Pictured: Ahmed Al-Ali with Dr Helen Petersen, Dr Siobhan Barry and Prof Paul Coulthard on Graduation Day.
Last summer, we hosted an ‘Oral Health & Dental Care Policy Research Think Tank’ for the Chief Dental Officers of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and their teams. This was a very successful event and the first of its type when policy makers got together with our Dental School health researchers, so that policy development could be informed by current research.
Around 15 members of School staff attended the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) meeting this year in San Francisco. We were engaged in attending the Council Meeting, business meetings, running a ‘Systematic Reviews in Oral Health’ workshop, giving oral and post presentations, and running a joint ‘Oral Cancer’ symposium with the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston.
We staffed a booth and hosted a joint reception one evening with Boston University to mark our Memorandum of Understanding. We launched the ‘IADR University of Manchester Evidence Based Practice Award’ ($1000) the previous year and awarded this again this year. The Dental Health Unit (DHU) organized a Symposium associated with the IADR and invited some of the world experts in digital research to present both the techniques currently being employed (for caries, fluorosis and periodontal disease) and also looking to the future of digital dental research, the opportunities and challenges, including the ethical and statistical barriers to implementation of new technologies.
Our students created and hosted the first ever British Undergraduate Dental Research Conference in 2015. We held the third very successful Conference at University Place in March 2017 with over 300 dental students attending from around the UK. We have strong links with Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) not least because the Director is Professor Jan Clarkson works with our own School for 20% of her time and is Coordinating Editor, with Professor Helen Worthington, of the Cochrane Oral Health Group that is hosted by our School. The collaboration of SDCEP and the Cochrane Oral Health has huge potential in developing clinical guidelines for the UK, but also global use. No other country in the world has this expertise in dentistry!
Excellence in Teaching
Manchester Dental School is proud that it produces dentists, hygienists and therapists who are fit for an evolving future in the practice, not just as clinical practitioners but research thinking and public health thinking. Our curriculum is a blend of Enquiry Based Learning and some didactic teaching to ensure opportunity for deep learning and understanding and the skills to maintain independent lifelong learning.
We run ‘Clinical Study Days’ for teaching staff to ensure that our teaching is research informed and our teachers understand the basis of current clinical guidelines.
In May, the repercussions of the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena reverberated throughout the city. The resilience of the residents of Manchester and the rapid warm display of practical support to others in reaction to this major incident has won praise from around the world. Within hours of the tragedy many of our own students were using FaceBook to offer accommodation and transport to visitors in need. They were checking the safety of those in their student community and donating blood. They were donating money for those in need.
I was moved to hear of their compassion and felt very proud indeed of our students. I received a letter from the Chief Dental Officer of England asking me to pass on her respect and admiration to all students and staff for their exemplary acts of compassion and kindness. She stated, ‘In each and every account it was patently evident that the ethos of caring and sense of responsibility to community that sits at the heart of the Dental School was a natural and innate response. Whether it was the detail of individual endeavour or a collective reaction each account reinforced my pride at being associated with University of Manchester Dental School. The humanity, selfless commitment and ingenuity of the various responses reflect the nature and tenure of contribution that the students and staff continue to make to the city and its population.’
One of our dental students, Ahmad Al-Ali, is Head of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students UK & Ireland, and he arranged a national conference called, ‘Ideogenesis…The Birth of Ideas’. This exciting event encouraged delegates to be creative and think about problems they could solve
This year’s Annual Ball had a ‘Havana Nights’ theme and was held in the Victoria Warehouse. These events are very glamorous and are organised by students for around 300 undergraduate BDS and BSc students and staff. We recently also had a wonderful Graduation Ball in the University Whitworth Hall.
Several students already have publications to their name: Joseph Greenwall-Cohen, Year 4 BDS student, has had a paper accepted for publication ‘Carbamide Peroxide and its use in oral hygiene and health’, Cara Sandler, Year 5 BDS Student, has an article in the BDJ ‘We should count ourselves lucky’, Olivia Barrat, Year 5 BDS, ‘The Cvek Pulpotomy’ accepted for publication.
