University of Toronto Awards of Distinction

The University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry and The Dental Alumni Association celebrated the inauguration of the U of T Faculty of Dentistry Research Endowment Fund and honored four individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the dental profession. The Awards of Distinction Gala paid tribute to Honoree of Distinction Arthur Zwingenberger, Chairman of SciCan; Alumnus of Distinction Dr. Simon Weinberg, oral surgeon and Oral Health editorial board member; and International Alumni of Distinction Dr. Aidan O’Reilly and Dr. Gerrard McKenna of Ireland. The event was a resounding success with more than 300 guests in attendance.

What do research in the genetics of chronic pain, cardiovascular drug delivery systems, cell genetics, craniofacial trauma, pediatric diagnosis, bone growth and development, oral cancer and quality of life outcomes all have in common? All are part of exciting research initiatives happening now at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry Dental Research Institute (DRI).

Over the last few years, DRI has been researching new drugs and biopharmaceuticals associated with the areas of growth development and new bone growth, biofilm control for the management of tooth and connective tissue lesions, as well as medical device related infections and-pain/neurosciences for pain management and neuro-sensory control. Positive outcomes in the management of osteoporosis, cardiovascular implants and phantom limb pain have been the result of multidisciplinary studies and strategic research collaborations.

DRI has more than 60 full-time investigators and more than 100 research trainees in its combined programs. DRI and the Faculty have been in a recruiting phase for the past five years in order to renew and position its research strengths so that it is poised to maintain its place as a leading health research institute. Despite spectacular achievements, it continues to be challenged to achieve our goals over the next decade with a shrinking university budget and the absence of strong endowment support.