Effie Ioannidou, DDS, MDS, 2008 Tarrson Fellow:

1. What is your research focus?

My research focuses on epidemiology and clinical science. My epidemiological focus lies on the surveillance of chronic periodontitis in chronic kidney disease populations as well as clinical questions related to the bidirectional relationship between the two chronic diseases. Moreover, my clinical and translational goal is to understand the modifying effects of kidney failure in the oral environment and periodontitis pathogenesis.

2. What has/have been the most significant contribution of your research to the specialty?

The confirmation of periodontitis as an independent predictor of systemic inflammation in chronic kidney disease in a large population study was an important contribution to the specialty as it implicates periodontitis in the "uremic puzzle" of these patients. Expanding the research question to true outcomes, tooth loss independently predicted malnutrition in renal patients emphasizing the relevance of oral health in this medically compromised population.

3. What are some future directions of your research program?

In an effort to understand high periodontitis prevalence in kidney disease and failure, my research line aims to characterize the subgingival periodontal microbiome in relation to the uremia-altered ecosystem.

4. What influence did the support from the Foundation have on your career as a researcher?

The Tarrson award an important recognition of my academic career and also strengthened my commitment to my research goal. I vividly remember the interview and the warm and supportive interaction with the committee members. My current participation in this committee has been a great opportunity to encourage young periodontists in their academic development

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Past Award Winners Update

Congratulations to Gustavo Avila-Ortiz, DDS, MS, PhD, 2011 Teaching Fellow and 2009 AAPF Fellow to the ADEA/AAL Institute for Teaching and Learning in the Health Professions, who recently was appointed Department Chair (DEO) and promoted to Professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Department of Periodontics.