The Annual Meeting of the British Society for Oral & Dental Research (BSODR) showcases the best work in the field and acts as a forum for discussion by the wider expert community, and was held in Leeds at the beginning of September. Sheffield always sends a very strong team, and this year we were helped by the close proximity of the event. While we were delighted with the overall impact of Sheffield’s contribution to the meeting, we were all especially pleased with the award of the three most prestigious prizes to our researchers Caroline Harrison, Areeg Elmusrati and Alice Rigby.
Caroline Harrison was awarded the BSODR “President’s Prize” for her pioneering work into the design and modification of nanoscale hydroxyapatite ceramics that have potential for use as antimicrobial medical devices to prevent bone infections. Caroline has been working on these complex materials since her PhD with Paul Hatton and Cheryl Miller, and is now translating these for clinical use in a project led by Cheryl Miller in partnership with a local company, Ceramisys Ltd.
Areeg Elmusrati was awarded the Senior Colgate Prize for her paper entitled “Senescent fibroblasts contribute to bone invasion in oral squamous cell carcinoma: a novel opportunity for therapeutic intervention”. This important work was undertaken as part of her PhD studies into the role of cancer associated fibroblasts in tissue invasion in oral squamous cell carcinoma, supervised by Dan Lambert and Ali Khurram.
Finally, Alice Rigby was awarded the Junior Colgate Prize for her presentation entitled “Extracellular vesicles isolated from oropharyngeal cancer cells elicit a pro-inflammatory macrophage phenotype in vitro”. The Junior Colgate Prize is awarded to an undergraduate undertaking research, and Sheffield have an exceptional track record in this competition (with this the 5th consecutive year it was awarded to Sheffield). Alice was supervised by Stuart Hunt, Helen Colley and Craig Murdoch.
All of these prizes are highly competitive and therefore exceedingly difficult to win. Sheffield has a good track record, but to bring back all three prizes from one meeting is unprecedented. This is testimony to the high standards of research that are applied at all stages from concept and execution through to translation and evaluation of societal impact. Most importantly, this recognises the School’s nurturing environment and the talent of our early career researchers and students.Professor Paul Hatton, Director of Research, School of Clinical Dentistry