Oral Health is a new theme with two highlighted areas of strategic importance: Oral Health and Deafness. It recognises its clinical importance and the research strengths in the King’s Dental Institute.

The Institute is the largest Dental School in the country (613 undergraduates and 314 postgraduates) and ranked 4th best globally (2016 QS World University rankings). Dental services are provided at Guy’s and King’s College Hospital with a university staff of 406 and an NHS staff of 559. 350,000 patients are seen annually, providing a rich sampling frame for the programmes of research and links with clinical care.

An Oral Clinical Research Unit (OCRU) on 25th Floor of Guy’s Tower Experimental Medicine Hub (EMH) (Figure 1A) provides staff and services for clinical trials and currently has 41 ongoing trials involving over 3000 patients (£2.6m). An Institute Centre for Innovation and Translation provides expertise and support to ensure rapid and smooth translation of research into trials (17th Floor of EMH); (Figure 1A). The Institute returned 53 individuals in the 2014 Research Exellence Framework and was the highest ranked Dental School using the power calculation. Basic research has a number of areas of strength; craniofacial development, stem cell biology, tissue engineering and mucosal biology and has in excess of £15m in grant income mainly from RCUK, Wellcome Trust and NIH (USA).

All research in the Institute is monitored by an external international Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) who provide independent advice and comments on all aspects of research. Following the SAB report in 2015 an overarching strategy was proposed to pursue the highest quality research in a defined number of specific areas that can underpin future developments in clinical dentistry and train future academics. Two main areas of international excellence and competitiveness were identified as Craniofacial repair and regeneration (CRR) and Oral disease (OD), particularly Candida and periodontitis. The key CRR projects are led by internationally-recognised researchers.

Lead

Paul Sharp

Professor, Craniofacial Biology; International leader in dental and craniofacial research. Honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh;  MRC Regenerative Medicine Research Committee