Dental student wins international award for research

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ms. Jia Hao, Dentistry 2011, has won global recognition for her research at the largest ever meeting of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) in Barcelona, Spain, 14-17 July 2010.

Ms. Hao's research presentation was entitled "Regulation of Osteoclast Motility by Substratum Topography". It was based on her studies carried out during the summers of 2008 and 2009 while enrolled in the undergraduate dental program at Western. Her work revealed that osteoclasts - cells responsible for the resorption of bone and teeth - are regulated by the topographical pattern of the surface to which they adhere. This discovery opens the possibility of new designs for dental and orthopaedic implants with specific surface features to suppress osteoclast activity and therefore enhance implant longevity. This interdisciplinary research was cosupervised by biomaterials scientist, Douglas Hamilton (Schulich Dentistry), and cell physiologists, Stephen Sims and Jeff Dixon (Dept. Physiology and Pharmacology).

Ms. Hao received a Student Research Award from the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR) and the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA). She was also awarded an IADR/Unilever Divisional Travel Award allowing her to participate in the International Hatton Competition in Barcelona. There, she competed with the 49 best research trainees from 23 different countries. Ms. Hao was awarded second place in the junior category in this prestigious international competition.

This research project was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). As well, Ms. Hao's stipend for the summer of 2009 was provided by a Summer Research Award for Medical and Allied Health Professional Students from the Canadian Arthritis Network. Christine Oates, a graduate student in Engineering, contributed to the fabrication of patterned surfaces. Unilever Oral Care generously provided the travel costs for competitors and prizes for winners of the international competition.

About the International Association for Dental Research (IADR):
The IADR is a nonprofit organization with more than 12,000 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: 1) advancing research and increasing knowledge to improve oral health, 2) supporting the oral health research community, and 3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings for the improvement of oral health worldwide.