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Dr. Kenneth H. Hargreaves Wins Prestigious ADA Gold Medal Award

Noted endodontic educator and Journal of Endodontics Editor-in-Chief Dr. Kenneth M. Hargreaves has been awarded the ADA’s Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Dental Research. Dr. Hargreaves’ accomplishments have had a profound effect on the endodontic specialty. As a prolific researcher, Dr. Hargreaves’ focus areas—pain management and regenerative endodontics—are changing the way endodontists treat patients and introducing cutting-edge treatments that not too long ago were not even possible.

The Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Dental Research is sponsored by the American Dental Association together with Church & Dwight Co., Inc. Established in 1985 and presented every three years, the award honors individuals who, through basic or clinical research, have contributed to the advancement of the profession of dentistry or to major improvement in the oral health of the public.

The Gold Medal Award recipient receives a $25,000 honorarium, a gold medallion and the opportunity to serve a three-year term as a member of the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs. Dr. Hargreaves will also be recognized with the honor on Oct. 18, during a ceremony at ADA 2018 in Honolulu.

“Dr. Hargreaves is among the most well-known and respected endodontists in the country and a much sought-after speaker, drawing standing-room-only crowds at lectures around the world,” said AAE President Dr. Patrick E. Taylor. “A diligent steward of the AAE’s scientific journal, Dr. Hargreaves leads the Journal of Endodontics with extraordinary skill, managing a tremendous workload with great care and efficiency.”

As a dedicated educator, Dr. Hargreaves has served as chair of the department of endodontics at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) for more than 20 years, molding the School of Dentistry into a leading endodontic and research institution.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Hargreaves has edited five textbooks, contributed to 33 textbook chapters and published nearly 400 papers, abstracts, reviews and editorials. With more than 13,000 citations of his papers in Scopus, he is one of the most prolific and influential authors and researchers in the history of endodontics. His research has received funding of more than $95 million from sources that include the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation for Endodontics and the Department of Defense. Dr. Hargreaves’ research on pain management not only is changing the way we manage our patients’ pre- and post-treatment pain but also influencing pain management in other areas of medicine. As a result, clinicians are able to rely less on opioids, a step in addressing overprescribing and addiction.

Dr. Hargreaves is a leading researcher in regenerative endodontics, currently managing a $1.7 million multi-center clinical trial to study regeneration of pulp-dentin development in teeth with necrotic pulps and immature roots. Recently, UT Health San Antonio learned it will receive a five-year, $24 million research grant from the NIH for its Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, which helps to speed the translation of research discovery into improved patient care. Dr. Hargreaves is one of the grant’s co-principal investigators.

Dr. Hargreaves has been influential as an academician and administrator as well. He has served as professor and chair of the department of endodontics at UT Health San Antonio since 1997 and also is professor in the school’s departments of physiology, surgery and pharmacology. Dr. Hargreaves instills in his residents the same commitment to clinical, scientific and research excellence that he expects from himself. His Neurotree, an online database documenting the lineage of academic mentorship in neuroscience, shows Dr. Hargreaves’ influence on more than 50 researchers. Many of his students have gone on to educator and leadership roles in other endodontic programs.