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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115-116
Forward together (Excelsior!)

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA, 32610-0416

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2015

How to cite this article:
Heft MW. Forward together (Excelsior!). Indian J Dent Res 2015;26:115-6

How to cite this URL:
Heft MW. Forward together (Excelsior!). Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Sep 30];26:115-6. Available from:

In the year 2020, we shall celebrate two milestones of great importance and significance for dentistry and oral health for inhabitants of India and beyond! That year will mark the centennial anniversaries of two venerable institutions. It was in 1920 that Dr. Rafuddin Ahmed established the Calcutta Dental College, the first dental school in India. Prior to that prescient action, Dr. Ahmed had graduated from the University of Iowa (USA) Dental School in 1915 and then worked at the Forsyth Dental Infirmary (now the Forsyth Institute) in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). Upon returning to India in 1919, he established the fledgling dental school with 11 students with a commitment to share his knowledge (history of R. Ahmed Dental College and Hospital, This bold step provided the foundation for educating health care providers committed to maintaining the dental and oral health and functioning of the population of India.

It was also in that year, 1920, many miles away in North America, William Gies, a professor of biological chemistry at Columbia University who was not a dentist, convened a group of dentists and others in New York City (USA) with a commitment to dental and oral health. The attenders shared a common desire to promote dental research by establishing an international organization of like-minded people. The group approved the "Articles of Agreement" that founded the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). [1] With the following proclamation, the IADR was formed:

Articles of Agreement

Effecting the organization and provisional government of the IADR

Founded in New York City, December 10, 1920.

   Preamble Top

In order to promote broadly the advancement of active research in all branches of dentistry, and in related phases of the arts and sciences that contribute directly to the development of dentistry and further, to encourage and facilitate cooperative effort and achievement by, and mutual helpfulness among investigators in all nations in every division of stomatology to the end that dentistry may render cumulatively more perfect service to the undersigned, assembled at the Columbia University Club, in New York City, December 10, 1920, hereby establish the IADR, and as its founders, subscribe to, and adopt these Articles of Agreement for the provisional government of this Association.

The proposed goals of the organization were to: (1) promote dental science and the sciences that contribute to the development of dentistry, (2) promote global cooperation and collaboration "in every division of stomatology," and (3) promote dental and oral health "that dentistry may render cumulatively more perfect service to humanity." The core message of those goals endures as key elements of the current mission statements of the IADR and the Indian Society for Dental Research (ISDR)/IADR-Indian Division.

Dental and oral health research builds on biomedical, behavioral, social, engineering, and clinical science discoveries from both within and beyond the dental and oral health research community with translation and application to reduce the occurrence and impact of oral and dental diseases, restoring health and function. We must draw on the advances that have come in the "postgenome" era, appreciate the opportunities in developing a "personalized medicine" approach that appreciates individual differences in dental and oral disease presentation and treatment, and disseminate research findings to colleagues, oral health providers, and ultimately, the public.

The IADR, with more than 11,000 global members including the IADR-Indian Division, plays an important role in the communication and application of research findings. The annual IADR meeting, ISDR meeting, and others IADR regional, division, and sectional meetings provide critical opportunities for dental and oral health researchers to disseminate their research findings and network with colleagues. If you cannot attend the annual meeting, the IADR/American Association for Dental Research Knowledge Community provides a web-based recorded archive of presentations from past IADR annual meetings and other IADR regional and division meetings. If you have not viewed this tremendous on-line resource, please visit the IADR website (, login with your username and password and highlight "Knowledge Community" under "Meetings."

Finally, both the IADR and the IADR-Indian Division publish journals that support the dissemination of research findings. The IADR's flagship publication, the Journal of Dental Research, the most influential journal of dental, oral, and craniofacial sciences; Advances in Dental Research (which publishes articles on significant research developments in the sciences relevant to dentistry and to the chemistry, biology, and function of the oral cavity in health and in disease) and the monthly Global Research Update are IADR member benefits at no additional cost. With this editorial, I am honored to contribute to the Indian Journal of Dental Research.

As we approach our centennial celebrations for dentistry and dental and oral health research, let us reflect on our accomplishments and anticipate our future possibilities!

   References Top

Gies WJ. International Association for Dental Research: A brief outline of its organization and early development. J Dent Res 1928;8:197-208.  Back to cited text no. 1

Correspondence Address:
Marc W Heft
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA, 32610-0416

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.159128

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