Eastman Dental Institute


2020 PhD successes: Clinical Research

29 December 2020

Congratulations to all our Clinical Research postgrads who have passed their VIVAs this year.

Congratulations to all our research postgrads who have passed their VIVAs this year, despite the unusual circumstances. Within our Clinical Research Department this included:

Julie Gallagher, who was awarded her PhD for her investigation into the Oral health of elite athletes and impact on performance.

Primary Supervisor, Professor Ian Needleman, said: “This is the most comprehensive and robust study of the effect of oral health on elite athlete performance. 

“Julie travelled the country carrying out oral health assessments at elite training venues prior to Rio 2016. 

“She achieved remarkable engagement within elite sport as witnessed by so many Olympic and Professional teams allowing their athletes to participate. 

“In addition, Julie was able to complete an important behaviour change intervention study with two Olympic teams and a professional rugby team. 

“She showed that oral health and performance can be improved in the world of high performance sport with a number of teams now looking to implement the strategies. 

“Congratulations to Julie and we look forward to continuing the work with her at the Eastman.”

Abdullah Alsoghier, whose PhD thesis was entitled: Patient informational needs concerning oral epithelial dysplasia.

Primary Supervisor, Professor Stefano Fedele, said: "Many congratulations to Abdullah who investigated and confronted the low quality of information currently available to patients at risk of oral cancer, in particular oral dysplasia.  

"He developed a specific information needs instrument (ODIN-Q) which ascertains what patients really want to know from their clinicians and a patient information leaflet to help effective patient-clinician communication. 

"Finally, he assessed the psychosocial aspects such as anxiety, depression and the impact that diagnosis has on affected individuals. 

"Abdullah’s excellent results will be published with the hope that it will aid clinicians to acknowledge this impact as well as inspiring researchers to perform comparative studies in different patient populations. "

Mai Alhamdan, for her work on Strain Mapping in Teeth with Variable Remaining Tooth Structure.

Primary Supervisor, Professor Ailbhe Mcdonald, said: “Mai used innovative techniques to assess strains within teeth both in a broken-down state and with different modes of restoration. 

“This area of research has direct clinical impact as it involves daily clinical decision-making about how a tooth behaves once it has lost tooth structure and ultimately the choice and design of its restoration.

“Through her hard work and diligence, Mai successfully completed a 4 year Clinical PhD within Prosthodontics and Biomaterials and has returned to Saudi Arabia to  a senior lecturing position in Prosthodontics. We wish her well in her bright future ahead.”