Rena D’Souza Named Recipient of the 2023 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Craniofacial Biology Research

Alexandria, VA, USA – The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced that Rena D’Souza is this year’s recipient of the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Craniofacial Biology Research. D’Souza, from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), Bethesda, MD, 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.

D'Souza is the Director of the NIDCR at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Chief of the Craniofacial and Dental Disorders Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She has had a distinguished career in craniofacial biology, studying dental and craniofacial structures, including human anomalies such as dentinogenesis imperfecta, ectodermal dysplasia, and cleft palate. 

D'Souza has mentored well over 100 undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate trainees who are grant awardees. She has several national mentoring awards, leadership awards and was President of both the IADR and AADOCR. Her research has spanned craniofacial development and genetics, tissue regeneration and bioengineering, matrix biology, and leadership, workforce, diversity, and inclusion. In 2019, her team was awarded the William J. Gies Award for Best Paper in the Biological Research category, which was entitled "Anti-EDAR Agonist Therapy Resolves Palate Defects in Pax9-/- mice." 

D'Souza has presented numerous papers on her research at national and international scientific meetings, published more than 126 articles, and obtained multiple NIH grants. She is currently continuing her research working on translational approaches to craniofacial anomalies.

The IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Craniofacial Biology Research recognizes individuals who have contributed to the body of knowledge in craniofacial biology over a significant period, and whose research contributions have been accepted by the scientific community. It is one of the 17 IADR Distinguished Scientist Awards and is one of the highest honors bestowed by IADR. The award consists of a monetary award and a plaque.

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