Celebrating Dr. Alan Lowe and His Contributions to Oral Appliance Research

Dr. Alan Lowe

As UBC Dentistry celebrates its 60th anniversary, we are also proud to recognize the 30th anniversary of Klearway, an appliance spearheaded by Alan Lowe, DMD 1972, which marked a shift in the field of oral appliance research.

Klearway is a fully adjustable oral appliance used to treat snoring and mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Lowe, who joined UBC in 1976 and retired from the Faculty in 2016, is widely revered as a pioneer and leading researcher in mandibular advancement devices (MAD) for treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Throughout the eighties, his research on the neural control of the genioglossus and 3D reconstruction of the tongue and upper airway led to groundbreaking contributions. In collaboration with respirologists Drs. John Fleetham and Kathy Ferguson, Dr. Lowe spearheaded a partnership that led to the first-ever randomized trial on MAD for sleep apnea, resulting in development of the FDA-approved Klearway device.

During his time with UBC Dentistry, Dr. Lowe was also integral in developing an undergraduate orthodontic program and trained over 2,000 dentists. In 2022, he established the Dr. Alan A. Lowe Entrance Award given to one undergraduate student each year who demonstrates UBC pre-dental academic achievements and contributions to community service. Dr. Lowe’s exceptional achievements and desire to give back are a true testament to his character as a beloved mentor, colleague, and friend at UBC and beyond.

Dr. Lowe’s commitment to supporting the next generation and skill in fostering collaborations between physicians and dentists has made him a pivotal figure in dental sleep medicine. His contributions, as well as those of his mentees and successors, have established UBC as a leading dental sleep medicine research centre worldwide, and we are thrilled to recognize his remarkable career that has spanned over five decades.

We are saddened to share that Dr. Lowe passed away on February 9, 2024. Dr. Fernanda Almeida, one of Dr. Lowe’s mentees, reflects on his legacy.