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ESE Pre-congress symposium: Designing and running Randomised Control Trials and laboratory research projects. Led by Hal Duncan

Afternoon course 14.00-18.00 hrs Led by: Hal Duncan Presenters: Hal Duncan, Helena Fransson (Malmo, Sweden), Ikhlas El-Karim (Belfast, N. Ireland)

This interactive pre-congress workshop will provide participants with an insight into laboratory study and randomised controlled trial planning. The key aims are to;

• Engage participants wishing to design, plan, execute and publish a wide range of scientific studies.

• Stimulate discussion and improve knowledge by the use of scenarios, protocols and published examples.

• Understand the importance of a good research question, protocol and pilot study.

• Be aware of the common problems and pitfalls in conducting research studies.

COST: 130 + VAT Euros (ESE Registered Postgraduate students 90 + VAT Euros)


Click on an arrow to reveal more information.

rightDesigning research that matters
Designing and running Randomised Control Trials and laboratory research projects


Research is important, time-consuming and rewarding. That said successful completion of a hypothesis-driven research project is dependent on meticulous planning, execution, analysis and write-up. Often it is not until late in the project that the flaws in the design become evident leading to an underwhelming and ultimately disappointing result.

This interactive pre-congress workshop will be run by three clinical academic endodontists with significant experience of planning, carrying out and publishing laboratory and clinical research (Hal Duncan, Trinity College Dublin [HD], Helena Fransson, Malmö University [HF], Ikhlas El-Karim, Queen's University Belfast [IEK]. The course has been designed to provide participants with an interactive understanding of laboratory studies and randomised controlled trial planning.


To provide participants with an insight into planning, running, completing successful and valuable laboratory studies and randomised controlled trials


Designing research that matters (HD) - To include; 1. An introduction 2. Understand IEJ study categorisation and recent ‘research that matters’ 3. Consider the importance of experimental design 4. Appreciate the value of reporting guidelines (CONSORT, PRISMA, STROBE, Clinical Trial Registration) 5. Discuss funding sources (National, European, Industry, ESE)

rightDr Hal Duncan
Dr Hal Duncan

Hal Duncan: BDS, FDS RCS, MClin Dent(Endo), MRD RCS, PhD

A University of Glasgow graduate, he initially worked in general dental practice, various dental schools as well as several specialist endodontic practices in Northern Ireland and England. He received postgraduate endodontic speciality training in Guy’s Hospital from 2002-2006, which included a collaborative research study with Dr Ram Nair (in the University of Zurich) on MTA pulp capping. He has worked since 2008 at Trinity College Dublin as an Academic Consultant in Endodontics, while completing an external PhD in the University of Birmingham with Professor’s Cooper and Smith and Dr Garry Fleming in the area of epigenetics, pulpal regeneration and biomaterials in 2016. In 2013 and 2016 he received two (IADR and EMBO-sponsored) fellowships in New York University with Profs Nicola Partridge and Emi Shimizu on the role of epigenetic-modifying agents on pulpal mineralisation. He is currently the principal supervisor for several clinical and scientifically trained PhD students in basic translational pulp biology. He has received several research grants as a principal investigator, has written ten book chapters and edited 2 textbooks including “Clinical approaches in endodontic regeneration - Current and emerging therapeutic perspectives”. In addition he has published multiple articles in peer-reviewed international journals and is an Associate Editor for the International Endodontic Journal. He is a committee member of the Irish Division of the IADR, the Chair of the European Society of Endodontology (ESE) Membership Committee and a member of the ESE Executive Board. He is a past president of the Irish Endodontic Society and holds an honorary senior lecturer position in the University of Birmingham.

rightLaboratory studies (designing and running studies)


To include a 30 minute lecture/outline followed by group work

o Discussion of conceptual ideas and the importance of establishing a research question

o Highlight the need for statistical input and thorough literature evaluation

o Scenarios demonstrate the importance of careful study design

o Discussion of good laboratory practice, regulations and ethics

o Introduce the need for clinician/scientist partnerships

o Highlight publications citing examples of well-designed lab studies & common pitfalls

rightIkhlas El Karim
 Ikhlas El Karim

Dr Ikhlas El Karim graduated from Faculty of Dentistry University of Khartoum 1989 and completed higher specialist training in Restorative Dentistry at the School of Dentistry Queen’s University Belfast. She completed PhD on pulpal neurogenic inflammation in response to caries in 2003. She is currently Senior lecturer and consultant in Restorative Dentistry at the School of Medicine Dentistry and Biological Sciences, Queen University Belfast with joint affiliation to the Centre for Dentistry and the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine where her research group is based. Her research focuses on developing minimally invasive, biologically based endodontic therapies, with particular interest in investigating the link between pain, inflammation and regeneration as well as the implications of endodontic infections on general health. She is a principal investigator on many funded grants and supervises a research team of PhD students, postdoctoral research assistant and technician. Dr El Karim present her work nationally and internationally, has may peer reviewed publications, co-authored book chapter and is a council member of the Irish Division of the International association of Dental Research.

rightClinical studies (designing and running randomised control trials)


To include a 30 minute lecture/outline followed by group work

o Present some basic conceptual ideas of clinical studies and how establishing a research question

o Primary and secondary outcome measures, power calculations, bias

o Underline the importance of good research practice, regulations, ethics

o Highlight the need for statistical analysis both in planning of the study and analysing data

o Comment on day to day management of clinical research

o Cite some examples of well-designed studies as well as examples of common pitfalls

rightDr Helena Fransson
Dr Helena Fransson

Helena Fransson, D.D.S., Odont.Dr. (Ph.D.) is Associate Professor in the Department of Endodontics, Faculty of Odontology, Malmö University, Sweden. Dr. Fransson graduated in dentistry from the University of Lund 1998, and completed postgraduate clinical training in endodontics at Malmö University (2007), where she also completed her research training. Her doctoral thesis on the repair of the dentine barrier following pulp capping led to the doctoral degree (Odont.Dr.) in 2012 and she holds a docenture since 2017. Her current research focuses on the outcome of endodontic and caries treatments, and she is conducting clinical studies and data mining in registries. She is a driving force behind the Scandinavian Research Collaboration (EndoReCo), a collaboration striving to increase the knowledge about the root-filled tooth. As most research of today is based on collaboration rather than on individual achievements, the EndoReCo collaboration aims to provide a nourishing research environment for the current six PhD-students pursuing joint research plans. Dr. Fransson is currently President of the Swedish Endodontic Society.

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