In the last Christmas Newsletter I indicated that we were hoping to develop more regular communication with the ‘Global Newcastle Family’ and this is the first of the new format Newsletters keeping you in touch with life in the school. This term and 2017 has already proved to be very exciting.
The School has shot up 5 places in the QS world University rankings for Dentistry. After being very pleased with our 2016 raking we are absolutely delighted to now be ranked 5 places higher in 2017 at 32nd in the world for Dentistry. This progression up the rankings recognises our ambition to be a world leader in Oral Health and Oral Health Care. With these new results we are again the highest ranked subject area within the whole University.
Linked to this and probably the biggest event for the School this term was the annual International Association for Dental Research meeting which was held in San Francisco. The IADR is the world’s largest Dental Research organization with more than 10,000 members and there were around 6,500 attending the meeting in San Francisco. There was a very large turn out from the school with 18 members of the School attending and presenting at the meeting.
This year was rather special though for 2 reasons – one of our alumni, Professor Angus Walls, was installed as the President of the IADR for 2017-18 and as you will see later our own Professor Paula Moynihan was installed as the Vice President of IADR and will herself become President for the Centenary meeting in Washington DC in 2020. In addition, other school members have key positions in research groups as reviewers, IADR Councillors and group leads. This year, 2 members of the School (Moynihan and Thomason) are currently Presidents of 2 of the IADR Research Groups (Geriatric Oral Research and the Nutrition Research Groups respectively). For a ‘compact school’ we had a very active presence at the meeting both in terms of Science and Education but also in the Exhibition area too – the Newcastle Stand!! This was an area to promote both the School and the University and to act as a focus to recruit post graduate students and to recruit new staff. The stand was a major success. A big thanks, therefore, to Jill Smith and Gwen Forster for their work, before during and afterwards to pull this off apparently so 'effortlessly', but also to all the team who spent time "on the stand". It was a massive amount of work, but it was that presence that made it so impressive and it was widely commented on by so many at the meeting.
Professor Paula Moynihan becomes Vice President of IADR
The IADR is the world’s premier dental research organisation, with over 10,000 members and true global reach.
Professor Moynihan has remained an involved member since joining IADR in 1992 through participating in the IADR General Sessions and serving in various leadership positions. She served as a councillor for the IADR Nutrition Research Group from 2000-2005 and again from 2010-2015, while concurrently serving on the management committee of the IADR British Division from 2012-2015. From 2000-2001, she was the president of the IADR Nutrition Research Group. Providing further service to the IADR Scientific Groups and Networks, she was the vice president of the IADR Geriatric Oral Research Group from 2015-2016 and became the president of the IADR Geriatric Oral Research Group at the conclusion of the 2017 IADR General Session. In 2016 she was invited to be on a 3-person international ballot to be elected to the Presidential succession for the organisation and was elected by her peers to this position.
She is now serving as the elected Vice President of the IADR from March 2017 and will subsequently serve as President Elect (2018-9), President (2019-20) and Immediate Past President 2021-22 during a four year term on the Board. She will have the distinct honour of being IADR President during its centennial year in 2020 and for its centennial meeting that year in Washington DC.
Professor Moynihan looks forward to being part of the IADR Board as it furthers its Mission to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide; to support and represent the oral health research community; and to facilitate the communication and application of research findings.
“Oral diseases are amongst the most prevalent diseases world-wide and have considerable impact on general health and wellbeing. As a professor of Nutrition and Oral Health I have experience of working at the interface of oral and general health. My vision is for IADR to become a key player in global non-communicable disease prevention, establishing and strengthening links with other organisations to promote research and support the strategies necessary to realize the full impact of sugars reduction - on not only oral health but on general health globally.”
Smile Train at Great North RunSmile Train at Great North Run
The Great North Run is one of the UK’s most revered half marathons. Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne, participants follow a 13.1 mile route through the city centre towards the River Tyne and crossing over the iconic Tyne Bridge. Newcastle Dental School is proud to say that over the past three years more than ten of its past and present dental students have tackled the Great North Run on behalf of the international children’s cleft charity, Smile Train.
Across the developing world, children with untreated clefts live in isolation and experience a number of serious health problems including having difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in over 85 developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own local communities. So, every mile that our students have run, and every penny that they have raised, has directly contributed to creating smiles all over the globe!
Former Newcastle postgraduate dental student and current staff member, Jenna Trainor, ran the Great North Run for Smile Train back in 2015. She completed the run in 1 hour and 56 minutes and raised £650:
“I loved every minute of the race. At the end when I saw the sea front, it brought tears to my eyes. It is incredible to witness such a vast amount of people running for charity, as well as the sheer volume of spectators supporting!
