LAHORE- The 3rd International Symposium on Biomedical Materials- Recent Advances and Challenges, was organized at a local hotel. The main points dealt at the symposium were:
” Visiting the recent advances in the field of biomedical materials (biomaterials and dental materials) and tissue engineering (BMTE)
” Analyzing the progress on the front of BMTE in Pakistan
” Pinpointing global and national challenges to research
” Highlighting importance of research to global and national economies
” Encouraging interdisciplinary research particularly in Pakistan
” Involving the government and its related organs in developing a comprehensive strategy for chartered developments in the field of Biomedical Materials and Tissue Engineering.
The symposium was attended by a cohort of over 250 professionals that included Dental Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons, Clinicians, Molecular Biologists, Engineers, Chemists, Biochemists, and Pharmacists.
The event opened with an address by Dr. Aqif Anwar Chaudhary (Incharge IRCBM). Dr Ihtesham Ur Rehman (University of Sheffield) in his opening speech expounded on the fact that the focal point of research being conducted in biomedical materials should be the uplift of the healthcare system for the masses, and not just for a privileged few. Prof. Syed M Awais (King Edward Medical University) accentuated the importance of collaborations between research centers and clinics, so that the products being made out of scientific labour can accordingly be tested.
The inauguration ceremony was given a further boost by speeches from eminent personalities in the profession like Dr Syed Babar (Pro-Rector LUMS), who in is speech highlighted the significance of such symposiums in the field of biomedical materials, stating ‘our schools are like nurseries, all prominent scientists should make their contributions to the development of educational facilities, course selections and educational curricula are to be revamped if we are to keep pace with the technological advances in the 21st century’. He also encouraged collaborations between research centers, universities and industries, implying that this would help in reshaping the scientific terrain in the country.
The plenary lecture by Prof Sheila McNeal (The Kroto Research Institute, University of Sheffield, UK) touched on ‘The Role of Biomaterials in Accelerating and Simplifying Delivery of Tissue Engineered Epithelial Tissues from the Laboratory to the Clinic’. Prof. Sheila’s talk garnered a host of novel concepts for tissue engineering applications, specifically delivering cells on carrier’s dressings for the treatment of chronic wounds. The novelty of this research is its ability to transfer cells from the laboratory to the clinic. thereby traversing the distance between a research facility and its beneficiary, the patient. Prof. Ferranti S.L. Wong (Head of Pediatric Dentistry, Barts and the Queen Mary University of London) raised interesting questions about dental problems and demand their remedies from the researchers.
The other international speakers were Prof. John Haycock (University of Sheffield); Prof. Jawwad A. Darr (University College London); Dr. Sung Ha Park (Sungkyunkwan University, Republic of Korea); and Dr. Ihtesham-u-Rehman (University of Sheffield). Dr. Aqif Anwar Chaudhry spoke on ‘Bioceramics Research and Development at IRCBM, CIIT Lahore’ and Dr. Abdul Samad Khan talked on ‘Polymer, Composite and Dental Research’ at IRCBM, CIIT Lahore. Dr. Sarah Ghafoor (University of Health Sciences) spoke on ‘Biology meets Regenerative’ Dentistry. Others who talked at the dentistry session were Dr. Muhammad Amber Fareed (Fatima Memorial Hospital); Dr. Muhammad Kaleem (Army Medical College, NUST); Dr. Muhammad Sajid (CMH Lahore Medical College)’ Dr. Maryam Usman (International Islamic Medical and Dental College); Dr. Saqib Ali (Sardar Begum Dental College); and Dr. Nadia Munir (CMH Lahore Medical College).
At the end of scientific symposium there was an interactive Session with the Expert Panel that included Prof. Sheila MacNeil (Session Chair); Prof. Ihtesham-u-Rehman, Prof. John Haycock, Prof. Ferranti S.L. Wong, and Prof. Jawwad A. Darr. The expert panel broached a discussion with the audience on the current research trends in Pakistan, and the researchers (including dentistry) wishing to continue their research or studies in the UK. Closing remarks were given by Dr. Ihtesham-u-Rehman wherein he very explicitly talked about the loopholes in conventional research and education trends. He also spoke about the importance of keeping research ‘simple’, and the possibility of achieving innovative results without the extravagant use of imported chemicals. His talk also skewed towards the grave need of synthesizing cheap and cost effective bio and dental materials so that this facility can be within reach for financially strained patients seeking health care.
Alongside the symposium was a “Poster Exhibition”, at which more than 30 posters were presented and the first three winners were awarded prizes.
Symposium day three attracted a host of professionals from different fields to the workshops on Research Methodologies by Prof. Jawwad A. Darr, and Advanced Biostatistics, and Referencing Software (Endnote) by Asst. Prof, Asif Hanif (Bio Statistics, GD-PGMI, Lahore). The first part of the workshop related to Research Methodologies by Dr. Jawwad Darr. He briefed on how to formulate research proposals and statements of purpose when applying for research projects.
Asif Hanif , in the second part, that was ‘Biostatistics’, gave an extensive lecture on SPSS software, teaching the participants about how to use Statistical Tools for obtaining relevant data inferences. The workshop concluded on a lecture on referencing software endnote, with information on how to save citations and quote references for literature. Participants, mostly from de’Montmorency College of Dentistry, Punjab Dental Hospital, Baqai Medical University, Fatima Memorial Hospital, CMH Lahore Medical College, King Edward Medical University, Gulab Devi Hospital, Mayo Hospital, Sharif Medical & Dental College, Punjab University, GC University, International Islamic University, Sardar Begum Dental College etc.
International Association for Dental Research (IADR- Pakistan Section) also arranged an interactive session for Dental Surgeons at CMH.
Dr. Abdul Samad Khan (Executive Director IADR Pakistan Section) and Dr. Nasir Saleem (Assistant Professor, CMH Lahore Medical College) facilitated the session. The speaker were Prof. Ferranti S.L. Wong, and Dr. Kashif Hafeez (A Private Practitioner at Oxford, UK, Foundation Trainer Oxford Deanery).
The session featured:
” Presentation about pathways of career progression in United Kingdom
” Opportunities about Postgraduate studies In Clinical and Basic Sciences
” Prospects of ORE and LDS exams (Licensing Exams to do clinical practice in UK)
” How and What to do for Royal College Examination
The speakers briefed about the prospects and clinical pathways in UK, widely attended by postgraduate and undergraduate students, house officers and faculty members. Prof. Muhammad Qasim (Dean Institute of Dentistry, CMH Lahore Medical College) briefed the guests about the facilities and services being provided at his institute.