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Clocktower at nightWednesday 14 July 2010 2:51pm

Photo of Professor Murray Thomson. Professor Murray Thomson from the University of Otago's Department of Oral Sciences is this year's recipient of a prestigious award from the International Association for Dental Research.

The H. Trendley Dean Memorial Award will be presented to Professor Thomson at the Association's 88th General Session & Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, today.

Before he left for Barcelona, Professor Thomson said he felt extremely honoured to be chosen for the award, and it marked a major milestone in his professional career.

As Professor of Dental Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Otago, he is a prolific researcher. He is known for his contributions in several areas of dentistry, most notably the natural history of oral conditions (and associated disparities) in both young people and older adults.

In a statement announcing the award, the Association says Professor Thomson is regarded as an international expert on the epidemiology of dry mouth and has undertaken important work on the measurement and epidemiology of that condition.

“Professor Thomson has made a number of important contributions in this field. These
range from the epidemiological validation of quality of life measures (as it relates to oral health) to various aspects of health services research and dental practice,” the statement says.

Professor Thomson entered academia in 1994 after five years in general dental practice in New Zealand and England, and seven years in this country's public dental sector. He has been at Otago in his academic and research role since 1996.

His research has been funded by a number of agencies, including the US National Institutes of Health, the New Zealand Dental Association, the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Ministry of Health. To date, Professor Thomson has published more than 140 research papers in peer-reviewed scientific literature. He is also the Editor of the New Zealand Dental Journal.

This award is in memory of H. Trendley Dean, the 21st President of the IADR and first dental officer of the National Institutes of Health.

The award comprises a monetary prize and plaque, and is given for distinguished accomplishments in research and development in the fields of behavioural science, epidemiology, and public health. It is one of the highest honours bestowed by the IADR.

About the International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a non-profit organisation with more than 12,000 individual members worldwide, dedicated to advancing research and increasing knowledge to improve oral health; supporting the oral health research community, and facilitating the communication and application of research findings for the improvement of oral health worldwide.

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