Interviews with Outstanding Authors (2023)

Posted On 2023-10-16 10:30:45

In 2023, many FOMM authors make outstanding contributions to our journal. Their articles published with us have received very well feedback in the field and stimulate a lot of discussions and new insights among the peers.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding authors who have been making immense efforts in their research fields, with a brief interview of their unique perspective and insightful view as authors.

Outstanding Authors (2023)

Louis G. Mercuri, University of Illinois Chicago, USA

Mohan Kumar Pasupuleti, Vishnu Dental College, India

Ole T. Jensen, University of Utah, USA

Carlos Herrera-Vizcaino, Hospital Dr. Domingo Luciani, Venezuela

Michael Ho, University of Leeds, UK

Shravan Kumar Renapurkar, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, USA

Anastasios Kanatas, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, UK

Maksym Skrypnyk, Macquarie and Sydney University, Australia

Fernando P. S. Guastaldi, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, USA

Outstanding Author

Louis G. Mercuri

Dr. Mercuri is a cum laude graduate of School of Dentistry, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He has achieved certification and Master of Science in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from the Medical Center of University of Illinois Chicago. He is a life member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and a retired diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He has been credited with the 2009 Oral and Maxillofacial Foundation Research Recognition Award, the Distinguished Achievement Award in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from William J. Gies Foundation, Honorary Fellowship at the Faculty of Dental Surgery of Royal College of Surgeons of England, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of TMJ Surgeons. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center Chicago, and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Illinois Chicago. He also takes management or consultant roles in different institutions or organizations (US Institute of Biomaterials, Tribocorrosion, Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, Stryker, TMJ Concepts).

To Dr. Mercuri, a good academic research paper is anchored on a sound research question, follows a systematic and appropriate research methodology, acknowledges previous research on the topic, and uses relevant and empirical data with proper data analysis methods. It should be representative and generalizable, guided by logic, with external validity, replicable, reproducible, and transparent. A good paper also acknowledges its limitations and provides suggestions for future research, and most importantly is ethical. In his hectic schedule, the unanswered clinical and laboratory questions that come up every day are the motivation for him to continue being an academic writer.

Science advances rapidly day by day. In order to ensure his writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, Dr. Mercuri reads reputable academic journals and books on theory, practice, education, and application of his clinical and laboratory interests, attends clinical and research related meetings and internet conferences, maintains contact with his mentors, and shares ideas with clinical and research peers. He stresses, “Be willing to experiment with new ideas, and avoid spending time dealing with unproven and/or “fad” topics.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Mohan Kumar Pasupuleti

Dr. Mohan Kumar Pasupuleti currently works as Associate Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Implantology at Vishnu Dental College, Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India. He achieved his Bachelor Degree (1999-2004) at A.B. Shetty Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India and his Master (2008-2011) at C.K.S. Theja Institute of Dental Sciences and Research. His focus of interest is on periodontal research in specific and in general on e-learning methods with proprioceptive derivation concept in Dentistry, Dental Ergonomics and Upgrading Clinical Care Skills among undergraduate students. He has published widely in international journals and has 70 articles and two books being included into the academic tenure. He serves as reviewer for the Dental Research Journal, International Journal of Periodontology and Implantology, Journal of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Medical Journal of Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Journal of Patient Experience, Journal of Forensic Science and Medicine and Brazilian Dental Science. He is an editorial review board member in innovative publications and the editor-in chief of International Journal of Student Dental Research. Connect with Dr. Pasupuleti on X (Twitter).

For a good academic article to get published in reputable journals, Dr. Pasupuleti points out that it must have the following characteristics: choosing a topic that interests you, including information on research and sources from the start of the data search to the last date in detail, creating a solid hypothesis that includes the research paper's summary and conclusion. He further explains that the study design's fundamental outline must be developed well in advance, and eventually before submitting the paper to the journal, authors should write and modify it three times to enhance the substance, logic, and flow.

