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Align Technology awards research grants to 11 universities

Align’s 14th annual research award programme will supply grants totalling US$300,000 to dental researchers in Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. (Image: Lab Photo/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Mon. 24 June 2024


TEMPE, Ariz., US: Align Technology has announced the winners of its annual research awards, naming 11 universities in Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. The company behind Invisalign clear aligners, iTero intra-oral scanners and exocad CAD/CAM software recognised the recipients for their work in advancing orthodontic and dental research with grants totalling US$300,000.

Announcing Align’s 14th annual research award programme, Dr Mitra Derakhshan, the company’s executive vice president of treatment planning and chief clinical officer, said in a press release: “Align is delighted to announce the awards for research that leads to insights and evidence that advance the applicability of treatment for patients of all ages. We are pleased to support university research around the world in the orthodontic and dental fields. We are excited to learn about the findings from all of the awarded research and any future publications.”

The research award recipients for 2024 in the Americas region are:

  • University of Washington in Seattle in the US (primary investigator: Dr Sanghee Lee);
  • University of Florida in Gainesville in the US (primary investigator: Dr Sarah Hisham Abu Arqub);
  • University of California San Francisco in the US (primary investigator: Dr Christine Hong); and
  • University of Kentucky in Lexington in the US (primary investigator: Dr Mohamed Bazina).

The research award recipients for 2024 in Europe are:

  • Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences in Rome in Italy (primary investigator: Dr Chiara Pavoni);
  • University of Insubria in Varese and Como in Italy (primary investigator: Dr Luca Levrini);
  • Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences (primary investigator: Dr Roberta Lione); and
  • University of L’Aquila in Italy (primary investigator: Dr Silvia Caruso).

The research award recipients for 2024 in the Asia-Pacific region are:

  • Sichuan University in Chengdu in China (primary investigator: Dr Hu Long);
  • Institute of Dental Studies and Technologies in Kadrabad in India (primary investigator: Dr Vikas Thakur);
  • Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok in Thailand (primary investigator: Dr Sirichom Satrawaha); and
  • Ragas Dental College and Hospital in Uthandi in India (primary investigator: Dr N.R. Krishnaswamy).

“This year the number of applications to the programme is one of the largest since its initiation 14 years ago,” added John Morton, vice president and technology fellow at Align. He said that the 2024 awards had attracted a near-record number of applications. “The publications and lectures resulting from these research endeavours advance the science of dentistry and aim to improve the dental care of the global community. We are proud to provide this opportunity to these excellent university researchers throughout the world,” Morton said.

The funded research studies cover a wide range of topics, including the following:

  • maxillary molar distalisation in adult aligner patients;
  • comparison of the oral microbiome when using fixed appliances and when using aligners; evaluation of early mixed dentition treatment;
  • evaluation of the effects of different interproximal reduction systems on enamel surfaces;
  • comparison of smile aesthetics (smile arc, buccal corridor and incisor exposure); and
  • evaluation of the efficacy of probiotics on biofilm formed around aligners.

All applications were first reviewed and prioritised in blind evaluations by an independent academic committee before the final recipients were determined by Align.

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