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Purnima Kumar Named Recipient of the 2023 IADR Distinguished Scientist Research in Periodontal Disease Award

Alexandria, VA, USA – The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced that Purnima Kumar is this year’s recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Research in Periodontal Disease Award. Kumar, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, was recognized during the Opening Ceremonies of the 101st General Session of the IADR, which was held in conjunction with the 9th Meeting of the Latin American Region and the 12th World Congress on Preventive Dentistry, that took place on June 21, 2023, in Bogotá, Colombia.

Kumar is currently Chair of the School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan, having moved from her position as tenured Professor of Periodontology and Chair of the Oral Biology Graduate Program at The Ohio State University (OSU) Columbus, USA. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Annamalai University, Chidambaram, India, and her PhD in molecular microbiology from OSU in 2005, where she also completed Advanced Training Program in Periodontics. Kumar was Chair of the PhD Program in Oral Biosciences at OSU from 2017 until 2022, when she moved to the University of Michigan to take up her current position.

Kumar is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and a Fellow of The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program. She is an active clinician, teacher, researcher, administrator, and mentor. Kumar is the Principal Investigator of the Oral Microbial Ecology Laboratory at OSU that is funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute, and the oral healthcare industry. She has authored over 100 papers and book chapters and serves as associate editor of the Journal of Periodontology, Periodontology 2000, Nature Scientific Reports, and Microbiome.

The Research in Periodontal Disease Award is generously supported by Colgate-Palmolive Company. One of the 17 IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards, it is one of the highest honors bestowed by IADR. The award recognizes, encourages, and stimulates outstanding achievements in research and its translation through clinical research in periodontal disease.

About IADR
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide. IADR represents the individual scientists, clinician-scientists, dental professionals, and students based in academic, government, non-profit, and private-sector institutions who share our mission. Learn more at