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Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award for Dental Informatics Research

The Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award was designed to encourage dentists and dental students to conduct standards-based research and standards development. The Award also highlights the crucial role dental informatics standards play in improving the quality of patient care, assuring patient health and safety, and increasing efficiency through the use of information technology such as interoperability of dental data and images across hardware platforms.

Apply for the Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award (PDF)

Download Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award Informational Flyer (PDF)

Dental students and dentists who have earned their dental degree no earlier than 2014 and dentists pursuing an additional degree or specialty are eligible to apply for the Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award. Permissible application submissions for the Robert H. Ahlstrom Award include: (a) an original standards-related research report completed within the academic year 2018-2019 but not published; (b) A standards-related article published within the academic year 2018-2019; or (c) A standards-related extended abstract or poster developed within the academic year 2018-2019. The abstract should include extended detail on methods and discussion sections. All submissions must include an explanation in 250 words or less of how the research addresses some aspect of the utilization of informatics standards in research or development of dental software, dental digital imaging systems or the electronic dental record; or contributes to the development of dental informatics standards. Applications are due by May 15, 2019.

The awards committee and the ADA Council on Dental Practice will select the winner who will be notified in June. The winner will receive $1,000, domestic airfare and a three-night hotel stay to present their award-winning paper at the September 2019 ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics Meeting in San Francisco. The winner will also be announced in the ADA’s member publication, ADA News, and their paper will be eligible for publication.

As the first chairman of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics (SCDI), which was formed in 1999, Dr. Robert H. Ahlstrom brought together dental informatics experts from across the dental profession, representing dentists, government, academia, and industry. He led the group’s successful efforts to develop standards for information exchange, clinical informatics systems and knowledge management. Under his leadership, standards and technical reports were developed for the dental electronic health record, for digital dental radiology, including DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) imaging requirements for dentistry, and for the security and privacy of electronic dental patient data. Dr. Ahlstrom placed heavy emphasis on SCDI collaboration with other standards development organizations throughout his tenure. Through liaisons he was instrumental in establishing, Dr. Ahlstrom led the achievement of results such as specific criteria for the exchange of clinical dental data used in patient treatment throughout the health care system. Dr. Ahlstrom served as chairman of the SCDI until 2006.

Past Recipients of Ahlstrom Award:

Suvendra Vijayan headshot
2018 winner Suvendra Vijayan

2018: Suvendra Vijayan, "Reliability of 3D Printed Mandibles Constructed From CBCT Volumes of Different Voxel Sizes"

2017: Brittany Lynn Kurzweg, "CBCT Image Quality Testing Clinically Relevant Volume Orientation and Position"

2016: Corey Stein, "A Prototype Mobile Application for Triaging Dental Emergencies"

2015: Emilia Taneva, "3D Evaluation of Palatal Rugae for Human Identification Using Digital Study Models"