerging evidence which suggests an association between chronic oral and systemic disease in “Host-pathogen relationship associated with health and disease”.   In his third presentation “Oral biofilm pathogens and their clinical management”, he gave an update on the latest findings on the microbiology of the oral biofilm related to periodontal disease.

NDCS clinician scientists, Dr Christina Sim and Dr Nattharee Chanchareonsook then shared insights and showcased their latest research findings at the event.

Appreciating Prof Reynolds’s contribution to the event, Dr Goh said, “Prof Eric Reynolds was instrumental in elevating the University of Melbourne to number one ranking for research in dentistry in Australia.   He shared with us his strategies for grant success, multidisciplinary collaborations and industry partnerships, which are relevant and which we can apply here in the local context.”

In response, Prof Eric Reynolds congratulated NDCS, “The clinical research and presentations were very impressive. NDCS is well on its way to achieve greater heights in research.”


Names and abstract papers of 2014 Young Investigators Awardees

First prize - Dr See Toh Yoong Liang, Consultant from Prosthodontic Unit, Department of Restorative Dentistry, NDCS
Poster titled: “Dosimetric Distribution to Tooth-bearing Regions and Osteoradinonecrosis following Intensity-modulated Radiation Therapy for Oropharyngeal Cancer”

Second prize – Dr Leonardo Saigo, Registrar from Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, NDCS
Poster titled: “A Comparison of Guided Bone Regeneration Using Novel Polycaprolactone Tricalcium Phosphate (PCL-TCP) Membrane verses Collagen Membrane in a Rabbit Calvarial Defect Model”

Third prize – Dr Yu Na, Senior Dental Surgeon, Department of Restorative Dentistry, NDCS
Poster titled: “Role of Implanted Periodontal Ligament Cells in Periodontal Regeneration”

Commendatory prize - Ms M. Mangalam, Ms Siti Nurhabsah, Ms Siti Raudah and Ms Nor Hafizah
Poster titled: “Parental reasons for cancelling Paediatric Day Surgery Appointments – A retrospective analysis”

Heartfelt thanks to the Young Investigator Award judges for their tireless effort - Prof Eric Reynolds, , Prof Joseph Huryn, Dr Ivan Lim and Dr Nattharee Chanchareonsook!

NDCS Research Day 2014 saw about 80 staff in attendance.