The Unit of Dental and Oral Health and Health Psychology at the Dental School has been designated a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Public Health Issues on Congenital Anomalies and Technology Transfer. Professor Peter Mossey, has been appointed Head of the Centre.
Since his arrival at the University in 1994, Peter has established a track record in research into the aetiology of craniofacial malformations, particularly cleft lip and palate. A series of national and international research projects in which Peter was involved led to him hosting a major international conference in Dundee on cleft lip and palate under the auspices of the European Science Foundation in September 1997.
This initiated international multi-disciplinary research in craniofacial anomalies and assisted in the setting up of a number of European and Transatlantic projects.
When the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA became aware of the possibilities and advantages of international collaboration, they provided funding for a global project to be co-ordinated by the WHO Human Genetics programme over the period 2000-2005. Four experts in the field were sought to assist with the establishment of global research strategies and Peter and his colleagues were invited to provide the expertise and leadership. The success of the collaboration with WHO in implementing the global research into the aetiology and pathogenesis of craniofacial anomalies has resulted in the recognition of the University as the Centre of Excellence. The Unit of Dental and Oral Health and Health Psychology was also acknowledged as a collaborating partner worthy of WHO collaborative status.
Other members of the team who have contributed towards this collaborative status are Professor Bill Saunders, Dean of Dentistry, Professor David Stirrups, Professor of Orthodontics, John Clark, Consultant in Orthodontics and Pam Houston, Research Assistant.
Two new members, Dr Grant McIntyre Consultant in Orthodontics and Janet Davies, Research Statistician have recently joined the team. In addition there are two external collaborators, Dr David Fitzpatrick, Senior Research Scientist, at the MRC Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh and Professor Julian Little, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Aberdeen.
While a number of units around the world are also collaborating with the WHO in an effort to reduce the health care burden of craniofacial anomalies, Dundee is the first institution in Europe to be granted WHO collaborative status in this field.