Dental Tribune USA

AADR renames award to honor first recipient

By Dental Tribune International
March 23, 2012

TAMPA, Fla., USA: The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health, has announced Dr. Bjorn Steffensen as the recipient of the newly renamed Irwin D. Mandel Distinguished Mentoring Award. Steffensen received the award during the AADR annual meeting and exhibition held on Wednesday in Tampa, Florida.

Steffensen has served as associate dean for research at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio and as the director of the Comprehensive Institutional Research Training Program in Craniofacial Oral Biology since 2005. He is sought after as a mentor for aspiring investigators and collaborators. Steffensen has mentored several members of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral and master's students, and dental, college and high school students. This mentorship has led to 17 peer-reviewed publications and 44 abstracts for presentation at national and local research meetings. Steffensen has been a key figure in research training at UTHSC. Since 2002, he has coordinated the dental student research program and organized a summer research seminar series for the trainees.

"AADR is proud to recognize Bjorn Steffensen for his outstanding commitment to mentorship and development of dental research students and professionals. The mentor relationship is key to the continued success of dental professionals," said AADR President Jeffrey Ebersole.

According to the AADR, the award was established to provide national recognition for outstanding efforts to foster and promote the research training and career development of students, trainees and junior faculty. It is intended to identify individuals at all levels of their career with an exemplary record of mentoring.

"As the inaugural award recipient, Dr. Irwin D. Mandel (1922–2011) embodied the qualities AADR seeks to honor," the organization stated. Mandel began his career as a research assistant in 1946, and gave up his part-time private practice in 1968 to devote himself to research and teaching full time. He founded the Division of Preventive Dentistry at the School of Dental and Oral Surgery at Columbia University, New York. He also founded and directed the Center for Clinical Research in Dentistry and served as the dental school's associate dean for research before attaining emeritus status in 1992. Mandel served as the 9th president of the AADR. The award has been renamed as a tribute to his contributions to AADR, dental research and mentorship.

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