Smile Train is an amazing charity to run for, and the work they carry out is life changing - your smile is so important. If it was my child, what more would I want than to see their beautiful smile!”
Student Jack Roberts, also took part in the Great North Run in 2015 and raised £750 for Smile Train – enough money to cover the cost of five cleft surgeries (each costing £150):
“I currently study dentistry at Newcastle University and have subsequently developed an appreciation for the work that Smile Train carries out. The race is an incredible experience and a great opportunity to raise awareness and funds for an excellent cause!”
Douglas McKendrick took part in the Great North Run last year for Smile Train, raising £230 for the charity and finishing the race in 1 hour and 47 minutes:
“As a dental student, the surgical work Smile Train facilitates by providing training and support for local doctors across the world is particularly interesting to me. Having witnessed how cleft repair surgery can positively affect children's lives, I knew this was an incredible cause to be running for.
The Great North Run is a massive event, both nationally and internationally, and a lot of fun to be a part of!”
Current Newcastle University student, Sachin Anand, has signed up to take part in this year’s Great North Run (which takes place on 10th September) and has already managed to raise a staggering £1,256 for Smile Train. You can view his fundraising page here - www.justgiving.com/Sachin-Anand1
If you would like to join Sachin at the Great North Run, or learn more about the event, please contact Hannah Weston, Community and Events Fundraising Manager, Smile Train, at email@example.com
Sachin Anand voted FMS Mentor of the YearSachin Anand voted FMS Mentor of the Year
The School is very proud of Sachin Anand (Stage 2) who was voted as FMS Mentor of the Year in December. The involvement of our students with the University’s Peer Mentoring Programme is incredibly important in welcoming new students to Newcastle, and ensuring that they have a smooth transition into Higher Education. There were around 100 nominations across the Faculty of Medical Sciences, so this was a fantastic achievement recognising the support that Sachin provides on behalf of the School of Dental Sciences.
Teaching Excellence Awards 2017Teaching Excellence Awards 2017
This year 10(!) members of our staff have been nominated for the prestigious Teaching Excellence Award! We are extremely proud and look forward to the award ceremony in May.
Dr Luisa Wakeling - Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Support
Mrs Julie Fitzgerald - Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Support
Prof Steve McHanwell - Outstanding Contribution to Teaching
Dr Iad Gharib - Outstanding Contribution to Teaching
Prof John Whitworth - Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care
Mr Chris O’Connor - Outstanding Contribution to Teaching
Mr Ian Ellis – Outstanding Contribution to Teaching
Prof Janice Ellis - Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Support
Dr Ralf Kist - Outstanding Contribution to Teaching
Mrs Melissa Walker - Outstanding Contribution to Feedback
Dr Waterhouse - 'Bold for Change'Dr Waterhouse - 'Bold for Change'
In March Dr Paula Waterhouse was nominated as a member of the University who is ‘Being Bold for Change’ when it comes to advancing gender parity here at Newcastle University. The nomination was in recognition of playing a key role in the Athena SWAN application process for the School of Dental Sciences.
As a result of her nomination, Paula was invited to attend a celebratory event on International Women’s Day (March 8th 2017), which recognised and celebrated the work that staff and students, men and women, do around the University to promote and advance gender parity.
Prof Heasman awarded the British Empire MedalProf Heasman awarded the British Empire Medal
Peter Heasman, Professor of Periodontology in the School of Dental Sciences has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list for services to research ethics.
NHS Research Ethics Committees safeguard the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of patients and volunteers taking part in medical research. They review applications for research and give an opinion about the proposed participant involvement and whether the research is ethical.
Professor Heasman was appointed to the Newcastle and North Tyneside Research Ethics Committee in 1997 and was chair from 2000 until 2008. He also chaired the Northern and Yorkshire committee until his retirement in 2016.
His involvement in research ethics has enabled him to provide advice to local University colleagues and NHS-based researchers both informally and formally through researcher training days, to which he also contributes on a national basis. He also chairs the UK Medical Devices Collaboration Group, an alliance which delivers improvements to the governance of safe medical device research.
Professor Heasman said:
“To say that this honour was a surprise is something of an understatement. It is an immense honour to receive such recognition. But the real appreciation goes to all those colleagues that I have worked with so closely over the last 20 years: REC members and managers, colleagues, trainers and all those at the HRA. It really has been an absolute privilege.
“The ethics service (and indeed all clinical research in the UK) would not prevail without those who volunteer their ‘ethics’ time in abundance. None of us can call it our ‘day job’ yet we become involved possibly out of curiosity but also because we want to contribute to the safety of UK research, and upholding the dignity and rights of research participants. We do this neither for reward nor recognition, but when something like this comes along it makes one feel incredibly proud.”