Dr. Pasupuleti continues to share that a key element in resolving the flaws in scientific literature is reporting standards. By setting guidelines like CONSORT or PRISMA, authors may prevent writing without considering the goals. This would make it easier to create the academic paper fast and convey the main points authors would like to make. The reporting rules would also assist the authors in making several revisions to the academic article before the final version is ready.

With a hectic daily schedule, Dr. Pasupuleti conducts and writes academic papers with tremendous inspiration, and in response, he is motivated with the praise for his work. He says, “I am fortunate to have a friend, my wife, Dr. Supraja S, and my daughter, Athira, who read and enjoy my writing and provide their frank opinions because we both have amazing writing skills and a profound understanding of almost everything. I'm grateful for the assistance of my brothers Sreedhar and Chandra Mohan. Last but not least, I would want to express my gratitude to Vishnu Dental College for providing me with all the research facilities and for supporting me during every stage of my research project.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Ole T. Jensen

Dr. Ole T. Jensen is an Adjunct Professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Utah School of Dentistry in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, where he endows a Chair for Tissue Engineering. He also endows the Jensen Prize for Tissue Engineering for the international organization, TERMIS, which is given annually to a researcher who has made distinguished contributions in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He is currently involved with two commercial companies Ditron Ltd. and, both Israeli companies involved in cutting edge antimicrobial research and product development. He is working on antimicrobial technology to be used in all phases of oral implant dentistry. He is also currently working on changing the dental paradigm for addressing what osseointegration actually is, taking the position, along with several prominent researchers, that osseointegration is a unique foreign body reaction that is immuno-modulated by M -2 macrophages and that titanium wear debris is a contributor to peri implant disease. Dr. Jensen continues to lecture widely and publish articles and book chapters. He currently serves as Associate Editor on Tissue Engineering for the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants.

Writing is the one international basis of communication that has persistence and the capability of taking root to change the world of science and industry,” says Dr. Jensen when being asked of the importance of academic writing. He further expresses that though social media, public speaking and news broadcasting are beneficial, the network of scientific publication is a record that lives forever and can constantly be re-examined. The written word is still the most important long-term form of communication.

Dr. Jensen thinks all scientific work should be referenced and authors should mention foundational work as it purports to present novel or interesting developments. Articles should be peer-reviewed to ensure integrity of authorship and originality and meaningful contribution. Science should be science and not opinion or conjecture and it should also be referenced well with current applicable periodicals.

Finally, Dr. Jensen highlights that Conflict of Interest (COI) should be disclosed properly as it can adversely influence the article integrity. “Many interesting scientific developments occur in the context of the commercial industry,” he says, “and these also deserve to be published if the findings are original and well-based in science, with the disclosure of the commercial interests.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Carlos Herrera-Vizcaino

Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino graduated in dentistry from the University Romulo Gallegos in Venezuela in 2011. Recognized for his outstanding performance, he was granted the opportunity to undergo advanced training in Oral Surgery at the University of Carabobo during his final year of undergraduate studies, where he achieved exceptional academic results. Subsequently, he served as an intern in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) at the IVSS-Hospital Dr. Domingo Luciani in 2011 and he was subsequently selected to participate in a rigorous OMS program starting in 2012. Throughout his training, Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino was awarded a scholarship from the AO-CMF for clinical training in the Department of OMS at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, in 2015, earning his specialization in OMS the same year. In 2016, he received a second scholarship from the International Bone Research Association (IBRA) for clinical and research training in the Department of OMS at the University Goethe of Frankfurt, Germany, initially for three months and later extending his stay to six months. Upon his return in 2017, he joined the University Goethe of Frankfurt as a doctoral research fellow at the FORM laboratory and worked at the Klinik für Mund-, Kiefer- und Plastische Gesichtschirurgie / Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt as a Fellow, holding the position of a visiting doctor for 18 months.

Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino conducted research on tissue regeneration, biomaterials, medical education, and computer-aided design in collaboration with professors from the Dental School and colleagues from the Department of OMS. His contributions were acknowledged through the receipt of multiple scholarships during his tenure. Additionally, he served as a thesis supervisor and jury member at the International University of Valencia in the Department of Bioengineering. One of his notable works, 'Fifteen years of platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) in dentistry and oromaxillofacial surgery: How high is the level of scientific evidence?'—co-authored with his supervisor—stands as the most cited paper related to platelet concentrates. His current focus revolves around the systematic review of platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) and centrifugation protocols in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Recently, he introduced the acronym AR2T3 for accurately reporting vertical and horizontal PRF centrifugation protocols. Fluent in Spanish, English, and German, Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino presently practices as a private practitioner in Frankfurt, Germany. Learn more about Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino on ResearchGate and connect with him on LinkedIn.

FOMM: Why do we need academic writing? What is so important about it?

Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino: Academic writing serves as a means of knowledge dissemination, providing the scholarly community with a platform to articulate their findings clearly and effectively. Beyond mere communication, it fosters the development of critical thinking. Crafting a scientific paper following experimental investigations imposes the responsibility on the author to meticulously organize, analyze, and synthesize data, requiring a careful selection of words to convey findings objectively. Additionally, a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter is imperative to substantiate one's novel contribution to science, rooted on the contributions of preceding authors. This intricate process not only facilitates the communication of ideas but also acts as a catalyst for intellectual growth and the cultivation of analytical thinking.

FOMM: How to avoid biases in one’s writing?

Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino: As individuals possess distinct interests and beliefs, avoiding biases during the research process proves to be a challenge. Consequently, cultivating a robust self-critical mindset and implementing external control methods throughout the entirety of the research endeavor becomes imperative to mitigate biases. The significance of reporting guidelines, such as the PRISMA statement, becomes apparent in this context. These guidelines assume a pivotal role by furnishing a structured framework for documentation and supplying tools for the assessment of bias risks, thereby contributing substantially to the overall objectivity and integrity of the research output.

FOMM: From an author’s perspective, do you think it is important to follow reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, or CONSORT) during preparation of manuscripts? Why?

Dr. Herrera-Vizcaino: In my perspective, the utilization of reporting guidelines is of paramount importance, given that these guidelines are meticulously curated by expert cohorts within the respective fields. Serving as a structured framework, reporting guidelines are instrumental in the accurate documentation of methodologies, results, and novel insights for dissemination within the scientific community. This commitment to transparency inherently augments the reproducibility of research. Drawing upon my own experiences, adherence to reporting guidelines has not only streamlined the process of research-literature preparation but has also resulted in research outputs characterized by heightened quality and precision.

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Michael Ho

Dr. Michael Ho is a Head and Neck/Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgeon based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds. He has been the Lead Clinician for Head and Neck Cancer in Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust since March 2020. He is the current Clinical Lead of a national quality improvement project for the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Quality and Outcomes and holds the position of the Curriculum Lead for the UK Core Surgery Training and Advisory Committee. Dr. Ho’s research interests relate to patient-related treatment outcomes in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, quality improvement and oral lesions with malignant potential. He is a grant co-applicant for the NIHR SAVER (Sodium Valproate in Epigenetic Reprogramming of Oral Epithelial Dysplasia) and has contributed as primary investigator for several NIHR funded clinical trials. Connect with Dr. Ho on LinkedIn.

In Dr. Ho’s view, academic writing/publications are important for several reasons. First, they form the basis of systematic reporting of evidence-based outcomes – the basis upon which we make decisions in selection of the best intervention/approach in patient care. Second, they are important as a means for dissemination of information, results and best practice either within the academic, clinical or leadership aspect of healthcare. This exchange of information shortens the “learning curve” and enables improvements to be achieved more effectively. Third, in terms of education and training, it promotes the adoption of a scientific, systematic and objective approach in the training of residents/registrars/interns/junior trainees, and helps develop the culture which incorporates academic writing as an integral component of patient care in the contemporary healthcare setting.

