The Forsyth Institute

aka The Forsyth Institute   |   Cambridge, MA   |  www.forsyth.org

Mission

Forsyth is the world's leading independent research institute dedicated to improving oral health, and reducing interrelated systemic diseases and conditions. The Forsyth Institute portfolio includes basic research, translational research, community-benefit programs for underserved populations and Forsyth Faculty Associates, a private dental practice serving Kendall Square and surrounding areas. Forsyth's mission is to lead the discovery, communication and application of breakthroughs in oral health and disease prevention that will significantly improve the health and well-being of our nation and the world.

Ruling year info

1937

CEO and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Wenyuan Shi

Main address

245 First Street

Cambridge, MA 02142-1200 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-2104230

NTEE code info

Other Medical Research N.E.C. (H99)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (W05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Forsyth Institute was founded in 1910 through a generous gift from the Forsyth family. True to our mission, we continue to provide dental care for disadvantaged children. Today, Forsyth is also an internationally recognized research institute dedicated to improving oral health through research and practice. Dental caries is one of the most common childhood diseases and represents a significant public health problem, particularly in young children. Left untreated, a single cavity can develop into a life-threatening infection. Fortunately, proper hygiene and routine visits to the dentist can easily prevent this disease. But for millions of children, such care is sadly out of reach. In addition to treatment, our main research focus is the oral microbiome (the micro-organisms that live in the mouth, nose, and throat) and the role they play in the prevention of disease.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ForsythKids

The Forsyth Institute was founded in 1910 through a philanthropic gift made by the Forsyth family to provide urgently needed oral health care to the disadvantaged children of Boston. Over the years, the institute has provided care to more than 500,000 children . Today, our mobile program provides preventative dental services to over 2,500 children at 60 sites. Fully 91 percent of the children we treat live in poverty.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Children and youth

The Forsyth Institute's goal is to lead the discovery, communication and application of breakthroughs in oral health and related systemic diseases that will significantly improve the health and well-being of our nation and the world. Forsyth scientists have demonstrated distinct connections between oral diseases and health challenges like heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers, and are tackling other global infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. As an independent research institute, we have the freedom to follow our science wherever it leads, and to collaborate with a broad spectrum of stakeholders—other research organizations, industry, practicing professionals, public leaders, and patients—to meet our shared goals. In the years ahead, the Forsyth will continue to leverage its unique knowledge of oral and associated systemic diseases to elucidate new biomedical insights, and to find the best ways to help billions live healthier lives.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Forsyth Institute Student Scholars Summer Internship Program exposes high-school students to the exciting and rewarding world of scientific research. Created in 1993, the program allows students to work side-by-side in the laboratory with world-renowned scientists engaged in cutting-edge research. The goals are to teach students what scientific research involves, and to allow students to perform hands-on scientific research.

The Forsyth Student Scholars Program includes an eight-week internship for Massachusetts high school students. The program pairs students with Forsyth faculty researchers as mentors. Interns learn basic laboratory techniques by participating in mentors’ research projects in a productive and enriching scientific environment. At the end of the program, students present their findings. For these young interns, the Forsyth Student Scholars program is often their first "real job” and may be their first step toward a future career in the sciences.

Highlights:

Paid internships thanks to our sponsors
Mentorship by world-renowned scientists (Forsyth faculty)
Weekly presentations to fellow students and mentors
Weekly college-level lectures by Forsyth scientists in expertise areas (e.g. oral health research, immunology, microbiology)
Final scientific poster presentation to the Boston area scientific and Forsyth communities
Candidate Requirements:

Currently enrolled in high school in the metro Boston area (current Freshman, Sophomore or Junior).
Fully available weekdays from July 1 - August 23, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Strong motivation to learn how to perform scientific research
US Citizen or Permanent Resident
Consistent with Forsyth’s Affirmative Action policy and commitment to our Community, acceptances are based on both academic excellence and need.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Awards

William J. Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement - Academic Dental Institution 2010

ADEAGies Foundation

Affiliations & memberships

AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children and adults who receive preventive dental treatment twice per year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

ForsythKids

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Program services were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Number of high school students who participate in our STEM summer program.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Forsyth Student Scholars Summer Internship Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Program was suspended in 2020 due to COVID

Number of people attending events

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Forsyth's expansion to online events has greatly broadened our audiences. Since 2020, over 20,000 people from 70+ countries have registered for a Forsyth event.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is to improve oral health through biological research and public health outreach. Our efforts are grounded in three interconnected pillars to support this vision into the future. These pillars are:
1) Biological Research: The best oral health research institute in the world
2) Public Health Outreach: The global leader in children’s oral health
3) Technological Innovation: The accelerator for cutting edge, high impact oral technology innovation

Our programs include:
1) Biological Research

a. Provide an environment conducive to faculty engagement and mentoring of junior faculty
b. Recruit high-quality new investigators
c. Support scientific staff with resources they need to win high-impact grants