Delsa Ghorbani, intercalating BDS student, has just released a music video. Here’s a link: https://www.radiojavan.com/
videos/video/delsa-youth-vision-contest-2017-(live). Earlier in the year Delsa who has been chosen to represent Iran in the ‘YouthVision Song Contest’ (the global equivalent to Eurovision) that was aired on various television outlets globally! 54 of our students attended the British Dental Student Association (BDSA) Conference in Bristol March 2017.
We have a large number of traditional MSc programmes. These are in Endodontics, Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Implantology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Orthodontics. We have just launched a new programme in ‘Paediatric Dentistry’. We also have two Distance Learning Programmes, in Restorative and Aesthetic Dentistry, and Dental Public Health, and we also have just launched an additional two programmes in ‘Evidence-Based Health Care’ and ‘Advanced General Dental Practice’. Our Restorative and Aesthetic Dentistry programme attracts around 70 students from around the world who gather in Manchester for Residentials once or twice a year. These are exciting events!
Georgia Hallett, Year 3 BDS student, won the British University Ski Championships Ladies Slalom Race in Edinburgh earlier this year! Recent BDS graduate Catherine Moshkun competed and won in the ice dance category at this year’s British Adult Championships! She has managed to fit in skating training whilst also doing a busy junior hospital job. Catherine is a Dental Core Trainee with us in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Our successful student football team ‘Athletico Dentico’ organised a charity match for ‘Save the Children, Syria Appeal’ with Co-Captains Alex Rovira-Wilde and Toby Beal. Our student Netball team ‘Crazy Canines’ has also had a strong year. We have a new ‘Dental Golf Society’ and a new ‘Manchester Dental School Sports Society’ that oversees all of the student sporting activities.
We signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year with the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston, for student exchange and research collaboration. We have recently hosted the first four Boston dental students as a member of staff in Manchester and our students and staff
have just visited Boston. We already had strong connections with NYU Dental School, as member of our Cochrane Oral Health Group, attending New York each year to provide evidence based practice staff education. I joined them on our last visit and met with Professor Charles Bertolami, Dean of NYU.
Last year we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with São Paulo University Dental School at Bauru, Brazil. This agreement was led by Tanya Wash and we are expanding this to the central University Dental School. Earlier this year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Faculty of Dentistry, Hong Kong, currently ranked number one in the world. One of our first outcomes will be the ‘Global Citizenship in Dentistry’. This programme has been designed to promote peer learning for BDS students through building networks and communities with dental students from around the world.
We have had a relationship with the Nippon Dental University, Japan, for many years, but have now re-energised this with student exchanges last year and this. Professor Ikuo Kageyama (Nippon Dental University at Niigata) and Professor Akira Hamura (Dean of Nippon Dental University at Tokyo) will be visiting our School this September. We are hosting a clinical dental lecturer from Benghazi for 24 months in association with the ‘Council for At-Risk Academics’ offering support and temporary sanctuary in the UK.
Mansoura University, Egypt, are to use our BDS programme curriculum under licence and have their first students on the new Manchester-Mansoura programme this September. Professor Essam Al-Wakeel, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry and Professor Abeer Mostafa Abdellatif, Director of the new BDS Programme recently visited Manchester.
We attended the AEEDC in Dubai in February. This UAE International Dental Conference is huge and we have had a School of Dentistry stand at the exhibition there for the last few years as a great way to promote our reputation. We also promoted our School at a large international dental conference in Singapore. The ‘Dentman Global Health Initiative’ is going from strength to strength with more students than ever taking part in global volunteering.
Our School Stand at the BDA Conference & Exhibition 2017 held at Manchester Convention Complex was well located and very well attended. The BDA Awards event was renamed the ‘2017 Robin Davies DCP Research Awards’ in memory of our former Professor of Periodontology and Director of the Colgate Palmolive Research Unit.