Andrei Zaharia (DDS 2018), attends Colgate Dental Students' Conference on Research

October - Andrei Zaharia travelled to Maryland to present his research at the American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation’s 53nd Annual Colgate Dental Students’ Conference in October 2017. Andrei competed for this travel award at Schulich Dentistry's 2016 Annual Research Day with his poster “Novel bioactive, fast-setting and injectable bone cement for bone augmentation”, supervised by Drs. Amin Rizkalla and Jeff Dixon, in Dentistry's Summer Research Program.

Students had the opportunity to network with a diverse group of individuals atposter the conference, including students from more than 50 dental schools across Canada and USA, the president of the FDA, the Senior Director of the Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center (VRC), the Global Director of Oral Care from Johnson & Johnson and many others. Panel discussions engaged the students in an open conversation about the various opportunities in the field, including academia, research, military and private practice. While visiting the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the group embarked on a tour of the NanoFab laboratory.

Zaharia remarked, “This aspect of the research center really interested me due to my ties to previous research in nano technology. It really opened my eyes as to what opportunities are available in the dental field related to my previous endeavors and expertise”.

groupFollowing the tour, a research leader from the VRC presented breakthrough research on promising novel dental materials, aiming to supersede the current composites in the near future. The conference concluded with a visit to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where another panel discussion allowed students to ask questions about various research opportunities, summer programs, scholarships and career paths available. This tour ended with a visit to their clinical research facilities, showcasing stimulating clinical work and ongoing projects. 

Zaharia comments, “I feel as though I have been given a glimpse of an entirely different aspect of dental research, one which is extremely exciting and full of opportunities, and the realization that there’s so much more to dentistry than what we learn in our classrooms and clinics”.