UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Donald Chi receives major research honor

Dr. Donald Chi, an associate professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences at the UW School of Dentistry, received the 2017 International Association for Dental Research’s Young Investigator Award at the organization’s annual general session in San Francisco, Ca., last week.

Dr, Donald ChiDr. Chi, who is currently working as Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, was recognized for his efforts to reduce children’s oral health inequalities through community-based programs and evidence-based policies. In the course of his work, he leads multiple research groups that draw from a wide range of disciplines including psychology, sociology, public health, microbiology, biology, pediatrics, nutrition, and medicine. He has won numerous research grants from sources such as the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, private foundations, health professional organizations, and private industry.

The IADR Young Investigator Award, supported by P&G Professional Oral Health, Crest + Oral-B, is designed to stimulate basic research in all dental disciplines. Recipients must have completed their last degree within 10 years of the submission deadline. The award is one of IADR’s Distinguished Scientist Awards, one of the organization’s highest honors.

Dr. Chi, a 2006 graduate of the UW School of Dentistry, also holds a PhD from the University of Iowa, where he also completed two residencies. After earning his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, he attended Korea University in Seoul on a Fulbright Scholarship to concentrate on social studies and public health dentistry.

In addition to his associate professorship, he holds an adjunct assistant professorship in the UW Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

The IADR award is the latest in a growing list of honors for Dr. Chi and his research. Most recently, he received the 2016 Jerome B. Miller Crest Oral B For the Kids award from Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children: The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

In 2015, he received the 2015 Mid-Career Faculty Award for Evidence-Based Dentistry given by the American Dental Association and American Association for Dental Research. In 2013, he received the initial Sunstar Americas Pediatric Prevention Award, the IADR Colgate Community-Based Research Award for Caries Prevention, and the Bengt Magnusson Memorial Prize in Child Dental Health. He is currently serving a five-year term as a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar.

As a UW dental student, Dr. Chi played an instrumental part in establishing the 45th Street Dental Clinic for homeless teenagers in Seattle’s Wallingford community, which earned him a Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteer Service Award at the UW in 2006.

“The IADR Young Investigator Award is a wonderful honor for Dr. Chi,” said Dean Joel Berg of the School of Dentistry. “It confirms his stature as one of oral health’s finest young researchers, and we could not be any prouder of him.”