Anne Tanner to Receive the 2016 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Research in Dental Caries

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IADR contact: Ingrid L. Thomas
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June 21, 2016                                                                                                           

Alexandria, Va., USA - The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) will present Anne Tanner with the 2016 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Research in Dental Caries. She will be recognized at the Opening Ceremonies of the 94th IADR General Session & Exhibition, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. This meeting will be held in conjunction with the 3rd Meeting of the IADR Asia Pacific Region and the 35th Annual Meeting of the IADR Korean Division.

Currently, Tanner is a dentist and microbiologist at The Forsyth Institute, Boston, Mass., USA. She is also an associate professor, oral medicine, infection and immunity, at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass., USA. She earned her B.D.S. in dental surgery at Guy's Hospital Dental School, London University, England, UK; and her Ph.D. in periodontal microbiology at University of London, England, UK. She completed her postgraduate doctoral training at the then Forsyth Dental Center, Boston, Mass., USA.

Tanner has an outstanding background in oral microbiology in the areas of taxonomy and periodontal research, in addition to cariology. She was trained an anaerobic microbiologist in periodontology and has maintained an active role in anaerobic microbiology as lead or co-investigator in several taxonomy studies. She was a member of the taxonomy committee focusing on gram negative anaerobic rods, and was a founder member and councilor of the American Society of Anaerobes as the representative of and advocate for dental research. In periodontology, her clinical microbiology studies indicated that early periodontitis represents a continuum from health to advanced periodontitis with a strong inflammatory component.

Her involvement in dental caries research builds on this background in clinical and microbiological research. Using DNA probe panels that incorporated caries and periodontal/subgingival species her studies confirmed the presence of S. mutans in pre-dentate children and indicated the key role of the mother as the primary source of the complete oral microbiota of the young child. Expanding the DNA probe panel to include Lactobacillus species, Tanner and collaborators showed that only a subset of lactobacilli was caries-associated, and other “probiotic lactobacilli” were more associated with caries-free children. This observation can in part illustrate why total lactobacillus counts may not be reliable risk indicators for dental caries. Her studies have implications for dental caries beyond early childhood caries.

Generously supported by Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products, the Research in Dental Caries Award is one of the 17 IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards and is one of the highest honors bestowed by IADR. The award, consisting of a monetary prize and a plaque, is designed to stimulate and recognize outstanding and innovative achievements that have contributed to the basic understanding of caries etiology and/or to the prevention of dental caries.

About the International and American Associations for Dental Research
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with nearly 10,500  individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. To learn more, visit





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