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Professor Crispian Scully

20 March 2017

Professor Crispian Scully


Professor Crispian Scully   CBE, DSc, DChD, DMed (HC), Dhc (multi), MD, PhD, PhD (HC), FMedSci, MDS, MRCS, BSc, FDSRCS, FDSRCPS, FFDRCSI, FDSRCSEd FRCPath, FHEA.

It was with great sadness that we received news of the death of Professor Crispian Scully, Emeritus Professor Of Oral Medicine of UCL and past Dean and Director of Research and Studies (1993-2008) of Eastman Dental Institute. Professor Scully was a unique individual who significantly impacted upon very many aspects of oral health care and allied research and education.

His appointment as Dean in 1993 led to a reinvigoration of the Eastman Dental Institute. His leadership led to the appointment of substantial numbers of new research and teaching posts, refurbishment of research, library and IT facilities, the establishment of new MSc and PhD programmes and an expansion of Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses. The impact of such change was significant  – research outputs and income rose substantially hence leading to the Institute being highly ranked in national assessments, the educational experience and opportunities of postgraduates improved and broadened and more patients than ever, often with complex needs, were able to receive high quality Dental Care. Such outcomes, driven by Crispian, led to the Institute being welcomed into UCL in 1999 and receiving the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2003. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1999 New Year Honours. Following his stepping down from the Deanship of the Institute in 2008 he was appointed as Director of Special Operations for the Institute.

Despite these many leadership roles and their attendant successes Crispian authored over 1,100 publications of all types and published over 40 textbooks as author, co-author or editor, several of which he regularly updated and are considered the pre-eminent subject texts (e.g. Scully’s Medical Problems in Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases) and led to the award of publication prizes. His research and publication acumen are further demonstrated by his creation of two journals – Oral Oncology and Oral Diseases, both of which are considered  to be among the best journals of their subject areas - with ever increasing impact factors.

He held senior positions in many national and international specialty organisations including Presidencies of the  British Society for Oral Medicine (on two occasions), the British Society for Disability and Oral Health, the European  Association for Oral Medicine, the International Association for Oral Oncology and the Federation of Oral Medicine. His industry, impact and skills are reflected in the award of University Doctorates (Athens, Granada, Helsinki, Pretoria), Medals (Helsinki, Granada, Santiago de Compostela), awards from  the Spanish, Greek and Romanian Oral Medicine Societies and the UK Award for Most Outstanding Achievements in Dentistry.

Crispian Scully was unique. There is unlikely to be anyone in the near future in dentistry with such energy and focus. Throughout this professional journey Professor Scully was supported and guided by his wife, Zoe, and daughter Frances. It is fitting that those who have benefited from Professor Scully’s life’s work should think of them at this sad time.