Winning the André Schroeder Research Prize is a substantial achievement and, with the next submission deadline coming up on September 15, 2020, we asked three former prize winners what difference the award has made to their professional lives.
When Vinay Kumar won the André Schroeder Research Prize three years ago in 2017, he did not realize how much attention his research into improving the predictability of functional outcomes for patients with large mandibular reconstructions would gain as a result. “Many practitioners are now aware of the predictability of this treatment and, as a result, more patients with large jaw reconstructions now have better oral function and quality of life,” says Vinay.
In the previous year, Guy Huynh-Ba had won the clinical research prize for his study “Esthetic, clinical and patient-centered outcomes of immediately placed implants (Type 1) and early placed implants (Type 2): preliminary 3-month results of an ongoing randomized controlled clinical trial“. He describes the award as a highlight of his career. “It is humbling to know that previous award winners include people like Daniel Buser, David Cochran and Lisa Heitz-Mayfield”. Guy’s relationship with the ITI goes back to 2005 and includes his participation in the 2008 ITI Consensus Conference in Stuttgart, where he met members of the San Antonio faculty. One thing led to another and Guy moved to San Antonio to begin work on a research project that eventually led to the above award.
As the 2003 André Schroeder Research Prize Winner, Yuelian Liu has had the longest journey since receiving her award. For Yuelian, the award opened an important door to implant dentistry research and bone-tissue engineering: “I won the EAO basic research prize after that, along with a number of other prizes for this line of research. Today my research has gone through all the preclinical procedures and production and is now in clinical trials. The connection to the ITI has won me many colleagues and friends around the world and wherever I travel there are always ITI Fellows – it makes me feel at home.”
All three winners regard the award as an important professional highlight. “It was after this award that I was offered a position at Uppsala University and since then I have also received more research support,” says Vinay. “Often, published research papers are read by a few peers involved in that research area, but winning an award makes one recognizable to a much larger circle. This award certainly boosted my confidence and provided powerful encouragement to continue. Functional reconstruction for this group of patients is a cause I feel strongly about – I am happy that this research is changing lives around the world.”
And all three winners encourage anyone who has followed up a good idea with a well-structured protocol on a sound scientific basis that has resulted in a study to apply for the André Schroeder Research Prize. As Guy says, “You never know, you might be just as fortunate as I have been and win this prestigious award that will continue to shape your career and profile in the field of implant dentistry.”