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Our work on oral cancer has informed Department of Health work on the feasibility of cancer screening. Researchers from the School have prepared the UK National Screening Committee and British Dental Association guidelines on prevention and early detection of oral cancer in primary care. Laboratory research has led to a greater understanding of the cell biology of oral cancer and the role of innate immunity in cancer and oral mucosal diseases.

Our dental public health research is wide-ranging and life-changing. An outstanding example is our research into children and young people’s oral health using a combination of clinical and social research strategies to give children an active voice on oral health, to develop a full understanding of the impact of oral health and related conditions on children and their families, and to measure the impact of oral health on children's quality of life.

Our partners

Our research is funded by the major UK research councils and charities including the MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, Yorkshire Cancer Research and Wellcome Trust, as well as by NIHR and NIH (USA). There is a seamless collaboration between the University and hospital research programmes with a co-ordinated programme of clinical research into oral health. This includes research into community, individual and disease factors with evaluation of diagnostics and outcomes of new interventions (a ‘community to clinical’ concept).

Across the University, we work with ScHARR, Medicine, Chemistry, Chemical and Process Engineering, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, the Tissue Engineering Research cluster and the Yorkshire Biomaterials Network. Work includes development of new synthetic materials, biosensors to detect infection and the improvement of community dental health.

For more information about our research:



Professor Fiona Boissonade –––

Chronic pain, including that from the orofacial region,

represents a major public health problem, impacting on health, quality of life and the economy. With the lack of reliable

treatment, this is an area of high unmet clinical need.

Professor Boissonade’s group has a major research interest in the

mechanisms of altered neuronal excitability that occur under the

pathological conditions of nerve injury and inflammation, and which

contribute to the development of chronic pain.

Much of this work has been done at the academic–industrial interface.

In the recent Research Assessment Exercise


of our research was graded as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

Professor Boissonade’s collaborations with GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Eli Lilly focus on the development of novel analgesics based on the

identification of a range of regulators of neuronal excitability. In addition,

ongoing projects with Renovo plc are directed towards improvement of nerve regeneration following injury.


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