By Colleen Labbe, M.S. | March 22, 2013
Photo of Brian Foster.
Dr. Brian Foster

Brian Foster, Ph.D., a researcher in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), has won the 2013 Distinguished Scientist Young Investigator Award from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). The award is given annually to early-career dental researchers who are making significant contributions to the field of dental research.

Dr. Foster is a postdoctoral research fellow in the NIAMS Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology. His work focuses on the molecular biology of dental-oral-craniofacial development, and how cells and signals influence the growth of tooth, bone, and gums. His goal is to find better methods of promoting regeneration and function of periodontal tissue that has been lost as a result of disease, trauma, or inherited conditions.

“This award is given only to the brightest in the field. Dr. Foster is a talented and insightful researcher who richly deserves it”, said Martha Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D., who leads the dental research laboratory in which Dr. Foster works. Dr. Somerman also is the director of the NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Dr. Foster earned a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Microbiology from Central Michigan University. In 2011, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. At the NIAMS, he continues his work as a postdoctoral research fellow, focusing on basic and translational aspects of tooth development and regrowth.

The award presentation took place on March 20, 2013, at the Opening Ceremonies of the IADR Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Seattle, WA. The meeting, which brings together members from the IADR, the American Association for Dental Research and the Canadian Association for Dental Research, attracts more than 6,000 dental researchers from around the world.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is the Nation’s leading funder of research on oral, dental, and craniofacial health. For more information about NIDCR and its programs, visit

The mission of the NIAMS, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about the NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS website at

Last Reviewed: 03/22/2013