2) Public Health Outreach

a. Elevate the ForsythKids program through research and innovation
b. Expand global presence, especially in China, through improved partnerships
c. Increase and expand services offered by our Forsyth Faculty Associates dental practice

3) Technological Innovation

a. Enhance industry partnerships for more extensive clinical trials
b. Develop a Venture Capital (VC) Fund for technology innovation in oral health
c. Improve capabilities for researchers to establish start-up companies

1) Biological Research: Forsyth is a top-tier institution in terms of funding from the National Institutes of Health. Our global reputation allows us to continue to attract top researchers from around the world. Forsyth has also recently funded a round of large pilot grants to help scientists gather the preliminary data necessary to further their research. This data is also essential to submit larger federal and foundation grant applications to continue their work.
a. Forsyth Student Scholars: This summer internship program exposes high school students to the exciting and rewarding world of scientific research. Created in 1993, the program allows students to work side-by-side in the laboratory with our scientists who are engaged in cutting-edge research. The program provides students with hands-on experience and the chance to contribute to actual research projects.
2) Public Health Outreach: Our ForsythKids Mobile Dental Program currently offers oral health care at 70 sites throughout Massachusetts. We treat children where they live and learn to overcome barriers to care. Our staff of dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants can put two vans on the road and set up a functioning dental office in any space, including a school, gymnasium, library, or resource room.

The Forsyth Institute is also introducing a 21st Century Innovative Oral Health Management Program (21C). We envision a cradle to college oral and craniofacial program that combines evidence-based practices with cutting-edge technology. Led by our CEO and staff members experienced working in China, Forsyth continues to explore new opportunities in that country.

Also, our Forsyth Faculty Associates program provides the highest quality dental care available in the Greater Boston Area.

3) Technological Innovation: As a leader in oral microbiome research, Forsyth seeks to utilize this expertise by creating Forsyth Microbiome Inc. The company intends to build on our Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD), the world’s largest curated database of the bacterial species in the human aerodigestive tract.
Forsyth’s Clinical and Translational Research Center has a long history of producing quality integrated research. Our staff includes internationally renowned scientists and clinicians with expertise in a variety of oral health-related fields.

1) Biological Research: The Forsyth Institute has been chosen to participate in the Surgeon General’s new report on Oral Health. The report seeks to document progress in the area since the last report in 2000. Dr. Wenyuan Shi, our CEO and Chief Scientific Officer is an Associate Section Editor for Emerging Technologies for this document.

Our scientists have received support from a variety of federal, foundation, and corporate sources and have published consistently in high-impact scientific journals. Through our Center for Clinical and Translational Research, we have greatly industry partnerships in 2020. The Institute has also begun an annual Symposium Series focusing on different areas of research.
For the general public, we continue to participate in the Cambridge Science Festival, a celebration showcasing cutting edge STEM technology.

a. Forsyth Student Scholars: The program works to overcome barriers that students in some communities may face in accessing STEM education and career information. This year we accepted 16 scholars from a pool of more than 100 applications.

b. Forsyth Remote Science Camps


2) Public Health Outreach: The ForsythKids program will treat almost 3,000 children this year; a 20 percent increase from the previous year. Over 90 percent of the children we serve live in poverty. The program works in Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Fitchburg, Holyoke, Hull, Lynn, Randolph, and Somerville. This year, we are pleased to add the Waltham Public Schools to our service area. Please see our program video for more information, https://www.forsyth.org/blog/full-video-every-child-deserves-smile#.XXqN_ChKiM8.


3) Technological Innovation: Our accomplishments here include:
• The creation of a new company, Forsyth Microbiome, Inc., to take advantage of research leaderships in the oral microbiome field.
• Advancing discussions on the creation of an independent Forsyth Technology Fund to support faculty and industry innovation by funding new start-ups in oral health technology
• Planning for the Forsyth Technology Forum to focus on new innovative products in oral health
• A comprehensive examination of our current research to determine potential new opportunities and partnerships in this area

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

The Forsyth Institute
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Forsyth Institute

Board of directors
as of 4/5/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Elyse Cherry

Corporate Realty Investment Company, L.L.C.

Term: 2023 - 2019

Steve Bergman

Henry Schein

Rosalee Hermens

True Value Company

Janet Kelly

Boston Marketing Advisors

Anthony Volpe

John Plukas

Wainwright Bank & Trust

John Ficarelli

Pediatric Dental Associates of Brookline

David Ellis

Elyse Cherry

CEO, Boston Community Capital (BCC) | President, Boston Community Venture Fund

Peter Nessen

Robyn Redfield

Morgan Stanley

Richard Anders

Co-Managing Director, Rubin/Anders

Catherine D'Amato

President & CEO, Greater Boston Food Bank

Janice Bourque

Hercule Capital

Bruce Donoff

Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Dai Feng

CareCapital Advisors Ltd.

Mike Monopoli

Dentaquest Foundation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/15/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data