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Fostering Research in Dentistry through International Collaboration with Dalhousie School of Dentistry

22 Nov 2023

Collaborative research in every field is a partnership between two or more parties who work together to achieve common goals. In the context of market research, it is a way for researchers from different backgrounds, such as industry and academia, to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical.


In the pursuit of improving and expanding the research horizon at IMU School of Dentistry, A/Prof Umer Daood visited Dalhousie School of Dentistry for a week on the Vice-President Research & Innovation International Seed Fund (VPRIIS Fund), a joint collaboration between IMU School of Dentistry and Dalhousie School of Dentistry. It is this pilot/seed-award that formed the basis for future external and internal fundings.


The funds for this programme are part of the VPRI International Seed Fund, for the project title “Cathepsin-K Inhibition enhances Anti-Cancerous Activity Within Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells: Uncloaking the Potency of New K21 Formulation”.  The co-investigators for the project, Prof Seow Liang Lin, and Dr Spoorthi Banavar were part of the project and the scientific manuscript was recently published in Experimental Cell Research Journal.


There were scheduled meetings and collaborative projects discussed between A/Prof Dr Umer Daood representing the School of Dentistry and biomaterials team and the researchers at Dalhousie Faculty.

The discussions involved both the School of Dentistry and Bioengineering School at Dalhousie. As a result of this fruitful coordination and meet ups, both dental schools including the Bioengineering School at Dalhousie have now been able to officially agree on a few projects and collaborative work. Dr Zeeshan Sheikh, clinical scientist in Biomaterials and Periodontology, and Dr Haider Al-Waeli at Dalhousie provided constant help in formalising the schedule and providing with insights about Dalhousie,  setting up meaningful meetings between the faculty researchers and Dr Umer.

The projects are a combination of extending current projects at IMU School of Dentistry and projecting new ideas to expand productivity throughout 2024-2025. Points were also discussed on how sharing of knowledge and grant acquisition can be done to narrow the gaps which both schools may have. The projects discussed were multidisciplinary, including cross sectional surveys, educational and more importantly Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering.

Formal meetings were also held between collaborators in USA (Fitebac Technology) and the Biomaterials team at Dalhousie led by Dr Zeeshan. Dr Zeeshan Sheikh and Professor Dr Richard Price were also part of a meeting to discuss the possibility of launching/evaluating patent applications in Canada and understanding the novelty of these projects.

VPRII fund will be applied once more between Dalhousie and IMU to investigate the possibility of exchanging experts across the school. Projects will be identified as a global link research project with multiple interns, and researchers from both schools.


Opportunities will also be created for a faculty exchange programme between schools where faculty can be provided a chance to visit each school to get exposure to teaching and research methods. Continuous efforts will be made by other team members at Dalhousie through the exchange of ideas and suggestions.

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