UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Salamati receives Sunstar Americas, Inc. Research Award

Dr. Atriya Salamati, a PhD candidate in oral biology at the School of Dentistry, has received the $25,000 Sunstar Americas, Inc. Research Prevention in Oral Health Award, the school has announced.

Award recipient Dr. Atriya Salamati is joined by Dean Joel Berg (left) and Aaron Pfarrer of Sunstar Americas, Inc.
Award recipient Dr. Atriya Salamati is joined by Dean Joel Berg (left) and Aaron Pfarrer of Sunstar Americas, Inc.

Dr. Salamati, who received her DDS degree at the University of Washington in 2013, is pursuing a doctorate in oral biology in the School of Dentistry’s DDS/PhD program. She is studying tooth mobility in both healthy subjects and those with periodontal disease. Her work could eventually help develop better clinical treatment plans for children and adults who are prone to diabetes, periodontal disease, and other conditions leading to loosened teeth.

“I’m beyond thrilled to have received the Sunstar award,” Dr. Salamati said. “This award has helped fund my PhD research project and allowed me to carry out my studies on developing periodontal disease in an animal model and measuring the effect of periodontal disease on the magnitude and direction of tooth displacement.”

This is the second Sunstar Americas, Inc. award presented to a School of Dentistry recipient.  In 2013, Dr. Donald Chi of the Department of Oral Health Sciences faculty received the Sunstar Americas, Inc. Pediatric Prevention Award.

The Sunstar Americas, Inc. Research Prevention in Oral Health Award was created to help identify and support novel approaches to both the diagnosis and prevention of oral diseases, said Aaron Pfarrer, Sunstar’s Senior Director of Professional Relations.

“Sunstar is excited to work with Dean Joel Berg of the School of Dentistry and the University of Washington, both known for significant contributions on these very topics,” he said.

“Sunstar aims to provide funding that not only helps bring new learning to light but also helps spark the interest of others, resulting in a cascade of learning that truly engages others.  Dr. Chi’s and Dr. Salamati’s research exemplifies this approach, expanding and engaging others as their research proceeds,” Pfarrer said.

The School of Dentistry’s Research Advisory Committee chose Dr. Salamati for the award after reviewing research proposals submitted by junior faculty and graduate students. In April, Dr. Salamati was also named a 2015-16 University of Washington Magnuson Scholar, one of the university’s highest academic awards.

“We are exceptionally proud of Atriya and all of her accomplishments,” Dean Berg said. “Her passion for combining her interests in biological science with clinical practice is exemplary. I could not be more pleased with her selection.”

Dr. Salamati said she hopes to begin a residency in pediatric dentistry after completing her PhD. After that, she envisions a career in academic dentistry while also providing patient care and continuing to perform research.

Sunstar, which was founded in Japan in 1932, is a global organization that serves oral health care professionals and consumers in 90 countries. It works directly with researchers and faculty members at dental schools and dental hygiene schools around the world. Sunstar also works closely with dental professional associations and dental student associations to identify and support advances in research and education as well as practical approaches that improve health and enhance quality of life, Pfarrer said.