In Memoriam: Dr. Alan Lowe

Dr. Alan A. Lowe, DMD, Dip Orthodont, PhD, FRCD(C), FACD – Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia (UBC)


It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Alan A. Lowe. In this tribute, Dr. Fernanda Almeida, one of Dr. Lowe’s mentees, reflects on his legacy.

Dr. Alan A. Lowe was at the forefront of a ground-breaking work in the field of dental sleep medicine. His dedication and expertise in dentistry, orthodontics, and sleep apnea positioned him as a pioneer and leading researcher in mandibular advancement devices (MAD) for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

In the 80s, Dr. Lowe's research on the neural control of the genioglossus and 3D reconstruction of the tongue and upper airway set the stage for his ground-breaking contributions. In collaboration with respirologists John Fleetham and Kathy Ferguson, Dr. Lowe spearheaded an extraordinary partnership that led to one of the first randomized trials on MAD for sleep apnea. This collaboration resulted in the development of the FDA-approved Klearway device with commercial sales commencing the following year.

Dr. Lowe's immense impact on dental sleep medicine led him to often being referred to as the "godfather" of the field. His unwavering commitment to research, his ability to convey knowledge based on facts and data, and his skill in fostering collaborations between physicians and dentists made him a pivotal figure in the field. Furthermore, Dr. Lowe's dedication as a teacher and mentor has influenced countless individuals from across the globe.

It is worth noting that Dr. Lowe's contributions, along with those of his mentees and successors, have established the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a worldwide leading dental sleep medicine research center. His achievements are not only exceptional but are also a testament to his character as an extraordinary mentor, colleague, and friend to many at UBC, the AADSM community and beyond.

Dr. Lowe provided invaluable guidance and support throughout my PhD and career at UBC. He was a caring and genuine human being whose influence shaped my professional journey significantly.

The success of oral appliance therapy is undeniably linked to Dr. Lowe's efforts. It is a testament to the dedication, courage, meticulousness, thoughtfulness, generosity, and fun that Dr. Alan A. Lowe brought to his remarkable career. His research, collaborations, mentoring, teaching, and contributions as a university member have left an undeniable mark.  Dr. Lowe has MAD; he "Made A Difference" to numerous individuals in his life - he is indeed a treasure and will be missed.