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Latest news Prof Justin Durham appointed as new BDA chief scientific adviser


April 22, 2022

We have appointed Professor Justin Durham as Chief Scientific Advisor.

Professor Durham is currently Director of the School of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University and holds a personal chair in orofacial pain. He has extensive research experience ranging from early-stage bioscience research to translational studies and applied health research. In addition to providing high-level advice to underpin BDA’s policy and campaigning work, he will now be a leading voice on issues related to evidence-based practice and public health.

On taking up his post, Professor Durham said: “I am delighted to take on this privileged position and hope to be able to use it as a springboard to help further develop research related to oral health, its implementation work and its presence in decision-making. makers, the public and our profession.

He also stressed the importance of ensuring the widest possible representation for the BDA on scientific issues with as many voices as possible contributing to this. To that end, the already impressive panel of experts on our Health and Science Committee has been expanded to include six new members to enable the committee to work on the broadest possible agenda.

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

“Justin brings tremendous knowledge and experience to the task ahead. We are delighted to have him join us, alongside new voices reflecting the breadth and depth of expertise in dental academia, practice and public health.

The new members of the Health and Science team:


Professor Justin Durham, Chief Scientific Advisor

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


Dr. Charlotte Currie

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


Professor Paul Hatton

Paul is Professor of Biomaterials Science and Director of Research at the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield. His research focuses primarily on biomaterials and medical devices for unmet clinical needs in oral medicine and surgery, with broader expertise in health technology safety and regulatory affairs. He has led a number of major research projects in the UK and Europe, and his contributions to the field have been recognized with several awards as well as elected roles in society.


Dr Hanya Mahmood

Hanya Mahmood is an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow and Honorary Oral Surgery Registrar at the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield. His main research focuses on the application of artificial intelligence/machine learning to explore new numerical biomarkers in oral precancers. She is a key member of the evolving NEOPATH research group through which she leads innovation in head and neck cancer research. She also represents academic trainees 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 to Belfast NHS Health and Social Care Trust. His clinical duties are based at Queens University Belfast Dental Center where he also provides clinical supervision and teaching of dental students. He is a Principal Investigator based at the Center for Public Health and a member of the Nutrition and Metabolism and Health Services research groups. His research focuses on optimizing treatment options for elderly patients, which positively impacts 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, University of Birmingham. His research expertise is in the areas of big data, epidemiology, medical statistics, and the interface between oral and systemic diseases. Praveen’s research has earned 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 Dental Public Health Consultant and Professor of Community Dentistry at Plymouth University Dental School. He is particularly interested in community dental education and improving oral health. He plays a key role within 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 the development of dental services for at-risk groups. As chair of the BDA’s dental public health committee, he will serve as a cross-representative.

See the full committee.