News Release

Cher Farrugia and Wei Qiao named winners of the 2024 IADR STAR Network Academy Fellowship

Grant and Award Announcement

International Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research

Alexandria, VA, USA – The International Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (IADR) has announced Cher Farrugia and Wei Qiao as the winners of the 2024 IADR STAR Network Academy Fellowship. Farrugia, from the University of Bristol, England, UK, and Qiao, from  The University of Hong Kong, SAR, China, were recognized during the Opening Ceremonies of the 102nd General Session of the IADR, which was held in conjunction with the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research and the 48th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, on March 13-16, 2024, in New Orleans, LA.

Farrugia is currently a UK National Institute for Health Care Research Academic Clinical Fellow at the University of Bristol Dental School. She obtained her PhD from the University of Sheffield in 2021 after obtaining an MSc in Restorative Dentistry in 2014 and Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 2012 at the University of Malta. To date, she has 12 publications in a range of international peer reviewed journals and serves as a committee member on several initiatives of the European Cooperation in Science & Technology. She has secured funding grants and prizes to supplement her research work, including a Marie Sktodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship, the British Society of Periodontology's Sir Wilfred Fish Prize, the GSK Research Award, and the British Division of IADR's Senior Colgate Prize in 2020 and President's Prize in 2022.

Qiao obtained his Bachelor’s and Baster’s degrees in Oral Implantology from Sun Yat-sen University and completed his PhD and postdoctoral research training at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Hong Kong, where he subsequently took up the positions of Clinical Assistant Professor in 2022 and Assistant Dean for Research in 2023. To date, he has authored nine peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Nature Communications, Journal of Dental Research, Biomaterials, and Advanced Science. His main research interest involves the engineering of smart biomaterials to combat infection and promote tissue regeneration. He received the IADR LION Dental Research Award 2018.

The IADR Student Training and Research (STAR) Network wants to bridge the knowledge and “know how” gap in clinical and basic science research, academic career development, and training methodologies globally so that the young students, researchers, and program directors are exposed to best practices beyond their own schools, mentors, or programs.

The IADR STAR Network Fellowship supports awardee attendance at the IADR General Session & Exhibition, and then to have a research experience in a renowned research laboratory immediately before or after the IADR General Session.

About IADR
The International Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide. IADR represents the individual scientists, clinician-scientists, dental professionals, and students based in academic, government, non-profit, and private-sector institutions who share our mission. Learn more at

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