Alumna Profile — Professor Kobkan Thongprasom
17 April 2013
Professor Kobkan Thongprasom has received many honours in her career, including being appointed to the highest level of Professorship by the Council of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok – the first occasion that this has been achieved within the University’s Faculty of Dentistry. Professor Thongprasom reflects upon her career and time at UCL Eastman Dental Institute.
“I updated my knowledge as well as gaining excellent experiences. Indeed, I found what I learned to be useful throughout my career up to the present day.”
Professor Thongprasom obtained her first dental degree in 1977 from Chulalongkorn University, the same university at which she continues to work. After further studies within Chulalongkorn’s Faculty of Dentistry, she travelled to London in 1987 to study for an MSc in Oral Medicine at what is now UCL Eastman Dental Institute. The move initially presented some challenges.
“Encouragement from the people around me at the Institute helped me through a difficult period in my life. Adaptation from the different cultural and life style were very difficult for me at that time.”
“The Head of Oral Medicine, Dr Fergal Nally, my advisor, Dr Lydia Ivanyi, and my supervisor, Professor Joanna Zakrzewska, were very kind to me. They offered advice on how to adapt and I learned so many things that made me able to face real life issues.”
“Apart from the thesis and clinical studies, the one year at the Institute gave me many other invaluable life skills.”
Professor Thongprasom successfully completed her MSc in 1988, whereupon she returned to Chulalongkorn University as a senior lecturer and later progressed to head their Department of Oral Medicine.
She achieved professorship in 2000, and in 2006 was awarded the highest Royal Thai Decoration – the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant. In 2011, Professor Thongprasom achieved the distinguished honour of being awarded the status of “highest level” Professor.
“The wonderful experiences at UCL Eastman Dental Institute enhanced my skills and made me able to contribute to a variety of research studies in this field. The Oral Medicine MSc at the Institute was well worth doing.”
The Professor’s sustained research on immunobullous disease of the mouth has made a significant impact upon the management of patients across the globe. She is a member of the editorial boards of many leading international dentistry journals, a member of the executive committee of the International Association of Oral Medicine (IAOM) and has been a member of the European Association of Oral Medicine (EAOM) since 2003.
“My work and current research are now helping Thailand and our neighbouring countries to improve the oral health of our patients and reduce their suffering. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all colleagues and staff at UCL Eastman Dental Institute who provided me with a great opportunity and supported me on my career path.”