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New Dean to oversee dental teaching and research

28 July 2010

A new Dean to oversee all the provision of Cardiff University’s dental teaching and research has been appointed.

Professor Mike Lewis, Professor of Oral Medicine, takes up the post of Dean of Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry on 1 August 2010, heading the only school of its type in Wales, which has 150-staff and 400 students.

Presently Associate Dean of Postgraduate Studies at the School of Dentistry and an Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine to the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Professor Lewis said: "As well as being a critical provider of clinical care to approximately 150,000 patients each year, throughout the 18 years of working at Cardiff I have witnessed the School go from strength to strength and become one of the top dental institutions in the UK.

"We have progressively improved our rating in the past three research assessment exercises and I hope that this trend will continue in the forthcoming REF in 2013. It is an honour for me to be given the opportunity to now lead the School to what I hope will be further academic achievement and success in the future.

"In addition, I will be working equally as hard to ensure that our undergraduate and postgraduate students have a successful and enjoyable academic experience whilst studying in Cardiff.

"I believe that the imminent completion of the new research laboratories in the School and the establishment of the state-of-the art clinical facilities in Mountain Ash will further enhance the position of the School of Dentistry at Cardiff University as a world leader in dental research and education."

Professor Lewis came to Cardiff University in 1992 where he took up a Lectureship in Oral Medicine in Cardiff. He was subsequently promoted firstly to Senior Lectureship and then Reader, gaining a personal Chair in 2000. During the past three years he has served as Dean of the Dental Faculty at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and Chair of the Joint Meeting of Dental Faculties of the Surgical Colleges in UK and Ireland.

During his career he has developed strong postgraduate links in the Middle East, which has enhanced the development of clinical MSc programmes in Cardiff. He has served as President of the British Society of Oral Medicine, member of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs at the Home Office and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Antimicrobial Resistance and Hospital Acquired Infection at the Department of Health. He maintains an active research programme in microbiology and therapeutics and was instrumental in establishing the Clinical Trial Unit in the Dental Hospital and School.

Well known to many dental professionals throughout Wales as a result of his extensive postgraduate activity, Professor Lewis has served as the Hospital Tutor for the inaugural Dental General Professional Training Scheme in Wales since 1997. Over the past two years has provided core CPD in Infection Control to approximately 2,000 Dental Healthcare Professionals in Wales.

Professor Lewis will also become Divisional Director of the Dental Division of the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, and assume responsibility for service delivery and patient care for over 155,000 clinical contacts annually (97,000 within the University Dental Hospital and 59,000 within the Community Dental Services).

Professor Lewis takes over the post dual role of Dean and Divisional Director from Professor Elizabeth Treasure, who has provided this leadership role since 2006.

During Professor Treasure’s tenure the School further developed its postgraduate dental provision, including the MSc in Conscious Sedation, and the Modernising Dental Education programme. Her leadership strengthened links with the NHS, maintained the Schools standing as one of the top schools in the UK, and made significant investment in facilities, including a £2M laboratory refurbishment programme in 2007, which has facilitated the expansion of research activities.

Professor Treasure was also instrumental in establishing the Mountain Ash Primary Care Dental Unit in the Cynon Valley, an £8M, a state-of-the-art 18-chair educational Unit in an area of severe shortage of dentists and high dental disease, which will open in 2011. The Unit ensures that students receive a more rounded educational experience while also providing much needed healthcare for approximately 10,000 people.

Professor Treasure said: "Professor Mike Lewis possesses the rights skills and experience necessary to ensure the School remains at the forefront of teaching, research and clinical excellence. I am sure his leadership will see School continue to meet the needs of the dental profession, and those of the healthcare sector in the twenty-first century. I wish Professor Mike Lewis every success in his new role."

Professor Treasure steps down as Dean and becomes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University – the first female Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the University’s history.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

1. Professor Lewis went to Dundee University in 1975 to study dentistry. After qualifying from the Bachelor in Dental Surgery programme in 1979, he completed House Officer and Senior House Officer posts in Oral Surgery, Conservation and Periodontology at Dundee Dental Hospital. Professor Lewis then spent two years as Registrar in Oral Surgery at Dundee Royal Infirmary. In 1983, he took up a research post in Oral Surgery at the University of Glasgow and gained his microbiology-based PhD in 1987. Professor Lewis was then appointed as a Lecturer at Glasgow University, during which time he completed his specialist training in Oral Medicine.

He has published over 200 scientific articles and co-authored six medical textbooks. He has delivered more than 400 postgraduate lectures worldwide. He served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medical Microbiology and British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

2. The School of Dentistry at Cardiff University is the only dental school in Wales and it provides significant leadership in dental teaching, research and patient care.

Dental research and teaching is centred within the University Dental Hospital on the Heath Park site.

The hospital was built in the mid-1960s and the first group of dental undergraduates qualified in 1968. There are currently over 340 registered students pursuing the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Diplomas in Hygiene or Therapy, and over 50 registered postgraduate students.

The hospital completed an extensive 5 year refurbishment in 2003 - the new facilities being re-opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. Recent years have seen further significant investment in facilities, including new lecture theatres, a new postgraduate study suite, extensive research laboratory refurbishments, a dedicated Clinical Trials Suite and a new 5th floor added to the University Dental Hospital containing a Translational Research Unit.

The School of Dentistry is divided into three main Groups:

• Applied Clinical Research & Public Health

• Learning & Scholarship

• Tissue Engineering & Reparative Dentistry.

In the latest Teaching Quality Assurance exercise, the provision of teaching within the School was rated as excellent. A variety of teaching methods are utilised to ensure that our Dental students are well-equipped to face the challenges of clinical practise in the 21st century.

The School is actively involved in the Erasmus Exchange Programme at undergraduate and postgraduate level and has formal links with institutions in Sweden, the Netherlands, the Baltic States and Italy amongst others. There is an extensive outreach programme of community clinical training in Wales.

The School of Dentistry has approximately 150 Staff.

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the School was ranked in the top 5 dental schools in the UK for the quality of its research. Due to considerable investment in staff and facilities in recent years the School in collaboration with other partners has attracted significant levels of research grant funding in its pursuit of research excellence at international levels. In 2009/10 alone, the School attracted c.£3 million in research awards. It has had in excess of 500 articles published in refereed journals and has won numerous internationally recognised prizes and awards, including the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in 2010 for the research undertaken by the School’s Violence & Society Research Group.

Research within the School is managed in the following three themes: Tissue Repair & Reparative Dentistry, Applied Clinical Research & Public Health and Learning and Scholarship.

3. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

For more information contact:

Lowri Jones

Public Relations

Cardiff University

T: 02920 870 995