Three faculty members from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine were awarded for outstanding research in oral health equity, public service and oral health. They were recognized and honored at the 52nd American Association of Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research's (AADOCR) Meeting & Exhibition in Portland, Ore. The AADOCR is a nonprofit organization with a mission to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being.
Tamanna Tiwari, BDS, MDS, MPH
CU SDM Assistant Professor Tamanna Tiwari, BDS, MDS, MPH, was named an inaugural recipient of the AADOCR Delta Dental Institute Oral Health Equity Research Award with co-principal investigator Cameron Randall, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Their collaborative research project examines the relationship between acculturation and parental oral health behaviors, mainly focusing on oral health literacy.
"We hypothesize that higher parental acculturation is associated with greater health literacy, greater oral health knowledge, more optimal oral health beliefs, and, ultimately, greater adherence to recommended parental oral health behaviors," said Tiwari. "We anticipate that these constructs will be the main focus of future oral health promotion efforts, perhaps carefully devised or uniquely tailored based on the mechanisms identified in the current study. Such future interventions would represent a targeted approach to achieving health equity.”
Tiwari said this award highlights the area of research she is most passionate about, oral health equity. "It warms my heart that researchers in this area are recognized. I have worked on developing this model of understanding parent oral health behaviors for some time, and this funding will allow us to test it and develop future interventions. I am excited to collaborate with Dr. Randall on this project."
At the pinning ceremony, Tiwari also received the AADOCR Fellows award, presented by AADOCR President Jane Weintraub, DDS, MPH.
The AADOCR Jack Hein Public Service Award, is presented to an individual who has given exemplary service in public affairs by consistently promoting the interests and activities of oral health research to a vast constituency.
This year, two recipients were chosen: CU SDM Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Dentistry and Population Health Bruce Dye, DDS, MPH, and CU SDM and Colorado School of Public Health Professor Emerita Judith Albino, PhD.
Bruce Dye, DDS, MPH
Judith Albino, PhD
Dye and Albino were co-project directors of the recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) report, Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges.
Albino said, "the NIH 20-year report on Oral Health in America allowed us to review and incorporate the work of hundreds of oral health researchers who have paved the way for significant improvements in oral health and groundbreaking strategies to ensure health equity for all. Indeed, their work and ours follow in the footsteps of the late Jack Hein and this award's many distinguished previous recipients.
"I am honored to receive this award, along with my colleague, Bruce Dye. It is significant to me as I begin retirement from a long career of research focused on dental and craniofacial research and the promotion of oral health."
Dye's professional career has covered various activities, from providing care to disease prevention and control, research, teaching and mentoring. He said, "I’m very grateful for the acknowledgement by my dental research peers for my contribution, promotion, and dissemination of oral health research to the public as a recipient of the 2023 AADOCR Jack Hein Public Service Award. This award is meaningful to me given my many years of public health service, as the award recognizes accomplishments in the area of public affairs."
Christopher Bowman, PhD
Finally, this year's AADOCR Distinguished Scientist Award was presented to CU Boulder Clinical Professor of Dentistry Christopher Bowman, PhD. This award recognizes and honors outstanding research of particular significance in any of the fields related to oral science.
"I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition for our work on the fundamentals and applications of dental restorative materials that has spanned more than three decades at the University of Colorado," said Bowman. "It is particularly gratifying to receive this award for our work because of the incredible efforts of so many people I have worked with within this field, including faculty and industrial collaborators, graduate and dental students, and post-doctoral associates."
The American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being. AADOCR represents the individual scientists, clinician-scientists, dental professionals, and students based in academic, government, non-profit and private-sector institutions who share our mission. AADOCR is the largest division of the International Association for Dental Research. Learn more at www.aadocr.org.