On the 16-17 of March, the International Association for Dental Research (IADR, Malaysian Section) held its 12th Annual Scientific Conference here in IMU. This is the first dental conference which is co-organised together with IMU. IADR aims to promote research in science in Dentistry and Dental Education. Moving towards this aim the President of the IADR (Malaysian Section), Professor Khoo Suan Phaik who is also the Associate Dean of Oral Science, School of Dentistry and the organising committee has brought in for the first time a Dental Education symposium which was chaired by none other than our very own Founding Dean of the SOD, IMU, Professor Toh Chooi Gait, who has been championing dental education for over three decades. Professor Toh together with Dr. Jonas Nordquist (from Karolinska Institute in Sweden), our very own Mr. Zaid Alsagoff (from e-learning) and Professor Mohd Ibrahim, Dean of UiTM, Faculty of Dentistry, provided a wonderful platform for discussion. Another first, was the introduction of the Lunch and Learning session where lead experts in various areas discussed their research areas over lunch, with interested participants. All sessions were well attended by interested participants. The final year dental students were all encouraged to participate in the competitions and also attended the entire conference.
The most exciting and highlight event however, was the research competitions with competitors from the public and private dental institutions throughout the country, filling the Senior (post graduation level) and Junior (undergraduates) categories for oral and poster sessions. The oral session was conducted in “American Idol” style where questions were dished out although less brutally! We are proud to announce that, for all the categories which IMU had entered (all except the Senior Travel Award) were won by our IMU staff and students. [Note : The judges comprised senior members of the academic staff from UM (3), USM (2) and IMU (2)].
The Junior Travel Award was won by Miss Joyce Chin (DT1-09) and for this she is awarded USD500 to present at the IADR South East Asian Division in Thailand in August 2013 – Congratulations! The Best Senior Poster went to Dr. Shahidul Ahsan who has just recently joined SOD, IMU – great start! Best Junior Poster went to Mr. Tan Zeng Zhou (DT1-09). Incidentally, both Joyce and Zeng Zhou (together with two other classmates Miss Tan Li Xing and Mr. Joseph Tan) will also be presenting at the upcoming Asia Pacific Dental Conference in May 2013. Kudos to our dental students and staff! All the participants, students and staff alike found this particular scientific meeting exceptionally beneficial and interesting, a departure from the more traditional norm of the past. Many thanks to Professor Toh for her encouragement and support and to IMU for co-hosting this event.