The Osteology Foundation revealed numerous innovations and plans at a press conference held as part of the 8th EuroPerio Congress in London. Announcement of the scientific program for the International Osteology Symposium 2016 in Monaco was one of the highlights. Interesting for scientists undertaking research on oral regeneration are the Foundation's new Large Clinical Grants, which were officially unveiled for the first time in London. The changes at the top of the Osteology Foundation were another focal point and provided an ideal opportunity for reviewing the recent years, but also for looking forward to the future and the Foundation's strategic advancement.
The Osteology Foundation, which was founded in 2003 by Dr Peter Geistlich and Geistlich Pharma AG in Switzerland, has continuously developed and has grown significantly since its inception.
Linking Science and Practice
"Under the motto 'Linking Science & Practice in Oral Regeneration', the Foundation now essentially comprises four key areas in which it is active", Professor Christoph Hämmerle explained in London: "Support for researchers, education for practitioners, training for scientists and best practice in science."
"An independent Foundation Board comprising 12 internationally renowned experts maps out the strategy and activities", explained Hämmerle. "The Board is split into three committees (Science, Training, Communication), operatively headed by an Executive Board of four, and it is supported by an Expert Council with 33 members from 13 countries", Hämmerle continued.
Change after 12 years
Christoph Hämmerle was President of the Foundation since it was established 12 years ago. His period of office ended at the end of May 2015. His successor, Professor Mariano Sanz, takes office from June 2015, with whom the Foundation "is in the best hands", Hämmerle stressed.
Sustainable growth and continuous development
According to Mariano Sanz, under Christoph Hämmerle's leadership the Foundation succeeded in becoming well known for the highest quality in science and also in practice. "I don't intend to change anything, but will continue to pursue the set course and work to raise the profile of the Foundation, as well as to drive forward its geographical expansion", Sanz announced in London. Here it will be important, he explained, to focus more on new technologies and media to further assure sustainable growth and continuous development.
Along with the change at the top, there are other personnel changes at the Osteology Foundation: Myron Nevins, Friedrich Neukam and Massimo Simion will step down from the Foundation Board when their terms of office end. Their successors are Pamela McClain, Frank Schwarz and Istvan Urban.
Stronger together – Osteology collaborations
Collaborations, such as those with the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), the organisers of the EuroPerio Congress, are of enormous importance to the Osteology Foundation", Sanz explained. "Both sides can profit from the partnership. Together we are stronger", he stressed.
As a prime example for the successful cooperation, Sanz cited the 10th EFP Consensus Workshop, which took place in collaboration with the Osteology Foundation. “The proceedings resulting from the workshop are of great relevance and the publication has been met with keen interest among practitioners”, Sanz pointed out.
Additional collaborations are in progress worldwide with various professional societies, such as the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) in North America, the Chinese Stomatological Association in Asia, the IberoPanamerican Federation of Periodontics (FIPP) in Latin America, as well as the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE).
Congress highlight in 2016: International Symposium in Monaco
In his role as Chair of the Education Committee, Mariano Sanz also introduced the scientific programme for the International Osteology Symposium 2016 in Monaco. Over 2500 participants from 60 countries are expected at the congress, which is held every three years and for many is a notable event in the congress calendar. The Scientific Chairmen of the congress are Friedrich Neukam and Myron Nevins.
"No fewer than 85 internationally renowned speakers will discuss the most important topics surrounding oral regeneration and the latest insights from science for use in practice", Sanz explained. The programme will be supplemented by a large poster exhibition, practical and theoretical workshops, as well as the Master Clinician Courses held for the first time. The latter are included in the registration fee.
Registration will open in October 2015 via the website www.osteology-monaco.org, as Sanz confirmed. Abstracts for posters and the Research Forum, for which the best research work presented will be awarded prizes, are welcome from 1 July 2015.
New for established research groups: Large Clinical Grants
Also when it comes to promoting science, which is one of the Osteology Foundation's core tasks, there was exciting news to report, which is probably mainly of interest to the established research groups. Professor William Giannobile, Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation, introduced the Large Clinical Grants, which scientists can apply for in 2015 for the first time. The Large Clinical Grants are worth up to 350,000 Swiss Francs for a maximum project duration of three years. Detailed information for application can be found on the Foundation’s website from July 2015 on. The application deadline is 1 December.
Another new feature of scientific promotion are the Osteology Research Scholarships, which offer up-and-coming researchers a one-year stay at one of the Osteology Scholarship Centres. "The first round of applications in 2015 is already over", said Giannobile. "But applications can be submitted again from July onwards". The application deadline for the next round is 1 December 2015.
"Besides the new funding opportunities, the established Young Researcher Grants and Advanced Researcher Grants are still on offer", William Giannobile clarified. Comprehensive information on these grants, aimed towards scientists on different rungs of the career ladder and varying in their level of experience required, may also be found on the Foundation website at www.osteology.org.
Career milestones: Osteology Research Academy
Professor Reinhard Gruber, another member of the Osteology Board of Trustees, presented the Osteology Research Academy. This is an intensive course lasting several days in which prospective scientists are taught research practice and methodology. More specific research topics pertaining to bone generation are also addressed in an Expert Module.
"An essential aspect of the courses is the informal atmosphere and the direct contact with experienced scientists, which is much appreciated by the participants”, Gruber explained. “Questions are discussed and case studies examined in small groups.”
"The concept is met with great interest the world over", according to Gruber. “Last year's course participants came from 15 different countries on four continents”, he recounted. “That is a perfect way of establishing new contacts and networks.”
"After the course, one of the participants enthused that the course had changed his life”, Reinhard Gruber recalled. Another participant looked back at the courses as milestones in his scientific career. "This participant feedback is the best sign that we are on the right track with our course concept. That is why we are also planning to stage the Research Academy in North and South America in the coming years", Reinhard Gruber declared.
Professor Christoph Hämmerle at the Osteology Press Conference in London
Presenting the key activities of the Osteology Foundation
Professor Mariano Sanz talked about the successful collaboration with the EFP
Mariano Sanz also presented the programm of Osteology Monaco 2016 - the international symposium next year.
Professor William Giannobile described what the Osteology Foundation has to offer for scientists
Professor Reinhard Gruber presented the Osteology Research Academy
The four Board Members as well as Kay Horsch, Executive Director of the Foundation, were answering questions after the presentations