University of Florida Department of Materials Science & Engineering alumnus Dr. Alvaro Della Bona, D.D.S, Ph.D., FADM (Ph.D. MSE ’01), has been awarded the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Wilmer Souder Award in Dental Materials. Dr. Della Bona is a dentist, researcher and senior professor at the University of Passo Fundo in Brazil. He is also the first person from Latin America to win the prestigious award.
“It is a great honor to receive the 2021 Wilmer Souder award,” Dr. Della Bona said. “As a long-time IADR member and attending these ceremonies since 1991, I always enjoyed being a part of those moments celebrating and recognizing the successful journey of the Wilmer Souder awardees over the years.”
First awarded in 1955, the prize honors Dr. Wilmer Souder, widely recognized as the “Father of Dental Materials Research” and the motivating force in establishing the Dental Section at the National Bureau of Standards. It is one of the highest honors bestowed by the IADR and bestowed upon those scientists who, through their research, bring about outstanding advances in dental health.
“In the dental materials research field, the Wilmer Souder award is considered the most prestigious award,” Dr. Della Bona said. “In the past, I always associated it with renowned researchers from well-known institutions. That’s why, for me, it is a tremendous honor to be part of such a distinguished group of people.”
During his time at UF, Dr. Della Bona was mentored by Jack Mecholsky, Ph.D., now associate chair in MSE, and Ken Anusavice, D.M.D., Ph.D., from the UF College of Dentistry (Ph.D. MSE ’70).
“I am aware how very fortunate I was for the incredible mentors I have had along the way. I often find it appropriate to quote Isaac Newton’s famous words: ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants,’ Dr. Della Bona said. “I am very proud to be a Gator.”