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Prof Justin Durham appointed new BDA Chief Scientific Advisor

We have appointed Professor Justin Durham to the role of Chief Scientific Advisor.

Professor Durham is currently Head of the School of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University and holds a personal chair in Orofacial Pain. He has wide-ranging research experience from early-stage biosciences research through translational studies and into applied health research. On top of providing high level advice to underpin BDA policy and campaign work, he will now be a lead voice on matters relating to evidence-based practice and public health.

On taking up the appointment Professor Durham said, “I am delighted to take up this privileged position and hope to be able to use this as a springboard to help further develop oral health related research, its implementation and its presence in the consciousness of decision-makers, the public and our profession.”

He also emphasised the importance of ensuring the broadest possible representation for the BDA on scientific matters with the widest possible number of voices contributing to this. To this end, our Health and Science committee’s already impressive group of experts has been further expanded to include six new members to allow the committee to work across the broadest possible agenda.

“Our work on Health and Science underpins the changes we seek on behalf of our members and the millions they treat,” said Health and Science Committee Chair Mick Armstrong.

“Justin brings formidable knowledge and experience to the task ahead. We’re thrilled he’s joining us, alongside new voices reflecting the breadth and depth of expertise across dental academia, practice and public health.”

The new Health and Science team members:

Professor Justin Durham, Chief Scientific Advisor

Justin is a Professor of Orofacial Pain and Head of School at Newcastle University's School of Dental Sciences and an Honorary Consultant Oral Surgeon at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne’s Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. His primary research interests are in orofacial pain both at the first and second translational research gaps. He has wide experience in a variety of methodologies involved in health services research and has received international awards both for clinical and pedagogical research.

Dr Charlotte Currie

Charlotte is a Clinical Fellow/Doctoral Fellow at Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences. Her primary research interests are in health services research for acute dental pain and associated urgent dental care pathways. She has research experience and training in epidemiology, qualitative research, behaviour change and intervention development.

Professor Paul Hatton

Paul is the Professor of Biomaterials Science and Director for Research at the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield. His main research focus is on biomaterials and medical devices for unmet clinical needs in oral medicine and surgery, with wider expertise in the safety of healthcare technologies and regulatory affairs. He has led a number of major UK and European research projects, and his contributions to the field have been recognised with the award of a number of prizes as well as elected roles in societies.

Dr Hanya Mahmood

Hanya is an NIHR funded Doctoral Research Fellow and Honorary Registrar in Oral Surgery based at the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield. Her current research focuses on the application of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to explore novel digital biomarkers in oral precancers. She is a key member of the evolving NEOPATH research group and CR UK funded ANTICIPATE project. She is also lead trainee representative for the Association of British Academic Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Dr Gerry McKenna

Gerry is a specialist in Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics working as a Consultant in the Belfast NHS Health and Social Care Trust. His clinical duties are based in the Centre for Dentistry, Queens University Belfast where he also provides clinical supervision and teaching for dental undergraduates. He is a Principal Investigator based within the Centre for Public Health and a member of the Nutrition and Metabolism and Health Services Research Groups. His research is centred around optimising treatment options for older patients which positively impact their dental and overall health. His current position combines research, clinical teaching and specialist patient care.

Dr Praveen Sharma

Praveen is an Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at the School of Dentistry in the University of Birmingham. His research expertise lie in the fields of big data, epidemiology, medical statistics and the interface between oral and systemic diseases. Praveen’s research has won him numerous accolades and he has been invited by national and international periodontal societies to present his research. Praveen’s specialty is Restorative Dentistry, encompassing periodontics, endodontics and prosthodontics.

Professor Rob Witton

Rob is a Consultant in Dental Public Health, and Professor of Community Dentistry at University of Plymouth dental school. He has a particular interest in community–based dental education and oral health improvement. He plays a key role in the University's award winning social enterprise clinical service provider (Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC) and its partner community engagement team (CET). His interests include patient safety and clinical quality improvement, children's oral health, dental education and developing dental services for at risk groups. As Chair of the BDA’s Dental Public Health Committee, he will serve as a cross-rep.