As you will see from the contents of this term’s Newsletter, this has been a very exciting term. One piece of fantastic news was the University has achieved the highest possible rating in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
We are one of only eight Russell Group universities to achieve a Gold Award and this result for teaching and learning sits alongside the University’s sustained success in a number of student experience surveys, including the recent Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey which ranked Newcastle in the top 10 for student experience in the UK for the third year in a row.
The TEF Panel judged that we deliver consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students, of the highest quality found in the UK. As Professor Suzanne Cholerton, the PVC for Learning and Teaching said, “The award of TEF Gold status is a ringing endorsement of Newcastle University’s dedication to providing outstanding teaching which supports exceptional outcomes for our students”. Newcastle was one of only 3 Universities in the Russell Group with Dental Schools who received a Gold TEF Award. We have always been very proud of our approach to learning and teaching in Newcastle and I am delighted that this has now been recognised in this national award. You can read more about the result in Newcastle University's official press release and find out more on our excellent teaching and some of the many academics who help support our students in our TEF submission.
I hope you have enjoyed the new format of the Schools’ newsletter this year. As we end one Academic year and move into the next I look forward to hearing from graduates, alumni, and friends both about the new format and about things that have been happening in the “wider Newcastle Family” that we may be able to include in the future.
Freedom City 2017
This year marks 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University.
Freedom City 2017 is packed with large-scale outdoor events, exhibitions, public art, musical performances and an education and academic programme paying tribute to Dr King’s passionate and moving acceptance speech delivered at Newcastle University on 13 November 1967.
Dental alumna, Meredyth Bell, who was a President of the Student Union at the time of the visit, shared some memories of meeting Dr King:
“As to Martin Luther King, he was a great presence. Spoke directly, with total focus on the person he was talking to. He asked me what I was studying. I said dentistry. He commented that it was a worthwhile profession.
My memory is rather hazy but he was very handsome and had "bodyguards" who all wore amazing mohair suits.
His speech later left a lasting impression. His use of English was exquisite and pauses (he hadn’t rehearsed it!) were dramatic and his emphasis unforgettable! When he was assassinated the following year I felt a personal loss.”
Founders and Benefactors lecture
Mind the gap? Tackling oral health inequalities, with Professor Richard Watt
We were delighted and privileged to spend a Friday afternoon in June with Richard Watt. As many will know, Richard is a long-standing friend of Newcastle and a key collaborator on National surveys and policy initiatives with North East colleagues including John Murray, Catherine Exley, John Wildman, Richard Holmes and Jimmy Steele. His lecture continued our 7-year programme of topics selected as relevant to both oral health professionals and members of the general-public. Health inequalities can found in all countries and healthcare systems, with common patterns based around affluence, education and accessibility. Contrasting life expectancies in different wards of UK and international cities provided a shocking insight into general health inequalities and the differing life opportunities of those who happen to be born in different circumstances. Richard went on to discuss the role of Public Health physicians and dentists in addressing these gaps and finding new ways to reach those on the wrong side of the divide. Sadly, the evidence suggests that much of our historical effort to educate, motivate and change behaviour only served to broaden the gaps, with those in greatest need benefitting the least. In a thoughtful and challenging address, he went on to explore the complex links between personal circumstances and health-experience and the opportunities for effective political, and personal intervention. The 2017 Founders and Benefactors Day lecture absolutely hit the mark, welcoming a towering figure to share thoughtful insights on a topic of interest to those concerned with public services and social justice. We are extremely grateful to Richard and look forward to continued Newcastle collaboration in understanding and tackling the many outstanding challenges in population-based healthcare.
The Founders and Benefactors Day lecture is our one public lecture of the year. We are always eager to hear your views on its timing and format, and on opportunities to enhance its relevance and reach for both professional colleagues and members of the general-public.
Exchange with Indiana University
In May, the School of Dental Sciences welcomed 6 dental students from Indiana University School of Dentistry in the USA.
On 16th May, the School of Dental Sciences welcomed 6 dental students from Indiana University School of Dentistry in the USA for a week where they shadowed our students on clinics, attended lectures and delivered oral health education to diverse community groups across Newcastle upon Tyne. This is the second year we have hosted dental students from the USA and we are very grateful to all the students and staff in the dental school and hospital who contributed to its success. In particular, we are very grateful once again for the input from Mrs Debora Howe (Oral Health Promotion Lead) who was heavily involved in small group teaching with the students from Indiana and in arranging placements in numerous community settings including local primary schools, and a refugee drop-in centre in the west-end. The students were accompanied by two members of academic staff from Indiana - Dr Joan Kowolik and Dr Stuart Schrader.
