Assoc Prof Vinicius Rosa clinches two eminent dental research awards

Associate Professor Vinicius Rosa, Vice Dean (Research) at the NUS Faculty of Dentistry, has received two research awards from the International Association of Dental Research (IADR), a renowned organisation that seeks to drive dental, oral and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide.

A prolific inventor, Assoc Prof Rosa, who is also from NUS Materials Science and Engineering and Centre for Advanced 2D Materials, works on developing atomically thin materials for biomedical applications. By blending his expertise in material sciences and biology, he created a niche of atom-thick materials for dentistry and orthopaedics, contributing significantly to the science and applications of materials research.

His work in the field of dental pulp regeneration has prompted advances in the field, leading to the first pulp regeneration in full length root canals using stem cells and injectable scaffolds in 2013. He was also the first to create human odontoblasts – which are dentin-forming cells in teeth - from induced pluripotent stem cells in 2018. These man-made odontoblasts can produce pulp and dentin, making them suitable candidates for testing the safety and efficacy of dental materials.

In the last few years, Assoc Prof Rosa pioneered the development of atom-thick coatings to improve bone formation, and decrease biofilms formation and corrosion on implantable dental materials. Last December, he co-invented the Dental Droplet and Aerosol Reducing Tent (Dental DART), a foldable tent-like device that serves as a barrier to protect dentists, nurses and patients from direct and indirect exposure to infectious diseases such COVID-19.

In recognition of his innovative research, Assoc Prof Rosa was conferred the prestigious Young Investigator Award by IADR on 21 July 2021. Earlier in the same month, he was named the recipient of the IADR Stephen Bayne Mid-Career Award on 14 July 2021.

“My research journey started in 2002 when I was a sophomore, often working on projects such as measuring the hardness of resin composites. Since then, by harnessing the novel properties of biomaterials, I have developed ground-breaking technologies that address long-standing gaps that the dental field faces. It has been a very fulfilling journey, and I now continuously push the boundaries of dental materials and biomedical research to derive solutions that can improve our care for patients and advance the dental profession,” shared Assoc Prof Rosa.

IADR Young Investigator Award

The IADR Young Investigator Award is designed to stimulate basic research in all dental disciplines. It is one of 17 Distinguished Scientist Awards presented annually by the IADR, and is among the highest honours bestowed by the Association.

Assoc Prof Rosa was conferred the award during the Opening Ceremonies of the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR. This event took place in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, which were held from 21 to 24 July 2021.

IADR Stephen Bayne Mid-Career Award

The Stephen Bayne Mid-Career Award is given out annually by the Dental Materials Group of the IADR in recognition of members who have demonstrated significant contribution to the science and application of dental materials research by their midcareer.

Since its establishment in 1938, the IADR’s Dental Materials Group and its members have been responsible for most of the material developments and technologies used in clinical practice.

Each year, only one awardee will be conferred this top honour, and Assoc Prof Rosa was selected as this year’s recipient.