NIDCR's Turner to receive IADR Salivary Research Award

June 28, 2006

Dr. R. James Turner, a world-renowned membrane biologist and Chief of NIDCR's Membrane Biology Section, is the recipient of the 2006 Salivary Research Award from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), convening here today for its 84th General Session. The award was designed to stimulate and recognize outstanding and innovative achievements that have contributed to the basic understanding of salivary gland structure, secretion, and function, or salivary composition and function.

Since 1985, Dr. Turner has focused his research on salivary epithelial cells, and he is widely recognized for identifying and characterizing the ion transport systems responsible for fluid secretion by rat parotid and human labial gland acinar cells, including their regulation by secretory stimuli. In particular, he has concentrated on the role of the Na-K-2Cl co-transporter (NKCC1), which he and his colleagues established as the single transporter responsible for the vast majority (~70%) of salivary fluid secretion. The body of work generated by his research group includes kinetic, regulatory, and structural studies. Thanks to their efforts, we know how important NKCC1 is to salivation, how to regulate (up and down) NKCC1, as well as how NKCC1 organizes itself in the basolateral membranes of acinar cells. In addition to the very considerable new knowledge added by his research on NKCC1, Dr. Turner's studies have resulted in the development of numerous experimental tools that have proven valuable to workers in this field worldwide. Dr. Turner has published ~100 peer-reviewed research papers and given numerous invited international lectures. He recently served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology [1997-2003], and currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry [2002-present].

The IADR Salivary Research Award, supported by the William Wrigley Jr. Company, consists of a cash prize and a plaque and is one of 15 Distinguished Scientist Awards conferred annually by the IADR, representing the highest honor the Association can bestow.

Dr. Turner receives his award today during the Opening Ceremonies of the IADR's 84th General Session.

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