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Lois Cohen Named 2021 Recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Global Oral Health Research

Alexandria, Va., USA – The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced Lois Cohen, National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), Bethesda, Md., USA, as the 2021 recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Global Oral Health Research. Cohen was recognized during the Opening Ceremonies of the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR, held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021.

Cohen began her career with a Ph.D. in sociology, joining what is now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a social scientist, she became part of a small team that gave rise to the field of social and behavioral science research in dentistry. Cohen retired in 2006 after serving as associate director for international health at the NIDCR, director of the division of extramural research and the assistant director for International Health, National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR), National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently a consultant and advisor of several U.S. and international organizations such as the NIDCR, American Dental Association and the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization.

Throughout her career, Cohen coordinated and facilitated all intramural and extramural international research activities, as well as staff involvement in multi-lateral, bilateral and organizational representation abroad. She served as the director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Dental & Craniofacial Research, which was established in 1980 under the umbrella of the NIDR, and renamed NIDCR in 1998. As a research sociologist whose career in oral health science has spanned more than 55 years, her research contributions have aided in linking the behavioral and social sciences to issues of public health significance nationally and internationally.

Cohen served as president of the IADR Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Group (BEHSR) in 1977 and as a member-at-large on the IADR Board of Directors in 1977-78. She won the 1996 Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Award (formerly Behavioral Sciences/Health Services Research Award) and the 2002 IADR Distinguished Service Award. The IADR BEHSR Lois Cohen International Travel Award was created by the BEHSR in recognition of the outstanding contribution Cohen has made over the course of her career to the field of oral health-related research in general, and the fields of behavioral, social science, public health and international research in oral health in particular.

IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Global Oral Health Research is supported by GlaxoSmithKline. One of the 17 IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards, it is one of the highest honors bestowed by IADR. The IADR Global Oral Health Research Award honors IADR and AADR Past President John Greenspan, who is the founding President of the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health’s Global Oral Health Interest Group. The award consists of a monetary award and a plaque and recognizes research that addresses inequalities in global oral health.

International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 10,000 individual members worldwide, with a mission to drive dental, oral and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide. To learn more, visit