The goal of the AADR Buffalo Section is to promote scientific exchange between students and faculty members who are actively involved in research. This year several activities to foster collaboration within the University of Buffalo (UB) School of Dental Medicine (SDM) and the regional community were organized.
A monthly lunch and learn seminar series was sponsored each semester, with speakers invited from within the SDM as well as the larger UB research community and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In the fall semester, talks related to salivary gland biology (Olga Baker and Jill Kramer-UB-SDM) and mesenchymal stem cells for dental research and potential applications (Shuying Yang-UB-SDM) were presented. Thomas Mang (UB-SDM) shared his work related to photodynamic therapy and its application to dental medicine. Jihnhee Yu, a biostatistician with the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions, provided an overview of clinical trials and randomization. Ulas Sunar, from Roswell Park, discussed technologies to improve diagnostic imaging and its importance to dentistry Richard O’Connor, also from Roswell Park, gave an overview of emerging issues in tobacco regulatory science. These seminars enabled SDM students and faculty to expand their knowledge on a broad range of topics relevant to dental medicine, and interact with researchers both within the SDM and the local research community.
In addition to the lunch and learn series, a fall symposium entitled “Biomaterials: New Advances & Clinical Implications for Dentistry” was hosted in collaboration with Ivoclar-Vivodent. Speakers included members of the UB SDM faculty (Robert Baier and Sebastiano Andreana) as well as faculty from Alfred University (Anthony Wren) and industry (Thomas Hill). Andreana provided an overview of his studies with dental implants, and Baier discussed his work related to fabrication of temporomandibular joint implants using structural ceramics. Hill reviewed dental materials in development by Ivoclar-Vivodent and Wren spoke on the evolution of orthopaedic bone cements from dental restoratives. The lectures were followed by lively discussion and a social hour. This symposium facilitated collaboration between industry and academia and was attended by SDM students, faculty and Ivoclar-Vivodent employees.
Finally, the AADR Buffalo Section sponsored an award at the UB SDM Student Research Day in March. This award was presented to Sarah Heit, a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Stefan Ruhl, in recognition of her outstanding poster presentation describing her research on sialoglycan binding specificities of oral streptococci.
The AADR Buffalo Section will improve and expand upon these activities in the upcoming year. In addition, the organization seeks to broaden opportunities for dental students to pursue research-related activities and will work to engage undergraduates who are considering graduate careers related to dental medicine. Through these activities, the AADR Buffalo section hopes to foster collaborations among those engaged in dental research at all levels of career development.