I could not believe my ears when I was informed that I was the 1st runner up in the poster competition. I had never dared to imagine for one moment that I would win anything as this was an open competition alongside 20 other dental undergraduates, postgraduates and full-fledged dentists who had been short-listed to compete!
|Earlier, I had submitted our student research project entitled ‘Association Between Salivary Insulin, Adiponectin and Periodontal Status in Patients with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus’ for a competition. It was selected to be presented as a poster at the Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium (HKIDEAS), organised by the Hong Kong Dental Association in August 2017 in Hong Kong.|
I took up this project a year ago purely out of interest but the journey was far from what I had imagined. We had to put in so much effort in search of clinical subjects up to needing to be so meticulous during the processing and analysis of saliva in the laboratory. My main supervisor Prof Khoo, was constantly pushing our buttons to think, analyse and ask questions. Her critical evaluation on how the results are discussed invigorated me to push the limits. Just when I thought I could catch a breather from all the hard work when the project ended, she threw another ball on the court, challenging me to present the work at a scientific conference. I am so grateful to her for having the confidence in me even when I felt I was never going to be good at all. Had it not been for her, I wouldn’t have had the courage to explore new horizons. Interestingly, the theme for HKIDEAS this year was ‘New Horizon in Dentistry’!
Presenting our research work at this international level really opened up my mind. It has inspired me to think about the research areas that holds potential but have yet to be explored as the work presented here are borne from far-sighted ideas which are of high quality.
As I was invited to attend the Gala Dinner in order to receive the award it felt so surreal seating with all the other award recipients and discussing our work! It has stimulated me to give this work a deeper thought and how it can be better improved and expand when another opportunity knocks.
|Overall, not only has this been an eye-opening experience for me as an undergraduate student, more importantly a learning journey guided by a well-respected mentor with sound work ethics who have imparted upon me a positive attitude in carrying out every aspect of this study and work in the university. Through this I must say I have been pushed to explore beyond my limits. I was constantly made to think on my feet and look for solutions to overcome difficulties encountered along during the execution of this project.|
I am grateful for having to be able to work and learn with my co-researchers Chiam Lee Cheng and Yow Yu Xiang through this project. My co-supervisors Dr Sangeetha Shyam, Dr Gurbind Singh and Dr Shaju Pulikkotil were always ready to guide, advise and discuss whenever we needed them. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for without everyone’s support in the team, I would not have achieved this award today!
Written by Lim Xin Yan (DT1/13)