Kenneth M. Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Endodontics, was named the 2018 recipient of the ADA Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Dental Research.
The award, sponsored by Church & Dwight, was established in 1985 and is presented once every three years to honor individuals who contribute to the advancement of the dental profession or who help improve the oral health of the community through basic or clinical research.
“We are delighted to honor Dr. Hargreaves for his outstanding career,” said Jaime Shepler, professional marketing manager at Church & Dwight in a statement. “His industry-leading research, personal mentorships, community contributions, and his leadership really embody the values of the Gold Medal Award.”
The Gold Medal honoree receives $25,000 and a gold medallion. Additionally, he will serve a three-year term on the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
Dr. Hargreaves will be recognized with the honor on Oct. 18, during a ceremony at ADA 2018 – America’s Dental Meeting in Honolulu.
Dr. Hargreaves’ research in pain management and regenerative endodontics introduced “cutting-edge treatment options and improved the patient experience,” according to a letter to Dr. Hargreaves announcing the win from ADA President Joseph P. Crowley, who also lauded Dr. Hargreaves’ dedication to mentoring students and his “tireless efforts in publishing and lecturing.”
“On behalf of your colleagues, please accept our deepest gratitude for your lifetime of work,” Dr. Crowley wrote.
Among his most noteworthy achievements, Dr. Hargreaves helped discover a family of “endo-capsaicins” that contribute to many pain disorders, including pain due to symptomatic irreversible pulpitis, cancer, post-burn pain, neuropathic pain and other inflammatory pain conditions.
“We have applied this knowledge to the development of new classes of nonopioid and nonaddictive analgesics,” Dr. Hargreaves said.
His efforts on this issue have changed the way dental professionals manage patients’ pre- and post-treatment pain and is influencing pain management in other areas of medicine, said Dr. Patrick Taylor, president of the American Association of Endodontists, in a letter nominating Dr. Hargreaves for the award.
Furthermore, “in an era of overprescribing of opioids and opioid addiction, Ken’s evidence-based advocacy for nonopioid pain control undoubtedly has led to changes in prescribing patterns and improved patient care,” said Dr. Alan Law, a dentist with a Ph.D., and president of The Dental Specialists, in another letter of nomination.
Colleagues of Dr. Hargreaves recognize him as an outstanding author and editor, having been editor-in-chief since 2003 of the Journal of Endodontics and the author of five books, 33 textbook chapters and hundreds of published papers.
“He is one of the most prolific and influential authors and researchers in the history of endodontics,” said Dr. Taylor, crediting Dr. Hargreaves with more than 13,000 citations of his papers in Scopus, a database of scientific peer-reviewed literature.
Dr. Hargreaces has received numerous honors. Most recently, he won the Outstanding Research Accomplishment (Individual/Academia) Award from the Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS).