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Dr. Sharon Gordon Named Distinguished Scientist by IADR

Written by Adam Zewe and Marcelena S. Holmes, MPA, MA

Sharon Gordon, D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., was named a 2010 Distinguished Scientist by the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). Dr. Gordon is associate professor in the Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Maryland Dental School. The Distinguished Scientist award is presented annually to an elite group of international scientists. As an award recipient, Dr. Gordon gave a keynote address at the IADR 89th General Session in San Diego.

The Distinguished Scientist Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the IADR, recognizes outstanding, peer-reviewed scientific achievement. Dr. Gordon received the award in the Pharmacology, Therapeutics, and Toxicology Research category. She was honored for her novel studies of bupivacaine, a long-lasting, local anesthetic. "I consider an award from my peers to be a very high honor. I feel very appreciative that my work is being acknowledged," she remarks.

Applying research findings to enhance patient care is Dr. Gordon's goal. She studies painful conditions to uncover new information about what causes pain. "If we can better understand what is related to the experience of pain, we can better understand how to relieve it," she explains.

Currently, Dr. Gordon leads studies of orofacial pain, including temporomandibular disorder. Her research projects vary, from studies of the mechanisms of tissue injury to the pain-relieving effects of new drugs. As director of graduate research education, Dr. Gordon also oversees the unique D.D.S.-Masters and D.D.S.-Ph.D. Programs at the Dental School. She finds her work particularly rewarding because her research has a direct impact on dental education, as well as patient care. "As a clinician and educator, I want to improve patient care in the long run," she says.


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