Meet Our Clients: Dr. Thomas Hart, Director of ADA Foundation/Volpe Research Center

Dr. Tom Hart is working to bring innovation and partnerships to a nearly 100 year old institution: the research arm of the American Dental Association’s Foundation, which develops and sets standards for dental products for industry practitioners. Housed in the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), where the ADA Foundation’s Volpe Research Center has had a long standing CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement), Dr. Hart has led NIST-based initiatives to transfer basic science knowledge to dental practice.

So why has such a longstanding institution come to FITCI?  According to Dr. Hart, the affiliation with FITCI is part of a broad effort to develop new materials with anti-microbial properties that will address infection development in bone grafts. His team is working with the military on a platform for recognizing biomarkers that indicate a breakdown under the crown of the tooth.

This initiative is outside of the purview of NIST, expanding the Research Center’s partnerships to NIH and FDA. Dr. Hart’s team in the shared lab at FITCI aims to change the historic model of the Foundation’s research to be more responsive to the needs of commercial users—to build connectivity to industry and investors in order to get technologies to market. FITCI was the right location because of proximity to Ft. Detrick and the infrastructure of support.


Written by: Tamar Osterman, FITCI Media Chairman