Knowledge addition to the body of evidence in the published literature happens at a rapid pace in this era of practice. To Dr. Ho, regular review of the published evidence (clinical trials, guidance from reputable bodies/associations, reports from quality improvement projects/national audits and clinical outcome studies) is essential in maintaining one’s knowledge base to ensure it remains up-to-date. In addition, regular contact with peers in courses, national/international meetings and/or conferences adds to the fabric of innovations/knowledge in the field of research.

Dr. Ho further points out that declaration of Conflict of Interest (COI) is essential and integral for authorship disclosure as the readerships need to be fully informed and aware of the context within which the reported research/clinical outcomes findings have been reported. Research publications need to be free from any interference/influence from commercial companies as these can introduce significant bias in reporting. The integrity and strength of any research findings lie in its independence from bias and transparency in reporting processes.

(by Brad Li, Masaki Lo)

Shravan Kumar Renapurkar

Dr. Renapurkar is an Associate Professor and Director of the residency program in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), USA. He received Doctor in Dental Medicine (D.M.D) degree at Boston University. Prior to this, he completed a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree at Government Dental College and Hospital in Hyderabad, India. He then completed a residency program in OMFS at University of Minnesota followed by a fellowship in Paediatric OMFS at Massachusetts General Hospital prior to joining VCU as a full-time faculty. Dr. Renapurkar has published several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, as well as lectured at local study clubs, state and national professional meetings. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, a Fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American College of Surgeons and American Society of Temporomandibular Joint Surgeons. He has served as the past president of the Virginia Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, member of AAOMS Committee on Research Planning and Technology Assessment and examiner in the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He is involved with undergraduate and graduate OMFS education, and has been an active speaker for VCU School of Dentistry continuing education courses. Connect with Dr. Renapurkar on LinkedIn.

Academic writing is very crucial in spreading awareness about updates in science,” says Dr. Renapurkar. Without academic writing, he thinks every one of the scientists will be in their own silos with limited sharing of knowledge and ultimately limiting the use of new information. He continues to share tips on avoiding biases in academic writing. While biases can be of various kinds, he points out that they decrease the credibility of one’s writing and potentially alienating the readers as well. By following evidence-based guidelines, supporting the findings objectively and making use of peer-review process can help avoid or minimize biases.

Finally, on the prevalence of data sharing in academic writing, Dr. Renapurkar thinks it is very crucial for authors to be able to share the data. He elaborates, “Sharing your unbiased data not only helps avoid redundancy in research writing but also gives opportunity for other researchers to move further forward by avoiding the limitations within the study. It also allows multiple writers and researchers to collaborate on a specific topic.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Anastasios Kanatas

Dr. Anastasios Kanatas is a Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the University of Leeds, UK, with a specialty in Oral Oncology, Reconstruction and Clinical Education. He is a surgeon, writer, teacher, director/co-director of multiple "Flap and Microsurgery" courses in the UK and Germany. He is the author of over 300 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, three books, several book chapters and he has performed more than 3,000 head and neck cancer-related operations. He is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Learn more about Dr. Kanatas here and connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter (X).

The role of academic writing, to Dr. Kanatas, is to improve clinical outcomes and ensure optimal training of the new generation of surgeons and researchers. All of his research projects are carefully designed, completed and published with the research goals of improving clinical outcomes and patient care.

On the discussion of how to keep oneself up-to-date in the academic field, Dr. Kanatas frankly expresses, “Providing clinical care in a high volume, within a clinical centre of excellence, is very time consuming and hence it is difficult to keep up-to-date, with a rapidly changing field. My roles as an educator, journal reviewer, examiner and editor are paramount in directing my writing interests.”

(by Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Maksym Skrypnyk

Dr. Maksym Skrypnyk graduated as a Doctor of Dental Medicine from Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy Poltava, Ukraine, and underwent a two-year internship in “General Dentistry” at Poltava State Medical University. He finished a research fellowship at the Department of Research Support Utilizing Bioresource Bank at Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan. Currently, Dr. Skrypnyk is working on his PhD in dentistry at Macquarie and Sydney University, Sydney, Australia. He has sufficient experience in conducting experimental studies with rodents, laboratory experience, as well as experience in clinical studies and clinical trials. His research is focused on the impact of obesity on oral health, the development of pathogenetic supplemental therapy of periodontitis in patients with systemic disease, and their prevention with cerium nanoparticles and head and neck cancer treatment. Connect with him on LinkedIn and ResearchGate.

