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The Japan Connection

Through a sister-school agreement with Okayama Dental School, LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD) offers its faculty and students a unique opportunity for academic activities in Japan. The program, which encourages exchange of scholars, joint symposia, and collaboration on research projects, was initiated by Dr. Edward Ireland, emeritus professor of comprehensive dentistry and biomaterials-division of operative dentistry, during a trip to Japan in 1996. While visiting Kurashiki, the hometown of his wife, Joanna, Dr. Ireland toured the dental school in nearby Okayama; the agreement resulted from his meeting with various faculty members at the school.

The collaboration lapsed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, while in Okayama this past September to attend the Third International Symposium of Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Dr. Ireland visited with Professor Takuo Kuboki, dean of Okayama Dental School, and they agreed to renew the sister-school agreement. In early November 2013, while in New Orleans for the American Dental Association Annual Session, Dean Kuboki and his colleagues visited LSUSD and met with Dean Henry Gremillion to solidify the agreement.

From left: Professor Tatsuya Ichinohe, Professor Yukihiro Numabe, Dean Takuo Kuboki, Dean Henry Gremillion, and Dr. Edward Ireland

Okayama University, founded in 1870, has 11 faculties and 14 graduate schools, one research institute attached to the university, and an affiliated school of health sciences. The dental school was established in 1979 and the postgraduate programs were initiated in 1986. Okayama Dental School, with a total of 350 students enrolled in a six- year curriculum, has 20 departments and 12 clinical departments. The school emphasizes high-quality, cutting-edge dental care and innovative research. An international exchange program for third-year students includes 19 universities.

The city of Okayama is located in the western region of the island of Honshu and has a population of over 700,000. A major transit hub for western Japan, Okayama is easily accessible from Tokyo by train, bus, and air. Among the major attractions are the black Okayama castle, the famous garden of Korakuen, shrines, and numerous museums. The nearby town of Kurashiki is a beautiful cultural center with museums, tree-lined canals, and old buildings that escaped destruction in the war.

The collaboration with Okayama Dental School presents a rewarding opportunity for international scholarly recognition. No knowledge of Japanese is required as most scientific presentations are in English. All expenses are the responsibility of the traveler. Any student, resident, or faculty member who is interested in lecturing or presenting a paper at the school should contact Dr. Ireland at eirela@lsuhsc.edu.

Pre-Dental 101, Winter 2014

An annual LSUSD event co-sponsored with the LSU Pre-Dental Society (PDS), Pre-Dent 101 includes workshops in dentistry and dental hygiene. The program helps college students navigate the admission application process and assists them in making informed decisions about whether to pursue a career in the dental field. This year participants numbered 150 in the dental track and 25 in the dental hygiene track, with attendees from across Louisiana and seven other states. Workshops ranged from chalk-carving exercises to overviews of oral pathology, endodontics, CAD-CAM imaging, orthodontics, hypnosis, and how to pay for dental school. New this year was the inclusion of a workshop on alternative careers related to dentistry.

The Office of Admissions will hold “mini-workshops” at the dental school on select Fridays in April and May. Workshop dates are listed on the LSUSD website under Future Students/DDS.

PDS officers, from left: Colleen Kimball, Paige Muse, Caroline Cazayoux, Richa Banthia, Caleb Blackburn, Bryant Bourgeois, Emma Arceneaux, Kaylee Roussel
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Last Update 3/2014