RACDS Fellow wins Prime Minister's Prize for Science


Professor Eric Reynolds, a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, is a 2017 recipient of the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science.

Announced in a on Wednesday 18 October in Canberra, Professor Reynolds was awarded the Prize for Innovation. It recognises innovative translation of scientific knowledge into a commercially available product or service that has had substantial economic, social and environmental benefits.

Professor Eric Reynolds' 30 years of research has led to major breakthroughs in the fight against tooth decay. He identified a calcium-rich protein in milk and then developed a way to make it easier to absorb into tooth enamel, making teeth stronger.

With the help of the University of Melbourne's commercial office, Professor Reynolds and his colleagues patented their invention, which they called Recaldent. Today, it's a global product.

Chewing gum containing Recaldent is sold around the world and is also used in a product called Tooth Mousse, which is often used after dental work and can strengthen chalky teeth and reduce tooth sensitivity. Recaldent is still made from Australian dairy farmers' milk.

"It's taken a long time but in this journey it's now in a range of products that are being used by millions of people now in over 50 countries worldwide," he said.

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are Australia’s most prestigious and highly regarded awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching. For inventing and commercialising Recaldent, Professor Eric Reynolds receives the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.

Professor Eric Reynolds attained honorary Fellowship in General Dental Practice (FRACDS(GDP)) in 2010.

Read the Recaldent story and Professor Reynolds' full profile on science.gov.au.

This story was originally published as part of an article Meet the winners of this year's Prime Minister's Prizes for Science on ABC News on 20/10/17.