According to a recently published list of rankings for fiscal year 2003, the Forsyth Institute – a Harvard-affiliated nonprofit biomedical research organization – received more in federal grant funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) than any university or other research organization in its specialty. With 40 principal investigators, the Forsyth Institute, unique among the funding recipients for being an independent research organization, was granted a total of $12,161,236 for its research in a variety of fields funded by NIDCR.
Next ranked were the University of California, San Francisco, with $11,661,858, followed by the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with $10,097,243; the University of Washington with $9,672,718; and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with $8,543,202. Harvard was ranked 30th with $1,363,094, while Boston University and Tufts were ranked 15th and 37th, respectively.
Originally founded in 1910 to provide free dental care for Boston schoolchildren, the Forsyth Institute has focused primarily on basic and applied research since the 1950s. Its scientists are known for their work on the microbiology of dental diseases, a vaccine for dental cavities, and on applying bioengineering principles to regenerating mammalian teeth.
Other Forsyth research focuses on craniofacial birth defects, bone physiology, and oral cancer, and on the relationship between oral disease and heart disease, diabetes, AIDS, and other systemic diseases. Close integration with clinical researchers fosters the rapid translation of scientific advances to improvements in oral health.
“The United States is the world leader in research leading to a deeper understanding of the relationships between oral health and overall health,” said professor of oral health policy and epidemiology Dominick P. DePaola, Forsyth’s president and chief executive officer. “We at Forsyth are honored and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to knowledge that holds the promise of improving human life.”