Results Day 2017Results Day 2017
On 8th June our stage 5 students celebrated the results of their final exams. Mark Thomason, Head of School, congratulated the successful students at a reception following the publication of their results, and handed out awards and prizes for special achievements. Anna Davies (John Hopkins Prize), Nicola Perry (John Hopkins Prize) and Rosie Johnston (Amrik Sran Prize) were all worthy recipients of prizes awarded on the nomination of their fellow students. A further 10 prizes were awarded on the basis of especially outstanding performance in various aspects of the BDS course, and we wish to extend special congratulations to the following students:
Alexandra Booth – 1969 Year Medal for best performance in the stage 1 – stage 5 examinations
Owen Alcock – British Dental Association Award for best performance in the final BDS examination
Kate Bowman – James Coltman Medal for the best portfolio of cases submitted for the restorative section of the Final BDS examination
Jane Hogg – Coltene Prize for the best example of direct adhesive composite work in the final BDS restorative portfolio
Nicola Gallagher – Tom Pitt Ford Prize for the most outstanding final year undergraduate student in the field of Endodontology
Laurence Brook – Joan Weyman Medal for the best patient treatment in Child Dental Health
William McLeish - BSPD Nick Jackson Award for the student who has excelled in clinical performance in Paediatric Dentistry
Claudia Heggie – Marjorie Lamb and Jackson Long Medal for the best project related to Dental Public Health
Christopher Thompson – Medico-Legal Prize for the best in-course essay with an ethical or Medico-Legal theme
Alexandra Booth – Septodont Prize for the best combined performance in the Final BDS examination and clinical assessments in Oral Surgery.
Some of our students will be sitting finals in November and we wish them well in their preparations for the exams!
Congratulations again to all our graduating students, and we look forward to seeing you all become our newest dental professionals on 19th July!
Annual DentSoc Charity AuctionAnnual DentSoc Charity Auction
DentSoc, a university society run by a committee of ten fourth year dental students, organised their annual Charity Auction in May, and again it proved to be a great success. A variety of auction lots offered up by both staff and students, including revision sessions, juggling lessons, barbecues, and even a trip to Scotland (!), raised a total of £3,714 for the Northern Head and Neck Cancer Fund. We hope that this donation will help the charity in their journey to raise awareness of head and neck cancer and help to better the lives of those diagnosed. Well done and thanks to everyone who participated!
Students to the Rescue!Students to the Rescue!
Whilst busy revising for their final exams in a local park near to the Dental School a group of our students put their dental trauma knowledge into action. A young person in the park fell and knocked out an adult incisor tooth. The students replaced the tooth successfully at the scene and ensured the child was brought safely and quickly to the children’s clinic within the dental hospital. Well done Chris, Nabeel, Maryam, Iman, Mohammed and Shing for such rapid and professional action.
The moral of the story:- If a front adult tooth is knocked out, fast action will help long term tooth survival and this is something that can be done by anyone – not just those in the dental profession
- Hold the tooth by the crown (the portion normally seen in the mouth).
- If the tooth is clean and the root is intact replace the tooth in its socket and bite on a clean cloth.
- If this cannot be done store the tooth in milk (to protect precious cells on the root).
- Attend a dentist immediately for further emergency care.
In the University’s last promotions round Dr Luisa Wakeling has been promoted to Lecturer with effect from 1st August and Dr Justin Durham has been promoted to Professor of Oral Surgery & Orofacial Pain again with effect from 1st August 2017, while Dr Simon Stone has been appointed as Senior Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry with effect from 1st July 2017! Congratulations to all!
Chris O’Connor’s collaboration with 3MChris O’Connor’s collaboration with 3M
In August 2014 Newcastle University started collaborating with 3M into a new product the “Single Visit Crown”. Chris O’Connor has been at the forefront of this collaboration, which has formed the basis of his PhD thesis.
So far the collaboration has brought in over £120,000 in funding and more importantly has established a close working relationship between 3M and Newcastle University.
Working with 3M has also allowed Chris to network with other researchers across Europe.
In July Chris has been invited to attend the prodigious “3M’s European Rising Stars” event in Munich along with other young researchers across Europe. At this meeting 3M will be presenting their future products and will be discussing their future research and development plans.
We hope that this meeting will lead to future commercial and collaborative opportunities, both with 3M and other young researchers at the event.
Staff members receive HEA fellowship statusStaff members receive HEA fellowship status
On the 6th July, the University celebrated staff success in completing the HEA accredited Newcastle Teaching Award/ Certificate in Advanced Studies in Academic Practice or achieving recognition as an Associate Fellow/ Fellow with the HEA under the Newcastle University UKPSF Pathways to Recognition scheme. We are extremely proud that five of our staff members: Ashleigh Stamp, Charlotte Currie, Michelle Hope, Melissa Walker and Jamie Coulter have been awarded D2 Fellowship with HEA while Bana Abdulmohsen has completed the Newcastle Teaching Award.
Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy is awarded to professionals who can demonstrate they meet the criteria of Descriptor 2 (D2) of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. By applying to be a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy individuals are able to engage with a broad understanding of effective approaches to learning and teaching support as a key contribution to high quality student learning and demonstrate:
- successful engagement across all five Areas of Activity;
- appropriate knowledge and understanding across all aspects of Core Knowledge;
- a commitment to all the Professional Values;
- successful engagement in appropriate teaching practices related to the Areas of Activity;
- successful incorporation of subject and pedagogic research and/or scholarship within the above activities, as part of an integrated approach to academic practice;
- successful engagement in continuing professional development in relation to teaching, learning, assessment and where appropriate, related professional practice
Pam Walton's retirementPam Walton's retirement
Pam Walton, Lab Technician in Dental Sciences, retired at the end of June after 25 years at the University.
Here Pam reflects on her time at Newcastle:
"In 1992 I began working in the Department of Oral Pathology under Prof Soames and Lab Manager, Mr David Sales, on a part-time three year contract as a Technician. In 1997, Dr Don Reid asked me to join his research team who were collaborating with Liverpool University on a project comparing the teeth of modern and fossilised African animals. At the time I was the only Technician in the Dental School and RVI who could carry out ground sections of teeth. I learned this unique technique by hand in Oral Pathology and then went on to apply this to specialist machines in Oral Biology. Working with Dr Reid, and later Wendy Dirks, was a great opportunity for me and resulted in my being part author on several published papers which I’m proud of. I also got to share my expertise in ground sections at the Leipzig Max Planck Institute as an invited workshop presenter.
As well as research I have helped to develop the BDS Programme and support Stage 1 and Stage 2 students throughout their studies and specifically around exam time. I am actively involved in the University’s Widening Participation Scheme within the Dental School.
My one claim to fame is going viral to 28 countries! I took part in the NHS/University 1,000 Family Project. The project was based around dental care emphasising you are never too old to look after your teeth. This was picked up by SKY and my face and teeth became famous for 5 minutes.
Over my career, I have been involved in the research of Fossil teeth, Archaeological teeth and Modern Day teeth. I’ve loved every minute of it."
The Faculty wishes Pam a long and happy retirement.
Long Service Award for Lesley KilfordLong Service Award for Lesley Kilford
Our Dental Instructor, Lesley Kilford, received a Long Service Award in June. She has been working in the Dental School for over 30 years!
We are proud that, like Lesley, many of our staff members stay with us for a very long time and while building on their own careers support and contribute to our School!
James Field leaving NewcastleJames Field leaving Newcastle
In April we said goodbye to James Field, who left to take on the role of Senior Clinical Teacher and Honorary Consultant in Prosthodontics at Sheffield University. His contribution to our School’s teaching while working as Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry is greatly appreciated and we hope that his new role will lead to increased friendship and collaboration between the two Schools.
New babiesNew babies
Congratulations to Sarah Rolland, Katrin Jaedicke and Simon Stone who all have recently become parents! We would like to welcome all three new arrivals to the Dental School family!
Ralf Kist in Kyoto
Ralf Kist has commenced his 3-month long research sabbatical in Kyoto. He shared with us his first impressions since his arrival in June.
My research stay at Kyoto University is the result of a long-standing connection with Japanese researchers. I'm working as a Visiting Research Scholar in the laboratory of Prof Yuji Hiraki (Director of the Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences). He's an expert in cartilage biology and the mentor of Prof Chisa Shukunami (now: Institute of Biomedical & Health Sciences, Hiroshima University) who I have been collaborating with for many years (Development paper published in 2013).
Broadly, I'm investigating the musculo-skeletal integration of the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) in mice (Project title: Analysis of functional contribution of the Scx+/Sox9+ cell population to development of the temporomandibular joint). This work will form the basis for future projects relating to the cellular and molecular mechanisms of TMJ development and age-related TMJ disorders.
Yuji and Chisa have given me a warm welcome on my first day (19/06) and we discussed the ongoing work and potential for collaborations. We also met Prof Atsuko Sehara-Fujisawa (Department of Regeneration Science and Engineering) who I’m also collaborating with (…we currently have a paper under review). Atsuko made coffee and we ended up talking about the state of research across the world. In the evening, we went out for dinner.
Yuji and Chisa also made arrangements for networking with other researchers. In Yuji’s lab, I will mainly be working with Drs Taki Akimoto and Shigenori Miura who are senior postdocs, and they will teach me new techniques. On 30/06-01/07, I will be attending the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Genome Editing in Osaka and meet my friends Chikara Kokubu and Norio Sakai who I got to know during my time as PhD student in Germany. On 18-22 July, I will be staying in Chisa’s lab in Hiroshima and interact with her group. I intend to present my preliminary data there and discuss future plans. Life in Japan can sometimes be difficult due to the language barrier but people are very friendly and patient. I’ve also made some attempts at speaking Japanese but I don’t know more than the usual phrases …which doesn’t get me far. Yuji’s secretary, Hiromi Sugiyama, has been incredibly helpful with the paperwork (all in Japanese!). She also helped me with opening a bank account and paying the rent…that was an experience!
The food is excellent here! I go for lunch with Shigenori and Aki almost every day and they have taken me to fantastic places!