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Tamanna Tiwari - November 2014

Tamanna Tiwari, M.P.H., M.D.S., B.D.S., is a research associate in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver. She earned her B.D.S. and M.D.S. at Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune, India; and her M.P.H. from New York University.

Her main area of work is at the Center for Native Oral Health Research (CNOHR) in Colorado, which is one of the three Early Childhood Caries (ECC) disparities research centers funded by NIH-NIDCR in the United States. CNOHR conducts research aimed at developing culturally acceptable and effective strategies to prevent infectious oral diseases in American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Although both caries and periodontal disease are entirely preventable, disparities in oral health for American Indians and Alaska Natives are among the highest reported. 

In her current position, she works in the implementation and management of behavioral intervention research to reduce ECC and oral health disparities experienced by American Indian (AI) children and adolescents living on reservations and in urban settings. She also develops training materials and conducts training for the staff in oral health related topics. She is formulating new developmental studies for CNOHR to work in a principal investigator capacity. Tiwari is also engaged as a lead or co-author in several manuscripts and frequently serves as a liaison to the statistical team in management of databases, data analysis, and quality assurance.

She’s a member of the IADR Women in Science Network and the IADR Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Scientific Group, and she manages the social media for both. She joined AADR in 2013.

How did you first get involved with AADR?
I first got involved through my mentor Dr. Judith Albino. When I joined the University of Colorado, she encouraged me to join IADR/AADR. Then I went on the website and found the organizations to be really helpful, so I joined immediately and became a member.

Describe the first time you attended an AADR meeting.
The first time I attended a meeting was the IADR World Congress on Preventive Dentistry in Budapest. I presented a poster and I met a lot of researchers from different parts of the world who were doing similar research as mine. That was a great experience and it led me to attend the 2014 AADR Annual Meeting and 2014 IADR General Session.

What do you find to be the most valuable benefit of AADR membership?
I think the most valuable benefit is the networking with other researchers. Through AADR, I’m able to meet people who are doing research in similar areas as me, as well as different areas that might impact my field of research. When you are involved in one area of research you might not always be in contact with people who are doing research in other dental-related fields. However, through AADR I have access to research and new ideas, and that’s enlightening. I have made many connections through AADR and IADR. I am applying for a career development grant and some of the mentors that are involved in the grant application are researchers I met at the IADR meeting in Cape Town. While I was at that meeting I discussed my research design, and they were interested and volunteered to work with me on my research. Attending the meetings is more than just meeting new people—there’s actual collaboration that happens.

What is the role that cross-collaboration plays in your research?
The Center for Native Oral Health Research is a part of the Early Childhood Caries Collaborating Centers (EC4) along with University of California San Francisco and Boston University, and is funded by the NIH-NIDCR. Our main goal is to reduce the increase of early-childhood caries and improve the behavioral and psychosocial aspect for the parents involved in the research. At the upcoming meeting in Boston, the EC4 will present a workshop and symposium that will showcase the work done over the years by this collaborative. I look forward to seeing how people receive this collaborative work. 

What are some ways newer members can be active in the Association?
One of the ways new members can get more involved is by presenting their research at the meetings. I believe that presenting your research at IADR/AADR meetings helps other researchers become aware of the most up–to-date findings and also you can receive feedback from colleagues. This may also lead to new collaborations. I also encourage new members to attend the business meetings for their Scientific Group/Network because that’s how I met future collaborators and mentors. I’m a member of the Women in Science Network and the Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Scientific Group. I’m not an officer of either group but by attending the business meetings I was able to volunteer to manage the Facebook page for the Women in Science Network and the LinkedIn group for the BEHSR. Managing the social media has also allowed me to meet many scientists who have similar research interests. 

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