University of Otago researcher Prof Murray Thomson has
become the first New Zealander to win two awards from the
International Association for Dental Research (IADR).
A professor of dental epidemiology and public health at the
Otago School of Dentistry, Prof Thomson was presented with
the 2014 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Geriatric Oral
Research in South Africa this week.
He was recognised during the opening ceremonies of the 92nd
IADR General Session and Exhibition in Cape Town.
The Geriatric Oral Research Award consists of a monetary
prize of $US3500 and plaque. The award seeks to encourage and
recognise outstanding accomplishments in geriatric oral
Prof Thomson has a BSc, BDS and master of community dentistry
from Otago University, an MA from the University of Leeds and
a PhD from the University of Adelaide. He has been at Otago
in his academic and research role since 1996.
Prof Thomson said the award meant a lot to him because it was
''recognition for my work over the years on the epidemiology
and health services aspects of the oral health of older
More importantly, it also recognised ''long-standing
support'' from the university and School of Dentistry, and
from local and international colleagues, he said in an email
And he dedicated his award to the late Dr Jane Chalmers, of
the Universities of Iowa and Adelaide, with whom he had
worked on gerontological research.
New Zealand faced a ''serious problem'' of ongoing tooth
decay in older people, a group with fixed incomes and some
chronic health problems, he said.
Prof Thomson is editor of the New Zealand Dental Journal and
an associate editor for ''Gerodontology'' and for ''Special
Care in Dentistry''.