Aurea Simon-Soro Receives 2019 IADR Women in Science Award for Distinguished Research


Dr. Aurea Simon-Soro, 2019 recipient of the IADR Women in Science Award for Distinguished Research, with Dr. Mark Wolff, Dean of Penn Dental Medicine, and Dr. Michel Koo, Professor of Orthodontics and the Divisions of Community Oral Health and Pediatric Dentistry.

Philadelphia – Recognized for her outstanding research, Dr. Aurea Simon-Soro is the 2019 recipient of the IADR Women in Science Award for Distinguished Research. The award, presently annually, is intended to recognize excellence in oral/dental/craniofacial research by a female researcher; the award is given for a single research paper published in the previous year by the nominee, who must be a first or senior author. This year’s award was presented at the IADR/AADR/CADR General Session & Exhibition, held in Vancouver, June 19-22, 2019.

Dr. Simon-Soro received the award for the paper titled “Combined analysis of the salivary microbiome and host defence peptides predicts dental disease,” Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 24; 8(1):1484.

“Understanding the triad of host response, microbiome, and disease status is potentially informative for disease prediction, prevention, early intervention and treatment,” explains Dr. Simon-Soro.

Using longitudinal assessment of saliva and disease status in children four years of aged and again one year later, their findings demonstrated that isolated evaluation of the salivary microbiome or host response failed to predict dental disease. In contrast, combined assessment of both host response together with the microbiome revealed clusters of health and disease.

“This type of approach is potentially relevant to myriad diseases that are modified by host-microbiome interactions,” says Dr. Simon-Soro.

Presently in the Biomedical Postdoctoral Program at Penn, Dr. Simon-Soro is working in the research lab of Penn Dental Medicine’s Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo, Professor, Department of Orthodontics and Divisions of Community Oral Health and Pediatric Dentistry, where she is applying her skills in bioinformatics, microbiome analysis, and biofilm imaging. She is researching the interaction of oral fungi and bacteria in saliva related to environmental factors, such as sugar intake, and how it affects the development of virulent dental plaque in early childhood caries.