Visit to Dunedin Study Team in New ZealandVisit to Dunedin Study Team in New Zealand
Rhiannon O'Connor recently spent a few weeks visiting Professor Murray Thomson and the research team who lead the oral health component of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study, at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Rhiannon arranged this trip to foster links between this research group and the research team at Newcastle University working on the dental component of the Thousand Families Study. Both studies are birth cohort studies, which have followed cohorts of individuals and collected dental data (and a vast array of other data) from these individuals across their lifetimes. These studies therefore provide unique information about life course trajectories and determinants of oral health. Amongst a very small number of such birth cohort studies with dental data in existence, the Dunedin Study is the leading study in this field, so Rhiannon has been privileged to spend some time with this research team. However, the Newcastle Thousand Families Study is much older, it's participants turning 70 this year, compared to the younger Dunedin cohort, who are turning 45, so is the first birth cohort study to provide information about this stage of life. Being very similar, yet involving two cohorts of different age and location, there is much to be gained by researchers from these two studies working together.
During her visit, Rhiannon learnt a great deal about the Dunedin Study, particularly some of the more complex statistical methods they use to analyse their data. In return, she communicated information about the Newcastle Thousand Families Study to their research team. This included delivering a lecture as part of their "Sir John Walsh Research Institute" lecture program, which was well attended by dental and non-dental researchers working within the field of epidemiology. She also had the opportunity to look around and find out more about their dental school in general, and even found herself supervising their dental students in their Clinical Skills Unit!
Overall, information was successfully exchanged and relationships established between the Dunedin and Newcastle research teams, and we hope that this will lead to successful collaborations between the two research teams in the near future.
University Strategic Impact reward for Dr WassallUniversity Strategic Impact reward for Dr Wassall
Congratulations to Dr Rebecca Wassall for receiving a University Strategic Impact reward!
The University Research Committee was supportive of her application and agreed to fund £5,000 to take forward her proposal: ‘OpenOdonto: Co-creating a digital tool to support a person-centred referral process in community-based NHS dentistry. ‘
Our research on the front cover of the Journal of Dental Research!Our research on the front cover of the Journal of Dental Research!
Many congratulations go to Dr Nick Jakubovics, Dr Nadia Rostami, Dr Richard Holliday, Prof Philip Preshaw and their team. Their research paper entitled 'A Critical Role for Extracellular DNA in Dental Plaque Formation' published in October 2016 has made the front cover of the February 2017 Journal of Dental Science. The image shows dental plaque on the surface of a tooth that was extracted due to gum disease. The plaque is made up of bacteria that stick to the tooth surface using a gluey matrix material. The project has focussed on understanding the nature of the glue that holds dental plaque together. Our talented team have shown that a significant component of it is DNA that escapes from cells when they die and are now working on new approaches to control dental plaque using an enzyme that degrades the DNA and breaks down the matrix.
The Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland ConferenceThe Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland Conference
In sunny April the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland Conference was brought to the North East and hosted at the Sage Gateshead by the Northern and Yorkshire Cleft Lip and Palate (CLP) Service, organised by members of the Dental Faculty, Drs Lucy Burbridge (Paediatric dentist – CLP Lead for the North of England) and Rye Mattick (Orthodontist – CLP Lead for the North of England). Over 200 international delegates attended, the majority being highly specialised clinicians and scientists in the field of treatment of those with facial differences, primarily cleft lip and palate. Interestingly, this region has the highest incidence of CLP in the UK and the conference was a fantastic opportunity to share best practise and new ideas between members of the multi-disciplinary caring teams; surgeons, dentists, nurses, geneticists, speech and language therapists, psychologists. Eminent speakers included Newcastle Dental School Alumni such as Professor Richard Welbury, and current academics Dr Heiko Peters (Centre for Life) and Professor James Law (Faculty of Communication) as well as international speakers on topics as far reaching as genetics, safeguarding issues and robotic surgery as well as a moving presentation and film by a number of young adults who have been treated by the Cleft Lip and Palate Service based out of Newcastle.
Study on A&E admittanceStudy on A&E admittance
Dr Justin Durham, National Institute for Health Research Clinician Scientist and Senior Lecturer in Oral Surgery and Orofacial Pain together with his Team have been working with the British Dental Association on a story for The Times, based on their research recently published in the Journal of Oral rehabilitation on A and E admittance.
The study is part of the Newcastle Academic Health Partners, a collaboration involving Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle University, and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation. This partnership harnesses world-class expertise to ensure patients benefit sooner from new treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies. The study reveals the cost of dental patients at A&E could be 10 times official government estimates, costing the NHS millions of pounds. The British Dental Association (BDA) has said dental patients seeking free care at Accident and Emergency departments could be costing the NHS as much as £18 million, as recently published research suggests the government may be significantly underestimating patient numbers. Newcastle University’s Centre for Oral Health Research (COHR) three-year study of patients visiting Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s A&E department, highlights that patients attending with dental problems are approaching 1% of all attendances. This figure is 10 times official government estimates, with over half of the attendances identified related to toothache.
