Dr NM Veeraiyan, Chancellor, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences and Dr Deepak Nallaswamy, Director of Academics convened a meeting of the deans of Chennai city colleges at Saveetha Dental College on the occasion of the 7th Saveetha STAR Summit.
The Saveetha Transdisciplinary Annual Research (STAR) Summit was initiated to encourage the growth of student research in dental institutions, both at the undergraduate as well as the postgraduate levels. Participation numbers at the summit have been gradually increasing over the years with growth in research activities in all the dental institutions.
Dr SM Balaji was invited to chair the proceeding at the deans meeting in light of his exemplary record in groundbreaking research in Oral and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery. Many stellar researchers have attributed him with having inspired them to take up dental research as a fulltime career.
Dr SM Balaji presented his views regarding research opportunities in India in a lucid and forthright manner. He explained that with India being a low to middle income nation, research had to be mainly conducted in a low resource setting. Stressing on the need for constant innovation, he said that dedication, devotion and determination were the three D’s to a successful career in research.
He related many incidents from his career where innovative out-of-the-box thinking had helped successful culmination of difficult research projects. Explaining further, he said that the desire to contribute towards scientific progress should be strong enough to overcome any temporary setbacks, which is part and parcel of a researcher’s life.
Dr SM Balaji further enumerated steps that could be implemented in the dental institutions to help foster a culture of research among the students. The deans expressed their appreciation and stated that they would take the appropriate steps needed to lay a foundation for dental research in their institutions that would help develop many generations of future researchers.