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Meet our 2016-2017 Fellowship Recipients

Tuesday, June 07, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rupa Brosseau
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Meet our 2016-2017 Fellowship Recipients




Media Contact:

Rupa Brosseau (

Director of Development and Education

International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (IAOMS)

IAOMS Foundation



CHICAGO, IL (June 9, 2016) - This week, the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Foundation (IAOMS Foundation) awarded the 2016-2017 Fellowships to Dr. Ignacio Velasco Martinez (Puerto Rico); Dr. Timothy Aladelusi (Nigeria); and Dr. Ahmed Maki Merza (Iraq). A record number of applications were received this year from individuals in over thirty different countries.

Funded by the IAOMS Foundation, this unique fellowship program launched in 2009 with the intent to provide resident/trainee surgeons an immersion in their specialty to advance their knowledge and skills while experiencing an unmatched cultural opportunity. The one-year fellowship program begins on September 1 and ends the following August.

"The volume of applications received this year speaks to the need for training in OMS on a global level. These candidates will experience a year of refining their surgical skills and learning new ones," says IAOMS Fellowship Program Director, Dr. G.E. Ghali. "This fellowship experience will positively impact their ability to practice these much needed procedures in very underserved regions of their respective countries. Many are attached to training programs that should also benefit all involved. In turn, for IAOMS and the oral and maxillofacial surgery community, this additional exposure further solidifies our relevance and role in global oral health care."

Through generous donations of individuals and corporations including the KLS Martin Group and Zimmer Biomet, the IAOMS Foundation annually funds up to three advanced fellowships in oncology and reconstructive surgery and cleft lip and palate and craniofacial surgery. The IAOMS Foundation selected three fellowship participants (2016-17) this year due to the steady growth in support for this program.


Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery

These Fellowships offer comprehensive training in clinical oral and maxillofacial oncology as well as reconstructive microvascular surgery training consisting of laboratory training and exposure to dental and craniofacial implantology and tissue transfer.


The KLS Martin Group Fellowship in Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery

Dr. Velasco Martinez is the recipient of the KLS Martin Fellowship in Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery. He will spend one year at Peking University School & Hospital of Stomatology, in Beijing, People's Republic of China, under the guidance of Professor Guang-yan Yu. "I am especially interested in free flap microsurgery. After completion of the fellowship, I plan to pursue an academic career in a residency program to teach surgical techniques with solid scientific evidence to future specialists in Chile and Latin America."


Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery

Dr. Aladelusi is the recipient of the Fellowship in Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery. He will spend his one-year fellowship at Ninth People's Hospital in Shanghai, China, under the supervision of Professor Zhang Chen-Ping. "I hope to acquaint myself with the Chinese culture while developing in-depth knowledge and skills in head and neck surgery and exploring opportunities for collaborations toward improving oral and maxillofacial oncological services in Nigeria. When I return home,I will be able to help many patients who would otherwise be unable to access such specialized care. This training program is a unique gift to the people of Nigeria."


Cleft Lip and Palate Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship

Dr. Maki Merza will take part in the Cleft Lip and Palate and Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship. This Fellowship offers a one-year experience in two different locations, Hyderabad and Bangalore, both in India. The main focus will be on cleft lip and palate care from infancy through adulthood while teaching comprehensive patient care. "I hope to gain more experience in preoperative analysis and planning, allowing me to spend more time in the operating room and evaluating postoperative outcomes. When I return to Iraq, I wish to draw a smile on many children faces and support their families because they need exceptional surgical and psychological care, and focusing on those who are unable to travel aboard to seek treatment."


Since the inaugural class of Fellows, twenty-one surgeons have participated in this program. As a result, thousands of patients have benefited from this exclusive training opportunity.

Applications will open on August 1 for the 2017-18 Fellowships.


About the IAOMS Foundation

The International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Foundation is the charitable arm of IAOMS. For almost 20 years, the IAOMS Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the standards of care in oral and maxillofacial surgery through improved education and training. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation help surgeons help patients throughout the world. Funding priorities include: Education and Training, and Public Awareness & Outreach. For more information, visit




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