Jonas Lorenz is from Germany. He currently works as head physician at the University Hospital Frankfurt in the Clinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Plastic Surgery. Five years ago, he began his journey with the Osteology Foundation. Before this great collaboration could start, Jonas began his dental studies in Frankfurt in 2006. During his studies he was first introduced to Professor Shahram Ghanaati who later went on to become his mentor. Prof. Ghanaati is the director of the Frankfurt Oro-Facial Regenerative Medicine Lab (FORM-Lab) and introduced Jonas to biomaterial science; he allowed Jonas to work on projects with him and supervised his dissertation. After graduating in 2011, Jonas did a two-year residency in a general dental practice. Jonas did not want to detach himself from the scientific side of dentistry, so he worked simultaneously in the FORM-Lab to deepen and expand his scientific work. He also completed specialist training in oral surgery at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Frankfurt (director: Prof. Dr. Dr. Robert Sader) during that time.
It was during the time after his graduation that the Osteology Foundation came into his life. Let us dive into the story of ‘inspiration’, ‘motivation’ and ‘network’. With these three words Jonas describes his career path at the Foundation so far.
As a young student, Jonas was always much more interested in gaining experience outside the university compared to attending lectures. After first meeting in 2015, this is exactly the opportunity that the Osteology Foundation could provide. His former mentor Prof. Ghanaati encouraged him to attend one of the Osteology Research Academies to improve his skills. Jonas applied for the Core Module of the Osteology Research Academy Lucerne and the grant that went with it in 2015. “Surprisingly, I received the grant and had one of the best weeks outside of university”, said Jonas with a big smile. In classroom sessions we read case studies and did group exercises. All this was led by experts such as Professor Niklaus Lang and Professor Reinhard Gruber.
We learned the basics of research methodology including how to plan, conduct, evaluate and publish results. We gained an overview of the planning and implementation of a study project. However, it was not just about the science, Jonas also learned a lot about Switzerland. He was fascinated by the beauty and diversity of the country, the cosines of the Swiss people and their hospitality.
Soon after the academy, he was able to apply this new knowledge in his scientific practice. “The world-class lecturers, such as Professor Frank Schwarz passed on their knowledge to the participants in a collegial atmosphere. This gave an extremely high credibility. In addition to this professional and technical input, the teaching of ‘soft skills’ such as mentoring, and motivation also had a lasting effect on me and my scientific work”, said Jonas, looking back on this period.
The Osteology Research Academy Lucerne 2015 was a great opportunity for Jonas. For the first time in his young scientific career he met colleagues from all over the world and heard lectures from leading scientists. It was at this point it was clear to Jonas that he would continue his scientific work.
The Osteology Foundation had a decisive influence on Jonas' perseverance in carrying out regenerative science. Jonas applied for an Osteology Research Grant in 2015 but was unfortunately rejected. Not receiving the grant was a blessing in disguise, as despite. This rejection could not change his motivation for the science of regeneration. “The disappointment was overwhelming at first, but the reviewer’s feedback and the objective assessment of my study proposal helped me to improve. I learned a lot, especially in the study design and in the application and writing of the grant. A rejection increases motivation extremely," he proudly said with a grin on his face.
In 2015, Jonas took part in the National Osteology Baden-Baden for the first time with a poster and oral presentation. Due to the amount of experience he gained from this event, he also took part in the International Osteology Symposium in Monaco 2016. Two years later he attended the National Osteology Symposium Frankfurt where he had the honour of giving a lecture at the Science Forum. There he was deeply impressed by the high level of the scientific results presented.
Growing in experience and knowledge, he also attended the International Osteology Symposium 2019. In the same year he participated in the Expert Module of the Osteology Academy Bern. Jonas explained: “The national and international Osteology Symposia combine science and practice in a familiar atmosphere like no other symposia. You can participate in practical workshops led by highly qualified clinicians. Furthermore, you learn about the results of high-quality studies conducted by renowned scientists. Even in such a top-class setting there is space for young and ambitious scientists; especially in the poster sessions."
The Osteology Foundation has become more than inspiration and motivation for Jonas. The network of like-minded people from all over the world in a unified and special spirit without elbow social behaviour is unique. Having these encounters and making new contacts gave Jonas new perspectives, insights and impulses, all of which will be points for reflection in the future. “Hands-on events and practical face-to-face training combined with a smart online platform. For me, this is the basis and future for a scientific community,” Jonas rounded off.
Talking about future goals, Jonas said: “As research is not an ‘individual sport’, it is my goal that the group I belong to will continue its great and valuable scientific work. Personally, he wants to expand and deepen his research. Nevertheless, he aims to enlarge his clinical and technical skills. He is looking forward to having the Osteology Foundation as a partner for the long run and to attend many more Osteology Foundation events. “I encourage everyone, especially young clinicians and scientists, to use the opportunities provided by the Osteology Foundation.”