In Dr. Skrypnyk’s opinion, a good academic paper should be clear and concise as well as written in proper language that can be easily read and understood. In the field of clinical and experimental medicine, it is extremely important to describe the methodology in detail so that other researchers can reproduce it and obtain the same result. The key factor of a good academic paper is to present findings logically and make an interesting story out of it rather than just presenting the set of data.

According to Dr. Skrypnyk, the best way to keep oneself up-to-date with current knowledge is to read and analyze recent publications in one’s and adjacent fields. Also important is to submit articles to good-quality journals and receive feedback from reviewers who are professionals in that area. That will help to improve the quality of one’s study, fill the knowledge gaps, and ensure that one is on the right track.

The most captivating thing in academic writing is to read, analyze, find the gaps in what is already known and try to build cause-and-effect relationships between to shed light on what is unknown,” says Dr. Skrypnyk.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)

Fernando P. S. Guastaldi

Dr. Fernando Guastaldi is an Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) and Director of the Skeletal Biology Research Center (SBRC), Department of OMFS at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He received his DDS degree (2006) from the Dental School of Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. He obtained both a Master of Science (2010) and a Ph.D. (2013) in OMFS from the Dental School of Araçatuba (UNESP/Brazil). He concluded two Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: the first at the Dental School of Araraquara (UNESP/Brazil) (2014-2017) and the second at the SBRC, Department of OMFS, MGH and HSDM (2017-2019). He is a surgeon-scientist focused on understanding, developing, and translating strategies to tissue engineer vascularized 3D-printed bone scaffolds for large maxillofacial bone defect regeneration and in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) regeneration of congenital and acquired oral and maxillofacial defects to improve clinical outcomes. Learn more about Dr. Guastaldi here.

Publishing is a crucial part of doing research. Academic writing reflected in publications is the “product” of the researcher. In Dr. Guastaldi’s opinion, it is the foundation for sharing knowledge, disseminating discoveries, and fostering intellectual growth. It demands strong critical thinking and analytical skills. It also plays a significant role in securing funding, publishing in reputable journals, and building a solid professional reputation. To him, academic writing should be rigorous and follow a well-defined structure that the peers can easily recognize, understand, and replicate. This structure is reflected in accurate, specific, concise, clear, cautious, and objective language. This is how the broader scientific community can thoroughly and critically discuss current knowledge, scientific gaps, and unsolved topics.

According to Dr. Guastaldi, academic writing requires time, dedication, practice, and reading the relevant literature and the leading Journals in a specific area. This practice should be incorporated into the daily activities of researchers, clinicians, and surgeons. Academic writing is a skill that will improve over time. Students and trainees should be encouraged to start academic writing at the beginning of their training. This should be done with direct supervision and mentorship of a senior investigator with experience in academic writing and a good publishing record. He further points out that writing critically involves (a) providing appropriate and sufficient evidence-based arguments and examples, (b) choosing terms that are precise, appropriate, and persuasive, (c) making clear the transitions from one thought to another to ensure the overall logic of the topic, and (d) editing for content, structure, and language. As a didactic and systematic approach, academic writing should start with pre-writing, then drafting, revising, editing, and finally proofreading.

I strive for scientific surgical excellence. Academic writing is one of the most essential parts of a scientist's daily life. Recognition from our peers, advancing the field that we work in, and contributing to training students/fellows who could become leaders in their areas of interest/activity are some examples that motivate serious, systematized, meticulous, and critical academic writing. One needs to be passionate about science and have the time, effort, and knowledge to complete academic writing successfully,” says Dr. Guastaldi.

(by Brad Li, Alisa Lu)