Friday 14 February 2020 8:26am
Two young University of Otago dentistry lecturers have won prestigious international emerging leaders awards.
The winners, Dr Carolina Loch and Dr May Mei, are both senior lecturers in the University’s Faculty of Dentistry.
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced the awards in celebration of its 2020 centennial. While winners were picked from around the globe, Dr Loch and Dr Mei were two of only four winners selected from across the Asia/Pacific region.
The IADR Board of Directors launched the IADR Centennial Emerging Leaders Award to recognise young investigators “who will lead the research field into the next century”.
The winners demonstrated scientific accomplishment in the field of dental, oral and craniofacial research and had “shown outstanding promise for continuing service and leadership within the IADR and the scientific community”.
“These accomplished young investigators are poised to lead the IADR into the next century of ground-breaking research and discovery.”
Dr Loch, who specialises in evolutionary oral biology and comparative dental morphology, said she felt “extremely honoured and humbled” to be recognised with this award among so many talented early career dental researchers worldwide.
“The IADR is the most important dental research association in the world, and receiving this recognition shows that we are also doing great things here in our Faculty at the bottom of the globe.”
Dr Loch said she was grateful for the Faculty’s support and encouragement, to her late mentor Professor Jules Kieser who “opened up the doors of oral biology research to me”, and to the late Professor Grant Townsend from the University of Adelaide who was one of her nominators.
Dr Mei, who specialises in cariology (the study of tooth decay and its development), was recognised for the work she undertook at The University of Hong Kong before joining Otago last August.
Dr Mei said she was grateful to the IADR committee for their recognition.
“I would also like to thank my co-workers from Hong Kong for their continued support over the years. While this award is a recognition of past works I am looking forward to the future, collaborating with my new colleagues in Otago.”
The award winners will be highlighted during the Opening Ceremonies and Awards Program at the 98th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR next month in Washington, D.C., USA.
They will receive a complimentary registration to the IADR General Session and USD$5,000 to cover the cost of travel and housing.