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Thursday 4 June 2015 3:34pm

Dr Jonathan Broadbent of the SJWRI's Dental Epidemiology and Public Health research programme was today announced as the recipient of a $1.2M, five-year research grant in the Health Research Council of New Zealand's annual funding round. Dr Broadbent, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation, is Principal Investigator on the project, titled 'Oral health from childhood to mid-life'.

The study is centred around the age-45 oral health assessments of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, popularly known as the Dunedin Study, one of the longest-running and most successful longitudinal health studies in the world. The Dunedin Study follows the health lifecourse of a cohort of people born in Dunedin in 1973-74. One of the most remarkable features of the Dunedin Study is its very high subject retention rate (95% in the most recent age-38 assessment, 2010-2012).

DMHDRU_226The 'Life-course research in oral health' component of the Dunedin Study looks into the natural history of oral health and disease in the Dunedin Study cohort. Through its many years of operation, this study has provided unprecedented information on the natural history of oral health and disease. Poor oral health is a global health problem which disproportionately affects disadvantaged people. However, there is an lack of high quality information about oral health during the mid-part of the life course, particularly how experiences and disadvantage during childhood shape the oral health of adults.

This study will inform investigations into the rate of dental health decline into the fifth decade of life, and the mediators, moderators and comorbidities that are associated with good or poor oral health into the fifth decade. Dr Broadbent's co-investigators on this project include include Professor Murray Thomson, Director of the Dental Epidemiology and Public Health research programme, and Professor Richie Poulton, Director of the Dunedin Study.

Selected Dunedin Study dental epidemiological research publications

Dr Broadbent's broader research includes projects involving the epidemiology of dental caries, tooth loss, and periodontal disease (with emphasis upon longitudinal research), and particularly upon social inequalities that exist in oral health. He also carries out research on the New Zealand dental workforce. Dr Broadbent collaborates in a number of interdisciplinary projects with researchers in New Zealand and overseas; in recognition for the quality of his cross-disciplinary dental/psychology research, Dr Broadbent was awarded a NIDCR 'Building Bridges award' at a 2014 conference of the Association for Psychological Science (USA).

SJWRI research profile for Dr Jonathan Broadbent

Jonathan Broadbent presents at SJWRI Research Day 2014
Dr Jonathan Broadbent presenting on 'Fluoridation in Dunedin' at SJWRI Research Day 2014

In the recently-announced round, University of Otago researchers were awarded nearly $32 million in new HRC funding to support world-class research aimed at improving the health and well-being of New Zealanders. Otago researchers gained 18 contracts, including three major multi-million, five-year programmes and 15 projects.

Innovative health research at Otago receives major funding (University of Otago, 4 June)

Otago researchers gain $32m in funding (Otago Daily Times, 4 June)

Fluoridating water does not lower IQ: Otago research (University of Otago, 19 May 2014), featuring Dunedin Study epidemiological research from Dr Jonathan Broadbent

Full list of 2015 HRC funding recipients (HRC website)

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