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ADA News Convention Daily

'Stellar' researcher earns 3M Innovative Research Fellowship

October 19, 2017

By Michelle Manchir


Inaugural fellow: The ADA and 3M on Tuesday presented the inaugural 3M Innovative Research Fellowship Award to Dr. Nathaniel Lawson, Ph.D., center. Eric Wenzel, vice president of 3M Global Business, left, and ADA President Gary L. Roberts pause for a photo at the award presentation.
Just three years into his academic career at the University of Alabama, Dr. Nathaniel Lawson, Ph.D., has already established himself as a leader in science and research among the university's millennials but also its 'old guard' faculty, according to his colleagues.

"Nate, in his short academic career, has developed a deserved reputation as a stellar researcher," wrote Drs. Paul Eleazer and Mia Geisinger, who nominated Dr. Lawson for the award.

For his innovative work in advancing dental research, Dr. Lawson has been awarded the inaugural 3M Innovative Research Fellowship. Launched earlier this year by the ADA, with support from 3M Oral Care, the program is meant to support future-oriented new pathways and methods in dental research.

As the recipient, Dr. Lawson was honored at a private ceremony Tuesday in Atlanta. He will receive a $10,000 fellowship for two years.

Dr. Lawson currently serves as the principal investigator on over $560,000 of industry-sponsored research grants and several other academic and foundation-funded grants, said Drs. Eleazer and Geisinger. In his short tenure in academia, he has served as an investigator on 32 research grants with a diverse research portfolio that includes biomaterials, tissue engineering and longitudinal outcomes of dental therapies, according to his colleagues.

He has published 39 peer-reviewed publications and authored 12 trade journal articles, several poster and scientific presentations and chapters in three texts.

"He has also created a library of educational tools, including video tutorials, describing his and others' research findings and highlighting the innovations in patient care in a way that is accessible and exciting to millennial viewers," Drs. Eleazer and Geisinger wrote. "He has been instrumental in creating a bridge between the 'old guard' faculty and the new dentists and student doctors not only at (the University of Alabama at Birmingham), but nationwide."

Dr. Lawson joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an assistant professor in the school of dentistry in 2014 and in 2015 became the program director for the biomaterials residency program at the school. In 2016, he became the division director of biomaterials.

Before that, Dr. Lawson received a master's of science degree in 2007 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Engineering. He earned his D.M.D. in 2011 and Ph.D. in 2012, both from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

This is not Dr. Lawson's first ADA award. He received the 2015 John W. Stanford New Investigator Award for his research project that examined methods used to measure the depth of cure of composites.

Wrote Drs. Eleazer and Geisinger, "We cannot think of a better individual to receive the inaugural 3M fellowship than Dr. Lawson."