Professor Janet Moradian-Oldak received a 2019 Basic Research in Biological Mineralization Award at the International Association for Dental Research’s (IADR) General Session and Exhibition in mid-June.
The award — one of 17 Distinguished Scientist Awards — is one of the most prestigious awards bestowed by the IADR. It is meant to stimulate, encourage and recognize basic research in the field of biological mineralization.
“This is extremely rewarding and allows me to reflect on all those years of doing experiments, writing grants and manuscripts and presenting in conferences while running around to come up with new ideas — and doing all of this while being a mother,” said Moradian-Oldak, who was quick to credit the students and postdocs, who have been working alongside her.
“We are very proud of Dr. Oldak’s scientific accomplishments and her continued success with her research projects,” said Associate Dean of Research Yang Chai PhD ’91, DDS ’96. “This award is a demonstration of the impact our scientists are making at Ostrow. We will continue to expand our effort in translating our research discoveries into clinical treatments in order to benefit our patients.”
A life of scientific inquiry
Moradian-Oldak has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts that have significantly advanced scientific understanding of enamel biomineralization and biomimetic approaches for enamel growth and repair.
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Her research has led to a number of patents, including one for a hydrogel that promotes the growth of an enamel-like surface on teeth and remineralizes dentin. Since 1998, Moradian-Oldak’s research has been consistently funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health.
She has also served as president of the IADR/American Association for Dental Research (AADR) Mineralized Tissue Group, as president of the AADR Southern California Section and as chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Dentistry Section.
Moradian-Oldak earned a master’s of science degree in structural chemistry and a doctoral degree in structural biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
She has been with Ostrow since beginning her post-doctoral degree in 1992. She also has a joint appointment in the biomedical sciences and bioengineering division at the Viterbi School of Engineering.