AADR President Testifies Before Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee

Published on May 19, 2021 by Lindsey Horan

American Association for Dental Research (AADR) President Mark C. Herzberg, D.D.S., Ph.D., testified today on behalf of AADR during a Public Witness hearing convened by House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee. Dr. Herzberg, a professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, advocated for increased funding for the the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year 2022 spending legislation.

Within his testimony, Dr. Herzberg shared how the research enterprise, including his own institution, has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and how NIDCR, even without receiving targeted federal coronavirus relief funding, skillfully pivoted to support coronavirus research. Showcasing the value of NIDCR, Dr. Herzberg cited recent NIDCR-supported research that reveals that coronavirus can infect more than the upper airways and lungs; it can infect cells in the mouth. Dr. Herzberg noted that, according to the findings, the infection of salivary glands, which appear to be “coronavirus factories,” may explain some physical manifestations of COVID-19, such as loss of taste, and why salivary aerosols should be considered a threat for transmission of the virus.

-Dr. Herzberg testifies virtually before the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee on May 19, 2021.

Dr. Herzberg also shared the importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research and NIDCR’s role in contributing to the nation’s overall health:

“Clearly, dental, oral and craniofacial research is critical to our health and the prevention and treatment of diseases… The NIDCR will continue to be the driver of this research moving forward. We urge the Committee to ensure that NIDCR approaches its full potential by providing at least $520 million in funding next year.”

View the rest of the hearing, with testimony from other witnesses in the public health and scientific community, here.

For questions, please contact AADR Assistant Director of Government Affairs Lindsey Horan.