‘Ensuring that patients are treated in the right place, at the right time, by the right team is essential for both the patient and the wider public.’ - Dr Justin Durham
Christmas Carol Service charity fundraisingChristmas Carol Service charity fundraising
At our Christmas Carol Service held on the 13th December we raised £154.97 which was donated to Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care charity. (Pictured right: Jean Ross - charity secretary and right, Magdalena Grainger from the School of Dental Sciences).
Many thanks to all who participated and donated!
Bob's Bike Ride
The police men approached menacingly one with a machine gun the other led by a growling guard dog. Bryn Thompson and I were waiting beneath Big Ben in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. We were about to be officially launched on our 350-mile bike ride to raise money for the Eden Valley flood victims. Liz Truss, then Secretary of State for the Environment, had yet to arrive. We had already been frisked and our loaded bikes searched by security. Why then were armed police bearing down on us? I began to regret photographing the MI6 Building the night before when a battery of spook cameras swivelled round towards me; had I been identified as enemy of the State? Was arrest imminent? Would we ever get to Pooley Bridge where the two charities, Eden Flood Volunteers, and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Society, were to meet us in just over four days’ time on the 8th May? Well, as most of you know we made it and were ritually doused in the freezing river Eamont to launch the Charities’ fund raising cookbook “Up to Our Necks”. Thanks to all who donated – we raised over three thousand pounds, which has been a great blessing to the charities and the folk they support. Eden Valley Flood Volunteers is now a fledgling national organisation and you can read more about their work at https://www.facebook.com/certcharity/ and the charity cookbooks are still on sale at multiple outlets in the Lake District. Oh, and the armed police were cyclists keen to discuss our route.
They were satisfied – and so were we!
Founders & Benefactors
We are delighted to announce that this year’s Founders and Benefactors Lecture will be delivered by Richard Watt, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health, at University College London.
About the lecture
Over recent decades significant overall improvements have taken in oral health amongst children and young adults in the UK. These improvements in oral health have not however occurred across all sections of society. Oral health inequalities are now a major challenge in the UK. What is the best way to improve the oral health of socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups in society? This lecture will highlight the limitations of the traditional preventive model in tackling oral health inequalities and the need for a more radical public health approach.
About the speaker
Richard Watt is Professor of Dental Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL. He has also recently been appointed Director of Research and Development for Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust. He graduated in dentistry from the University of Edinburgh in 1984 and proceeded to study for an MSc and PhD in Dental Public Health at the University College London.
His research has focused on the social determinants of oral health inequalities and the development and evaluation of health improvement interventions. In 2014 he was awarded the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award for Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research and in 2016 he was appointed as a NIHR Senior Investigator. He provides public health advice to a variety of organisations including Public Health England, NICE, FDI and WHO. He is co-author of Essential Dental Public Health and has more than 260 publications.
Date and venue:
Friday 16th June 2017 at 16:30, RB Green Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University
Open and equally relevant to dental professionals and members of general public.
Join us for refreshment from 16:00
If you wish to attend the lecture, please register your interest with:
Magdalena Grainger at the School of Dental Sciences.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel: 0191 208 7898.
Keeping in touch with Kuwaiti AlumniKeeping in touch with Kuwaiti Alumni
Professor Moynihan was recently in Kuwait presenting at a symposium of the Ministry of Health 'School Oral Health Programme' where she met Tahani Al-Musallam (a 1998 graduate from Newcastle School of Dental Sciences and now a consultant orthodontist in Kuwait).
Tahani also met with another Newcastle Dental School Alumnus and current President of IADR —Prof Angus Walls in February.
Dental School Reunion in New ZealandDental School Reunion in New Zealand
October 2016 saw the first dinner for Newcastle Dental School graduates in Wellington, New Zealand - three Newcastle dentists: Simon Templeman (BDS 2005); Liz Hitchings (BDS 1999), and Rose Mary Jones (BDS 1976) and two partners of dentists: Mark Jones (former Newcastle Medical School lecturer in microbiology 1976-1984, now Consultant in Clinical Microbiology) and Tony Burton (former Research Assistant Newcastle University 1996-1999, now acting Chief Economic Advisor for New Zealand Treasury). Our New Zealand alumni are hoping to hold the second dinner (with more participants) as part of the NZDA Conference in Auckland in August 2017 – any Newcastle graduates in New Zealand are welcome to contact Liz Hitchings on Liz.Hitchings@ccdhb.org.nz.
Since our last newsletter we also heard sad news of the passing of some colleagues and Alumni:
Mary Steel (nee Geraghty)