Each year, the recipient of the W. Harry Archer Award delivers a lecture named in honor of Kurt H. Thoma.
Kurt Hermann Thoma (1883 – 1972) was born in Basel, Switzerland. He attended the Institute of Technology in Bergdorf, Switzerland, and then came to Boston to study at Harvard Dental School where he graduated in 1911. He returned to Switzerland to learn the use of procaine for conduction anesthesia. He returned to Harvard as an Assistant in Anesthesia, later serving as Professor of Oral Pathology and Professor of Oral Surgery. He was Chief of Oral Surgery at Massachusetts Hospital and on the staff of several hospitals. After being named Professor Emeritus at Harvard, he became Professor of Oral Surgery at Boston University's dental school, and served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania graduate program in oral surgery. He was a founder of the American Board of Oral Pathology.
His books include Oral Anesthesiology, 1914, Oral Roentgenology, 1917, Clinical Pathology of the Jaws, 1934, Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, 1936, Oral Pathology, 1941, and the two volume Oral Surgery. He was Editor-in-Chief of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology (1948-70).
His many honors included Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) and in the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Jarvie Medal, the Alfred Fones Medal, the Pierre Fauchard Medal, the Tomes Lectureship of the Royal College of Surgeons (England), and a citation from the American Association of Oral Surgeons. His scientific papers covered several fields of dentistry. They included Paget's Disease Involving the Maxilla (with E.G. Johnson and N. Cascario), Am J Ortho Oral Surg, 1944; Facial Clefts or Fissural Cysts?, Internat J Ortho, 1937; Odontogenic Infection of the Jaws, J Oral Surg, 1948; Odontogenic Tumors of the Jaws, Ann Royal Coll Surg (Eng), 1949, and Contribution to the Knowledge of Development of Submaxillary and Sublingual Glands, J Dent Res, 1919.