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University of Florida dental student earns 2015 Dr. Ray Bowen Student Research Award

February 27, 2015

By Jean Williams

photo of Ray Bowen Award winner
Win-win situation: From left, Andres Alvarez, 2015 winner of the Dr. Ray Bowen Student Research Award, shares a moment March 12 with ADA Foundation Executive Director Gene Wurth and Mr. Alvarez’s mentor, Dr. Marcelle Nascimento, during the International Association for Dental Research meeting in Boston.
Andres Jorge Alvarez, a first-year dental student at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, is the 2015 Dr. Ray Bowen Student Research Award recipient. The ADA Foundation bestowed the award Feb. 27 in cooperation with the Academy of Operative Dentistry.

Mr. Alvarez received the award for his proposed research project "A New Arginine-based Bonding Agent with Long-lasting Anti-caries Activity."

"I am thrilled to have received this prestigious award. It is a true honor," said Mr. Alvarez in an ADA Foundation press release. "I look forward to the opportunity to further my research interests and to represent the University of Florida College of Dentistry on this national landscape."

The ADA Foundation awards the Dr. Ray Bowen Student Research Award every two years. Dental students at all levels are eligible to apply, including residents and Master of Science degree candidates, who wish to undertake research relevant to contemporary operative dentistry. The award provides $6,000 to the awardee to perform the proposed research and an additional $1,000 to help defray the cost of presenting a table clinic based on the research proposal at the Academy of Operative Dentistry's scientific session. The student must have a research mentor at his/her institution who is also a member of the Academy of Operative Dentistry to provide guidance and act as a co-investigator.

Mr. Alvarez's co-mentors are University of Florida professors Dr. Marcelle Nascimento, Dr. Saulo Geraldeli and Christopher Batich, Ph.D.  

"Receiving this important award has given Andres and our research team a tremendous amount of encouragement to continue to pursue research in the areas of cariology, operative dentistry and biomaterials," said Dr. Nascimento.

"We feel deeply honored to be able to explore the growth inhibition of cariogenic bacteria by adding some new concepts to the unique material developed by Dr. Bowen, which has changed the way dentistry is done worldwide," said Dr. Geraldeli.

The award honors the nearly 60-year career of Dr. Ray Bowen, who invented resin composites and dentin adhesives and is an internationally recognized authority on composite materials. Dr. Bowen is a former director of the ADA Foundation Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center, formerly the Paffenbarger Research Center, and is a Distinguished Scientist at the VRC.

The ADA Foundation operates the Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center laboratory facility, which is located on the grounds of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal government research campus, where it has been since 1928. The lab conducts unique research in cutting-edge fields of biomaterial and tissue engineering technologies.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to the ADA Foundation at adafoundation.org or by calling 1-312-440-2547.