Indian Journal of Dental ResearchIndian Journal of Dental ResearchIndian Journal of Dental Research
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 557-558
Orchestrating a bold future for IADR

Tenured Professor of Dentistry, Associate Vice Provost for Research, Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Professor of Pathology, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA

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Date of Web Publication18-Feb-2016

How to cite this article:
D'Souza RN. Orchestrating a bold future for IADR. Indian J Dent Res 2015;26:557-8

How to cite this URL:
D'Souza RN. Orchestrating a bold future for IADR. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 May 8];26:557-8. Available from:

Personal Statement

My favorite metaphor to describe IADR's global community of oral health researchers is that of a "major symphony orchestra" with an unparalleled ensemble of instruments and musicians, talented youth players, and an accompanying chorus of voices. IADR's five major regions oversee 43 divisions/sections, 24 scientific groups, and six networks, symbolizing the merger of soloists, chamber music groups, string quartets, brass quintets, soloists, and guest artists. Each contributes a unique sound that is integral to the musical repertoire.

A shared vision to improve oral health around the world through our research unifies us, as we strive to keep time and to stay in tune. However now, we are faced with a far more challenging musical score written for a grand symphony and one that demands new synergy and a renewed commitment. It will require a coming together of a one-of-a-kind IADR ensemble of ~ 12,000 members whose glorious music far exceeds that of individual groups and whose collective efforts will undoubtedly benefit the global audience of patients, students, sponsors, and colleagues whom we serve.

IADR's 93 rd general session in Boston this past March was music to my ears! In addition to presenting my research, data on new therapeutics for human tooth agenesis and the progress made with our work on a novel peptide hydrogel, I met with collaborators from Brazil, China, Finland, Japan, and Wales. We exchanged information, planned future experiments, and arranged share resources that will help propel these areas of research into the translational and clinical trials arenas.

Oral and poster sessions I attended expanded my knowledge into interfacial areas pushing me beyond my traditional domains of craniofacial genetics and pulp regeneration. Round-table discussions in councils allowed me to contribute my voice by brainstorming novel initiatives of cross-collaborations inside and outside IADR. We looked for support of junior and new faculty through the academy. We planned an advocacy toolkit to increase awareness and support for dental research worldwide.

There is no other association like IADR. Our Boston meeting and our special IADR portfolio make me grateful for the successes of our outstanding leadership (past and present) and the constant efforts of the association's headquarters team led by Dr. Christopher Fox. New melodies from IADR Boston that still resonate most loudly in my head are ideas and needs expressed in regional meetings that I attended and in discussions with student trainees, developing researchers, senior academics as well as the past and present leaders of our association. Their conversations helped me pause for reflection in the months since Boston and to view IADR through the eyes of fellow orchestra members.

My personal mission is to bring the following values, skills, and experiences to the office of vice president of IADR:

  • Universalist spirit and deep respect for and belief in IADR's overall missions to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, to support and represent the oral health research community, and to facilitate the communication and application of research findings
  • Unflagging commitment to implement IADR's current initiatives while encouraging the continual process of strategic thinking and outcomes assessment. Expanding the reach and impact of our top-ranked Journal of Dental Research (JDR), the new JDR Clinical and Translational Research and the Advances in Dental Research assures that we stay a scientifically robust and value-driven organization. One example is the recent publication of the GOHIRA-sponsored symposium proceedings held in Cape Town, IADR 2014 that focused on "Oral Health Inequities in Africa and the Middle East" and whose significance and impact should propel regional initiatives forward in the months to come (
  • Continued engagement with key international stakeholders such as the WHO, PAHO, UNEP, FDI World Dental Federation, and IFDEA and providing tools to regions, divisions, and sections to appropriately engage their respective external stakeholders
  • Broad knowledge and keen understanding of the history and workings of the organization that I have gained from my time on many committees, service on AADR and IADR councils, and the AADR Board, including my transformative term in office as AADR President.

There is always more to be done. We must advance IADR as a "grass roots" organization that constantly seeks new and better ways to leverage its remarkable resources. We must continually reinvent and re-engineer. In my term as AADR President, the IADR and AADR Boards created a new governance structure of four committees: (i) Member/stakeholder relations, (ii) strategic/operational planning, (iii) performance monitoring/audit, and (iv) board operations. Redesigning our IADR system in this manner marked a milestone achievement in our history and set the stage for specific improvements in the ways we communicate and function. I look forward to working with every constituent of IADR to fine-tune our instruments and voices while sharing our musical scores as follows:

  • Align the governance structures for all regions with that of the IADR Board to create better conduits for the planning and execution of strategic initiatives that are based on a thorough needs assessment of each region, its divisions and sections
  • Expand the charge of IADR's scientific groups and networks to create incentives for multidisciplinary international collaborations that expand research training and guarantee the pipeline of oral health researchers
  • Expand the impact of IADR's Academy through a leadership institute that is dedicated to developing a robust and lifelong path for leaders and advocates for IADR and its academic affiliates who will endeavor to safeguard its future.

In 2019-2020, IADR will celebrate 100 years of advancing dental research! This is an unprecedented opportunity to seek support and resources for our initiatives in the years to come. I will be honored and privileged to have your trust as IADR's next vice president and to work with our team of conductors, musicians, and singers to insure that IADR's one-of-a-kind ensemble performs a magnificent symphony.

This personal statement was part of Dr. D'Souza' election ballot for the position of Vice-President of IADR.

Correspondence Address:
Rena N D'Souza
Tenured Professor of Dentistry, Associate Vice Provost for Research, Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Professor of Pathology, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.176888

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