Following the implementation of a water fluoridation trial in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the National Institute of Dental Research (now the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) was established by President Harry S. Truman on June 24, 1948. It’s first director was Trendley Dean who had been the biggest cheerleader for water fluoridation for several years. The first grants and fellowships that supported dental research were awarded the following year.
In the same year, Gerald Cox was appointed director of dental research in the School of Dentistry, University of Pittsburgh(1). He stated, “I came to the School of Dentistry, University of Pittsburgh in September 1948 as professor of dental research because of my involvement in fluoridation of water.”5 Upon retirement in 1965 he was granted the title “emeritus professor.”6 In this position Cox did not only receive grants from the Nutrition Foundation (2), Swift & Company (3) and Johnson & Johnson (4) but also, in 1970, the Chemical Pioneer Award of the American Institute of Chemists for “his part in the discovery and application of dietary fluoride in the prevention of dental caries. This was based on the formal proposal of fluoridation of water which was presented at the September 20, 1939, meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Section of the American Water Works Association held in Johnstown, Pa.” (5)
- J. Am. Dent. Assn. 37 (1948) 603;
- “Nutrition Foundation grant to Pittsburgh Professor”, J. Am. Dent. Assn. 40 (1950) 360 (Note: The Nutrition Foundation was organized in 1942 by 15 “Food” manufacturers, among them Coca-Cola Company, “to aid the food industry in appropriately solving the general and individual problems relating to that science (nutrition)” as announced in Science 95 (1942) pp. 64, 321 and 427; the Nutrition Foundation also publishes “Nutrition Reviews”);
- “Nutrition and caries to be studied at Pittsburgh”, J. Am. Dent. Assn. 41 (1950) 372 c;
- “Research grants received by Pittsburgh Dental School”, J. Am. Dent. Assn. 42 (1951) 91;
- “Pittsburgh Professor earns chemists´ award”, J. Am. Dent. Assn. 81 (July 1970) 65;