UCL News


Spotlight on... Andrew Eder

31 March 2022

This week Professor Andrew Eder, Emeritus Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Dental Education at UCL Eastman Dental Institute, talks to us about his 35-year career and his latest role as Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

Professor Emeritus Andrew Eder

What is your role and what does it involve?

As a dentist, and with a focus on excellence and innovation in clinical dentistry and dental education, I have always done my very best to provide the highest quality of care for patients with complex oral health needs. As a clinical academic, I have also contributed to the training of postgraduates and NHS trainees for over three decades.

In parallel and based on many years of practice and university experience, I have developed a valuable portfolio of transferable skills which have enabled me to make a genuine impact by providing high-value consultancy and volunteering support across a wide range of non-executive and charitable roles – with the latest being at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

The Academy is the coordinating body for the UK and Ireland’s 24 medical royal colleges and faculties. It ensures patients are safely and properly cared for by setting standards for the way doctors are educated, trained and monitored throughout their careers. It is a real privilege to have been appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees and my role is to ensure that the Academy and its members are well-placed to continue to be the voice of doctors on all professional matters, ensuring they can influence health and care policy across the UK.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I was incredibly grateful to have been offered a place at the Eastman Dental Institute to study for my clinical Master’s degree in Conservative Dentistry in 1989. Following completion of my formal postgraduate training, I joined the staff at the Eastman and also developed a part-time specialist practice in central London.

In 2002, soon after the Eastman joined UCL, I was delighted to be appointed Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and, in 2008, Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Dental Education. I retired from my substantive appointment in 2018 but am hugely privileged to be able to continue teaching and examining at UCL as Emeritus Professor

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Alongside my day-to-day activities as a clinical academic, I was appointed Director of Continuing Professional Development in 2002 and Director of Education in 2005, both at the Eastman, and then Pro-Vice-Provost for Short Courses, Professional Development and Executive Education across UCL in 2012.

These senior leadership roles at UCL allowed me to establish teams and platforms to enhance global reach and impact through significant growth of quality face-to-face and online courses and flexible degree programmes for UK and international markets. It was, therefore, very special to be recognised for excellence and innovation in teaching and learning at UCL as a recipient of a Provost’s Teaching Award.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list

I continue to spend up to three days a week in clinical practice in central London and have a special interest in caring for patients with worn teeth. Teeth can become short, sharp and sensitive as they wear due to, for example, grinding at night or through having lots of acidic foods and drinks. As a result, patients can become incredibly self-conscious on smiling and their chewing function can also be badly affected.

Following a very successful series of lectures for dentists on this area in the mid-1990s, we compiled all the presentations into a multi-author textbook Tooth Surface Loss which was published in conjunction with the British Dental Journal in 2000. Together, with my co-editor, Dr Maurice Faigenblum also of UCL, we have co-edited a fully revised and expanded edition Tooth Wear which is in the final proofing stage and due to be released within the next couple of months, once again being published in conjunction with the British Dental Journal.

So, after almost five years of incredibly hard work by over 30 authors from across Europe, this is most definitely right at the top of my to-do list! Here’s to hoping a hard copy will reach UCL’s library in the next couple of months…

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

  • Album: I don’t really have a favourite album but share my wife’s love for a particular song which has now been a favourite of ours for many years What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Just so relevant to the challenges of everyday life and always brings a tear to us both.
  • Film: We absolutely love the twists and turns, as well as the last courtroom scene, in A Few Good Men a US courtroom drama with Tom Cruise and Demi Moore where a young soldier loses his life whilst in the hands of his colleagues who were supposed to have protected him.
  • Novel: I tend to go for thriller-writers like John Grisham. However, a book that really sticks out is The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal which tells the story of a very grand family from 19th century Paris and Vienna who lost everything except for a couple of hundred ivory and wood statuettes which travelled the world.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Grandparents, and even great-grandparents, that I was never able to meet as they passed away before I was born or when I was very young. I’d just love them to meet our own children and grandchildren; family is just so very important.

What advice would you give your younger self or colleagues?

Get yourself a mentor. There is so much to learn along life’s professional journey and there are some very special people out there who are happy to be generous with their time and to share their own experiences. I feel truly blessed to have had six unbelievably helpful individuals throughout my career and there is no way that I would have been able to achieve what I have without their support and encouragement along the way.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I absolutely love playing pool and am incredibly lucky to not only have a pool table at home but also a wife, Rosina, who’s happy for me to have a pool table at home! This is just one aspect of my downtime and our three children, who are now all grown up and married, all play really well and certainly give me a run for my money!

What is your favourite place?

Malta – where my brother and sister were born. My parents spent about 15 years there, together with one set of grandparents and also some uncles and aunts. So, we do try to and visit every couple of years – it’s like home from home from the moment we get off the plane.