SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALGN) today announced that it has expanded its funding of the Clear Aligner Research Award Program to include international research in order to further the development of clear aligners for the treatment of malocclusion, or misalignment of teeth worldwide. Launched initially in 2009 for North America, the Clear Aligner Research Award Program is an annually funded program designed to promote both clinical and scientific research in clear aligner therapy. For 2011, $50,000 is now being made available for scientific research funding to international applicants in addition to $100,000 currently available to North American applicants. "We are excited to extend the research program in support of greater academic understanding and advancement of clear aligner therapy around the world," said Align's Vice President of Clinical Technology, Eric Kuo, DDS, MS. International eligibility includes without limitation full-time or part-time international university faculty involved in orthodontic scientific research, as well as non-orthodontic international university faculty whose scientific work may contribute towards the improvement of clear aligner therapy. Up to five grants of $10,000 each will be made available to qualified international orthodontic faculty. "Increased international adoption of clear aligner orthodontic treatment has driven interest in improving our understanding of the scientific processes behind the therapy," said Align's Director of Clinical International, Mitra Derakhshan, DDS, MS. "Through this program, further insights into complex treatments, individual tooth movements and outcomes for treatment using clear aligners can be gained. Applications for International funding can be downloaded from www.aligntechinstitute.com/internationalresearch . Completed applications must be e-mailed to InternationalResearch@aligntech.com by 5PM PST March 1, 2011. All applications will be reviewed by an academic committee and their recommendations will be forwarded to Align Technology. Final selections will be made by Align Technology. All applicants will be notified by April 29, 2011. Incomplete applications will not be considered. For more information on the Clear Aligner Research Award Program and application process for International, please visit www.aligntechinstitute.com/internationalresearch or email InternationalResearch@aligntech.com. For information on the Clear Aligner Research Award Program and application process for North America, please visit www.aligntechinstitute.com/ResearchAwards or email ResearchAwards@aligntech.com. Completed applications for North American funding in 2011 must be e-mailed to ResearchAwards@aligntech.com by 5PM PST March 1, 2011. About Align Technology, Inc. Align Technology designs, manufactures and markets Invisalign(R), a proprietary method for treating malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth. Invisalign corrects malocclusion using a series of clear, nearly invisible, removable appliances that gently move teeth to a desired final position. Because it does not rely on the use of metal or ceramic brackets and wires, Invisalign significantly reduces the aesthetic and other limitations associated with braces. Invisalign is appropriate for treating adults and teens. Align Technology was founded in March 1997 and received FDA clearance to market Invisalign in 1998. Today, Invisalign is a globally-recognized brand, with treatment available through specially-trained doctors in more than 50 countries. The Invisalign product family now includes Invisalign Full, Invisalign Teen, Invisalign Assist, Invisalign Lite, Invisalign Express, Invisalign Anterior, and Vivera Retainers.