The Forsyth Institute’s mission is to improve oral and overall health through a combination of innovative research and community outreach by accelerating the delivery of wellness solutions locally and globally.
The Forsyth Institute is the only independent research institute in the United States focusing on the connections between oral health and overall wellness. Forsyth is also an affiliate of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where many of our scientists hold joint appointments.
For more than 100 years, Forsyth has been a leader in the fields of dental research and pediatric dental care. Today, we are grounded in a 3-pillared strategic plan focused on biological research, clinical service and public health outreach, and technological innovation.
Pillar 1: Biological Research
Forsyth has a long legacy of changing the oral health landscape through dental research, dental clinical trials, and training. For decades, Forsyth has been a top-tier institution in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding. Our scientists have contributed to the highest impact publications in the oral health field.
Research at Forsyth includes world-renowned expertise in the oral microbiome, which encompasses the microbes that live inside our mouths. Forsyth is home to the Human Oral Microbiome Database, or HOMD, a comprehensive catalogue of microbes that are representative of the oral and nasal microbiome.
Forsyth has particular strength in immunology research. This includes immunology as it relates to periodontology, commonly known as gum disease. New dental research is beginning to reveal the connection between immunology and inflammation, and the ways in which inflammation is associated with a variety of systemic diseases, including diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Our scientists study mineralized tissue and the mechanisms that underlie tooth enamel and dentin formation. Understanding how teeth form on a cellular level may help prevent genetic tooth disorders and improve oral health overall.
Other dental research areas at Forsyth include bioinformatics, epidemiology, public health, and dental pediatrics.
Pillar 2: Clinical Service and Public Health Outreach
The Forsyth Institute is committed to improving public health in the communities we serve. Since its inception in 1910 as a dental infirmary for children, Forsyth has established itself as a pioneer in pediatric dentistry, treating hundreds of thousands of children in need across Massachusetts. Forsyth continues to carry out our founding mission providing oral health care through mobile, private practice, and global programs.
In 2001, ForsythKids began using vans to deliver preventive dental care to children of all ages at schools, daycares, summer camps, and community centers across Massachusetts. The program has provided care to tens of thousands of children since its inception.
Pillar 3: Technological Innovation
The Forsyth Institute is uniquely suited to lead the development of novel oral health technologies. Our entrepreneurial spirit encourages researchers to bring their expertise to the commercial marketplace, and our clinical team is experienced in partnering with industry to test new treatments and products. Forsyth’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research offers a highly skilled and experienced team of administrative staff, dental professionals, laboratory technicians, and subject recruitment specialists to meet every need of a research project or clinical trial.
As an independent research institute, Forsyth has the freedom to follow our science wherever it leads and to collaborate with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The Institute is located in Kendall Square, Cambridge, an epicenter of biotechnology with one of the highest densities of biomedical researchers in the world.