Award-Winning Research

AAO is proud to celebrate the best of orthodontics at Annual Session. Each year the AAO offers the following research opportunities presented at Annual Session: Milo Hellman Research Award, Harry Sicher Research Award, and the Thomas M. Graber Awards for Special Merit. Additional opportunities to present include the Dr. William R. Proffit Resident Scholar Award program, an Oral Research presentation, a Table Clinic, or an E-Posters.

Oral Research, Table Clinic, E-Poster 

Hellman, Sicher, Graber Awards (COSA)

Dr. William R. Proffit Resident Scholar Award

Named Award Lectures

2024 Edward H. Angle Award Lecture

The Edward H. Angle Lecture is designed to feature a specific aspect or issue of current clinical, academic, or research interest that has its roots in the history of orthodontics and significance to the contemporary practice of orthodontics or future direction of the orthodontic specialty. The Edward H. Angle Lecture might feature such diverse topics as ethics, modes of delivery of orthodontic care, diagnosis, treatment, biomaterials, biomechanics, and interrelationships with other organizations and/or specialties, etc. The focus on heritage (i.e., what has been handed down) and its contribution to current practice and future direction should be fundamental.

Edward H. Angle, a Pennsylvania journey

Presented by Orhan Tuncay, DMD, FCPP

Sunday, May 5 | 10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. | Ernest N. Morial Convention Center | Great Hall A

2024 Jacob A. Salzmann Award Lecture

The family of Jacob A. Salzmann and his late wife, Leah Wishoff Salzmann, established this lecture in honor of their parents. The AAO President selects the Salzmann Lecturer eighteen months prior to the Annual Session with the approval of the AAOF Board.

The Future of 3D Imaging: MRI and VR?

Presented by Brent Larson, DDS, MS

Sunday, May 5 | 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Ernest N. Morial Convention Center | Great Hall A

2024 John Valentine Mershon Award Lecture

Mrs. Harriet Worrall Mershon, the late wife of Dr. John V. Mershon, professor of orthodontics, University of Pennsylvania, established this lecture. Dr. Mershon was the originator of the removable lingual arch appliances and a pioneer in the application of biological principles in orthodontics.

Pearls of Appreciation

Presented by Neal Kravitz, DMD, MS

Sunday, May 5 | 2:40 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. | Ernest N. Morial Convention Center | Great Hall A

2024 Lifetime Achievement Award Lecture

The AAO Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research recognizes significant contributions to the science related to the specialty of orthodontics through research and significant contributions of original, outstanding, or innovative discoveries in orthodontic research.

New Inventions with Orthodontics

Presented by Birte Melsen, DDS, MS, CertOrtho, Dr.Odont.

Sunday, May 5 | 3:50 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. | Ernest N. Morial Convention Center | Great Hall A

Innovation Awards

Ortho Innovator Award

The Ortho Innovator concept is intended to drive the AAO Innovation and Transformation initiative by encouraging and showcasing orthodontic innovations. This virtual contest allows individuals and vendors to participate by submitting videos showcasing their innovations. One winner will be selected by the AAO Committee on Technology to receive complimentary exhibit space at the 2025 Annual Session and a travel stipend.  

Service Awards

2024 James E. Brophy Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1963 and was renamed the James E. Brophy Distinguished Service Award by the House of Delegates in 1986. The award is presented to those who, in the judgment of the Distinguished Service Award Committee, have made contributions to orthodontics in addition to other valuable and dedicated service to the AAO.

Awarded to Lili Horton, DMD, MS

2024 Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award honoree has rendered outstanding public humanitarian service to improve the quality of human life of those served. The service must be beyond the scope of private practice, academic organization, and the usual function of organized dentistry. The honoree has made significant contributions to such areas as government, community economics, public welfare, or any area which improves the general health or well-being of the community, state, nation or foreign nation and provides leadership and humanitarian volunteer efforts that reflect favorably upon the profession of dentistry.

Awarded to Cheryl K. Anderson-Cermin, DDS

2024 Outstanding Contribution Award

The American Association of Orthodontists provides an award to a non-orthodontist, recognizing that person for outstanding service to the specialty of orthodontics.

Awarded to Mary Beth Kirkpatrick

2024 Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research

The AAO Lifetime Achievement Award in Orthodontic Research recognizes significant contributions to the science related to orthodontics, and original and innovative research.

Awarded to Birte Melsen, DDS, MS, CertOrtho, Dr.Odont.

2024 Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award (ABO)

To commemorate Dr. Albert H. Ketcham’s achievements and to serve as an inspiration to the advancement of orthodontics, the American Board of Orthodontics created The Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award in 1936. It is awarded annually to an individual who, in the judgement of the ABO Directors, has made a notable contribution to the science and art of orthodontics.

Awarded to Peter M. Greco, DMD

2024 Louise Ada Jarabak Memorial International Teachers and Research Award (AAOF)

The recipient of this award is selected and notified by the AAO Foundation Board of Directors, the award is for significant contribution to orthodontic teaching and research.

Awarded to Mark G. Hans, DDS, MS

COSA Research Awards

On Friday, January 5, 2024, the Council on Scientific Affairs (COSA) met and chose the 2024 AAO Research Award winners. The awards will be presented at the 2024 AAO Annual Session. Congratulations to the following applicants who were chosen for these awards:

 Additional Information about the 2024 Hellman, Sicher, Graber Award Lectures

Milo Hellman Research Award

In Vivo Analyses of Small Pore Polymer Scaffolds for Creation of an Artificial Cranial Stem Cell Niche

Elizabeth Soulas

University of Michigan

Harry Sicher Research Award

Nociceptive Nerves Mediate Orthodontic Tooth Movement via Substance P and Mechanosensitive Ion Channel Piezo 2

Sheng Wang

Ohio State University / University of Maryland

Thomas M. Graber Awards of Special Merit (next 4 titles)

Immune Dysregulation in the Oral Cavity During Early SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Erika Babikow

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Molecular Rescue of a Mouse Model: Primary Failure of Eruption

Brittany Trinh

University of Texas – Houston

Mitigation of Aerosol Particles during Composite Attachment Removal

Erin Yoshida

University of Washington

Development and Application of a Deep Learning Algorithm for Automated Identification of Landmarks on Lateral Cephalograms Using RCNN

Katherine Chapman

University of Connecticut

COSA would like to thank all the applicants for submitting their research for these awards.