Wednesday 25 June 2014 8:07am
A School of Dentistry researcher, who today won a major award from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), has dedicated the award to a colleague who died in 2008.
Professor Murray Thomson was presented with the 2014 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Geriatric Oral Research, during the opening ceremonies of the 92nd IADR General Session and Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa.
He says he is thrilled to win the award, which recognises his work on the epidemiology and health services aspects of the oral health of older people.
“However, more importantly, it recognises long standing support from the University and the School of Dentistry, and from my local and international colleagues. I have worked with many very clever people over the years, and the award is also for them. I should mention one in particular. I worked closely with the late Dr Jane Chalmers (Universities of Iowa and Adelaide) for a number of years. Jane died in 2008, at a stage of her career where she would have been a shoo-in for such an award had her work continued. I dedicate this award to her.”
"...it recognises long standing support from the University and the School of Dentistry, and from my local and international colleagues."
Professor Thomson has been at Otago in his academic and research role since 1996.
He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Alan Docking Award for Distinguished Research in Dentistry (2009), and the IADR H. Trendley Dean Distinguished Scientist Award in Epidemiology and Public Health (2010).
His epidemiological and clinical research covers a wide range of subjects and has been supported by grants from several funding bodies in the US and New Zealand. Currently, he is editor of the New Zealand Dental Journal and an associate editor for Gerodontology and for Special Care in Dentistry.
Professor Thomson says it is vital New Zealand takes a “coordinated cross-disciplinary” approach to maintaining the oral health of our aging population.
“It wasn't too long ago that New Zealand led the world in full denture wearing among adults. These days, with markedly greater tooth retention, we are now faced with the serious problem of ongoing tooth decay in older people, a group with fixed incomes and a number of chronic health problems.”