The ADA Foundation’s research center formally dedicated the ADA Foundation Dr Anthony Volpe Research Center (VRC), named for Anthony Volpe, DDS, MS, a long-time advocate for dental research who in 2013 retired as vice president of clinical research and scientific affairs at Colgate-Palmolive. Members of the ADA Foundation Board of Directors and the American Dental Association Board of Trustees, along with representatives from Colgate-Palmolive Company and staff and researchers from the VRC, recently gathered for the ceremony.

“Today, we proudly honor Dr Anthony Volpe’s steadfast commitment to scientific excellence and his valuable contributions to all areas of dentistry, including industry, practice and academia. The new Dr Anthony Volpe Research Center will serve as a strong testament to his lasting legacy among dental professionals at Colgate and the global dental community,” said Ian Cook, chairman, president, and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive. “On behalf of Colgate, we are delighted that the new laboratory facility bearing his name will continue to support our ongoing mission to help improve oral health around the world by fostering the next generation of dental researchers.”

The renaming was announced on September 19, 2013, as part of a joint initiative among the ADA Foundation, the American Dental Association (ADA), and Colgate-Palmolive Company, to enhance the ADA Foundation’s existing dental research laboratory in Gaithersburg, Md, and to support and encourage promising young researchers.

“This research center has a long and distinguished history of innovations that have changed dentistry worldwide. Now, with our focus on new technologies and therapies, and in identifying and supporting the next generation of researchers in oral health, this new collaboration provides great momentum,” said Dr David Whiston, president of the ADA Foundation Board of Directors. “We are pleased that Colgate shares our desire to honor our past successes, and those of Dr Volpe in this way, and to foster new talent from which the next Tony Volpe may arise.”

“The VRC is one example of how the ADA, ADAF, and Colgate-Palmolive share a collaborative commitment to advancing the science of dentistry,” said ADA President Dr Charles Norman. “The cutting-edge work being done here ensures the dental profession has access to the best basic and clinical knowledge for the good of the patients we serve. For 80 years, VRC scientists have played a major role in developing many of the innovations used in dental clinics today throughout the world. It’s a legacy this facility will continue to build and expand on in the decades to come.”

In addition to renaming the research center, the initiative will fund a distinguished researcher as the Dr Anthony Volpe Research Fellow. The initiative will also provide permanent support for the ADAF’s Colgate Dental Student Conference on Research, an event that annually attracts about 50 of the most promising dental students from the United States and Canada to the VRC. The purpose of the event is to introduce dental students to scientists from the ADA Foundation’s Dr Anthony Volpe Research Center, the ADA, industry, academia, and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in an effort to raise their awareness of the wide-ranging careers available in oral health research.

Volpe conducted clinical research programs around the globe. In addition to his pioneering work on the measurement of tartar, he played a leadership role in developing other novel measurement procedures and has led breakthrough clinical research on plaque and gum disease control.

Formerly known as the Paffenbarger Research Center, the Dr Anthony Volpe Research Center laboratory facility is operated by the ADA Foundation and is located on the grounds of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal government research campus, where it has been since 1928. Previously operated by the ADA and then jointly by the ADA and the ADA Foundation, the lab conducts unique research in cutting-edge fields of biomaterial and tissue engineering technologies.