Dr Kassapa Ellepola — a Sri Lankan researcher working at the University of Illinois Chicago, US — has been awarded US$50,000 for dental research innovation at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) conference on 21 Jun 2023, held in Bogotá, Colombia.
As an alumnus of Trinity College, Sri Lanka and a graduate of Kelaniya University, Sri Lanka, specialising in microbiology, he received his doctorate degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and his post-doctorate degree from Louisiana State University, US and the University of Illinois Chicago, US.
He was the recipient for replenishing biochemical functionality in xerostomia patients with a catalytic nanoceria formulation. He was said to develop this new nanoceria compound to help restore the biochemical activity of saliva in patients with dry mouth caused by deficient salivary function with his advisor Prof Russell Pesavento.
The other recipients were Zhou Ye from The University of Hong Kong for anti-caries tooth spray with self-assembling peptides and Peter Zilm from the University of Adelaide, Australia for the development of ‘intelligent particles’ to treat dental caries.
Now in its 20th year of support, British multinational consumer healthcare company Haleon has contributed more than $4m to the nonprofit organisation’s ‘Innovation in Oral Care Awards’ programme. IADR is said to administer the grants through a rigorous peer-review process.