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/ Categories: Strides in Science

Marcelo W. B. Araujo - April 2017

Marcelo W. B. Araujo, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D. is the Vice-president, Science Institute for the American Dental Association (ADA), Chicago, Illinois.  Araujo earned his D.D.S., with a certificate in Periodontal Disease from Universidade Gama Filho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and his M.S in oral sciences, Ph.D in epidemiology and Fellowship in Clinical Research and Teaching in Periodontics from the University at Buffalo-SUNY, NY.

Since joining AADR in 2000, Araujo has remained an active presenter at IADR and AADR meetings.  He is involved with the Periodontal and Cariology Groups and the Evidence-based Dentistry and Global Oral Health Inequalities Networks.  

How did you first learn about AADR and what motivated you to join?
In 2000, I was encouraged by my mentor from University at Buffalo, Mira Edgerton, D.D.S., Ph.D, to present my research at the meeting in Washington, DC.  As a researcher the idea of presenting is very exciting, but the interaction and feedback that young investigators receive at the meeting is valuable beyond measure.  Since that time I have presented at nearly every meeting, as it offers a unique opportunity to network and extend my knowledge.  

How important has AADR been in your career?
AADR has played a critical role in my career path.  In 2004, as an assistant professor I was presenting at the IADR/AADR General Session in Hawaii.  At this meeting I had the opportunity to network with other researchers and those interactions led to my move from academics to industry research.  The move to industry research was important to me because of my background in oral disease prevention.  As a practicing dentist I would have perhaps impacted 2,500 individuals.  As a researcher in industry, the work could be tied to products that have a global reach.  In my current role with the ADA I value the role of the AADR, as I need a broad base of knowledge and the AADR gives me the opportunity to attend sessions and learn new information outside of my specific area of research, including dental materials research, an area of extreme importance to the practicing dentist.    

How have the AADR advocacy efforts been important?
AADR is in the unique position to advocate for NIH/NIDCR funding for research.  The efforts undertaken by the AADR are very important to the members both in the US and globally.  Outside the US, IADR members look to the efforts put forth within the US to advocate for oral health research funding when structuring their own advocacy efforts.  ADA and AADR are able to partner on these initiatives, but AADR has the unique niche of being the voice for oral health research funding.

What is the best way for newer members to become more involved in AADR?
I would recommend attending the meeting every year.  Go into the meeting with an open mind and ready to learn.  Find a mentor: this person will help you navigate through the meeting.  Expand your network: reach to others outside your specialty and grow. 

What do you want to see for the future of the AADR?
The AADR has made strides over the years with online abstract submission and upgrades to oral presentations at the meeting.  I believe AADR can play a critical role in developing the pipeline of future researchers.  This will be accomplished by fostering young investigators and dental students in research careers. A strong mentoring network would assist greatly in this initiative.  AADR is the organization that has members to help lead this initiative to mentor the next generation of oral, dental and craniofacial researchers.

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