A Japanese dental materials scientist will spend the next 12 months as a Visiting Industrial Fellow/Research Scholar at Creighton University School of Dentistry. It's one part of an ongoing collaboration between the school and Shofu Inc., a world-renowned dental materials and equipment manufacturer based in Kyoto, Japan.
"This is the first time Shofu Inc. has sponsored a research fellowship at a university in the Americas," explains Brian Melonakos, president of U.S.-based Shofu Dental Corporation (SDC), a fully-owned subsidiary of Shofu Inc. "We are excited to work with Creighton University and Dean Latta on such an exciting endeavor and look forward to further collaboration to benefit dentistry."
While at Creighton the research fellow, Satoshi Fujiwara (pictured center), will work closely with Mark Latta, D.M.D., M.S., dental school dean and professor of general dentistry, and Wayne Barkmeier, D.D.S., M.S., dean emeritus and professor of general dentistry, on research relating to dental materials. His research will focus on gaining a more in-depth understanding of the potential clinical benefits of S-PRG, or GIOMER, a tooth-healing technology used in dental restorations and in other dental disease prevention materials.
A full year embedded in the United States will also offer Fujiwara insight into how dentistry is practiced in English-speaking North America and how different models of reimbursement can affect market demand for certain products. Shofu Inc. believes this will prove invaluable as the company moves to globalize research and development from its current base in Japan.
"This partnership with Shofu Inc., in turn, provides increased research opportunities for our faculty here in Omaha while also further expanding Creighton University's international presence, particularly our relationship with dental research in Japan," said Latta.
Creighton University and Shofu Inc. have worked together in the past on a multi-center clinical trial, currently awaiting publication. Both believe this research fellowship will help serve as a template for continued long-term collaborations.
"We're humbled by Shofu Inc.'s tremendous commitment in Mr. Fujiwara and in Creighton University School of Dentistry," said Latta. "You just don't see companies making this kind of commitment, and it's even rarer in the dental industry."
About Shofu Inc.
Shofu Inc., based in Kyoto, Japan, is a world-renowned dental materials and equipment manufacturer, providing high-quality products to clients for over 90 years. Today, Shofu Inc. is a top global manufacturer of superior dental products used by dentists, dental technicians, and dental hygienists and is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with affiliate companies in the United States, Germany, Singapore, United Kingdom and China. Shofu Dental Corporation (SDC), a fully owned subsidiary based in San Marcos, Calif., distributes products throughout the western hemisphere and is a leading sponsor of educational programs for dentists and dental auxiliaries.