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Sarah Knox Named 2021 Recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Salivary Research

Alexandria, Va., USA – The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced Sarah Knox, University of California, San Francisco, USA, as the 2021 recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Salivary Research. Knox 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.

Knox is an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. She performed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where she received her B.S. in biochemistry with honors and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering on the purification and characterization of human perlecan, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan of the extracellular matrix.

Knox was then a postdoctoral associate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, N.Y., USA, where she investigated skeletal muscle receptors that regulate myogenesis, and subsequently at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, where she studied membrane-tethered proteoglycans and mechanisms of synapse assembly and axon guidance in Drosophila. Thereafter, Knox was a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Bethesda, Md., USA, where she found that neuronal signals to salivary gland progenitor cells regulate salivary gland innervation.

Since joining University of California, San Francisco, USA, Knox has established a well-funded research program that extended her previous research to demonstrate that parasympathetic innervation regulates tubulogenesis in developing salivary glands. Her laboratory also has elucidated mechanisms of salivary and lacrimal gland development and regeneration that are highly relevant to tissue repair in autoimmune disease and cancer. Knox has published 39 peer-reviewed research papers, reviews and book chapters and has delivered 66 invited seminars worldwide.

Supported by Unilever Oral Care, the IADR Salivary Research Award was designed to stimulate and recognize outstanding and innovative achievements that have contributed to the basic understanding of the salivary gland structure, secretion, and function, or salivary composition and function. It consists of a monetary award and a plaque, and is one of the 17 IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards, representing one of the highest honors bestowed by the IADR.

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