Dr. Racquel Z. LeGeros has made over 100 trips abroad to present her research on calcium phosphates to colleagues at overseas universities and scientific congresses. In the process, she has helped to found an international scientific community dedicated to researching calcium phosphate in teeth and bones, calcification’s impact on oral and systemic function, and calcium phosphate biomaterials for bone and soft tissue repair, replacement and regeneration. In October, she was awarded an honorary doctorate for her work in the field of international biomaterials research by the University of Nantes, where she has been a visiting scientist for much of the past 20 years (see related story, "Dr. Racquel Z. LeGeros Awarded Honorary Doctorate by the University of Nantes.").
Dr. LeGeros, a native of the Philippines who is Associate Chair and Professor of Biomaterials and Biomimetics and the Leonard I. Linkow Professor of Implant Dentistry, emphasizes that her international activities are always a two-way street. In fact, she says, she has learned much about biomaterials development during her travels, which have taken her to universities in Japan, China, France, Tunisia, Thailand, Australia, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia, among other places.
“Two years ago,” she recalls, “I learned about an outstanding example of technology transfer at Wuhan University of Technology, in China, where scientists develop biomaterials for bone repair, and then manufacture and ship the finished product directly
to hospital clients.
“When I visited Chulalongkorn School of Dentistry in Thailand in 1996, a colleague demonstrated how bones of sheep, cows and pigs were used as a filter, to absorb excess fluoride from the local water supply. And I learned of innovative ways to tap calcium phosphate from rock deposits in North Africa when I visited the Tunisian Institute of Science and Technology ten years ago on a mission sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Tunisia Technology Transfer Project.
“There is always so much to learn. My colleagues and I energize one another; we have a shared focus; and we are dedicated to exploring all the amazing possibilities for the use of calcium phosphates for medical and dental applications.”