On July 1, 2008, just before the annual meeting of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR), a symposium was hosted at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Canada. This special day was dedicated to recognize the contributions of 3 “giants” in oral and trigeminal neuroscience, and it attracted more than 180 clinicians and scientists. The symposium was sponsored by the IADR Neuroscience Group, Fonds de le Recherche en Santé du Québec (Oral Health and Bone Research Network; Québec Pain Research Network), Canadian Institutes for Health Research (Applied Oral Health Research, Pain M2C, and Cells Signals training grants, Placebo Mechanism Research Network), and Quintessence Publishing. Three articles that summarize the 6 to 7 tribute presentations for each giant are included in this issue of the Journal of Orofacial Pain.
The 3 giants completed their dentistry training in Australia in the sixties and entered into PhD programs in Sydney, Australia, for Professor Barry Sessle (mentor Dr Ian Darian-Smith), in London, Ontario, Canada, for Professor Jim Lund (mentor Dr Peter Dellow), and in Bristol, England, for Professor Alan Hannam (mentor Dr Declan Anderson). It is very rewarding for Canada to have been able to attract these 3 young clinician-scientists who became prolific in their academic life. Over their careers, the 3 giants received numerous competitive research grants, and they have collectively trained more than 200 graduate students in Canada. A rapid Web search revealed hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, book contributions, and books published by them.
Dr Sessle is professor and Canada research chair at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, where he has been since 1971. He also served as dean of the Faculty from 1990 to 2001. He has been president of the IADR and of the International Association for the Study of Pain. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and member of the Canadian Academy of Science and is the current president of the Canadian Pain Society and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Orofacial Pain. His research interests have focused on the neural mechanisms underlying both pain and movement (mastication, swallowing). The Sessle Tribute was thus aptly titled From Pain to Movement and was arranged and chaired by Professor G. Lavigne (Université de Montréal).
Dr Lund initiated his academic career at the Université de Montréal more than 30 years ago. For over 12 years, until May 2008, he was dean at the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal. Professor Lund was the first dental representative on the board of the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. His research interests were initially focused on the understanding of the genesis and control of masticatory movements, but in the last 2 decades he also has been interested in pain and in chewing rehabilitation in dentate patients, in collaboration with his wife, Professor Jocelyne Feine of McGill University. The Lund Tribute was thus appropriately titled From Movement to Pain and was arranged by Professor A. Kolta (Université de Montréal) and chaired by Professor M. C. Bushnell (McGill University).
Dr Hannam began his academic career at the University of British Columbia where he was until recently professor in the Faculty of Dentistry. He also served as associate dean for graduate and postgraduate studies in that Faculty and is now professor emeritus. His research interests have been in muscle physiology and in modeling (imaging and mathematical approaches) of chewing function and occlusion. The Hannam Tribute was thus titled From Movement to Models. It was arranged by Professor C. Peck (University of Sydney, Australia) and was chaired by Professor S. Palla (University of Zurich, Switzerland).
We would like to express our gratitude to the following persons or organizations that worked with us to ensure the success of the symposium: the Faculties of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, McGill University, and Université de Montréal; Drs G. Zarb, T. Dao, and T. Tobias for the special tribute that they paid the 3 giants during the symposium; and Ms C. Remo and R. Wagman and Drs L. Beaudriault and
D. Mock for their behind-the-scenes organization and management of the symposium.
Our 3 giants still remain very active in science but they also have other passions: Professor Sessle finds some relaxation when he plays tennis, travels, or spends time at his cottage; Professor Lund when he is visiting museums and gardening; and Professor Hannam when sailing in Vancouver. Professors Sessle, Lund, and Hannam, the Tribute was a unique temoignage to the gratefulness of your friends and past or current students devoted to you. Please continue to inspire the fields of orofacial pain and movement!