Public Release: 

Manchester oral health pioneer wins second major honour in six months

University of Manchester

Professor Anthony Blinkhorn of the School of Dentistry at The University of Manchester has been awarded the prestigious H. Trendley Dean Distinguished Scientist Award for 2006 by the International Association of Dental Research (IADR).

The honour has been bestowed for Professor Blinkhorn's ground-breaking research on public health and health services, which also earned him an OBE from the Queen just six months ago.

The annual award, supported by Colgate-Palmolive and the estate of water fluoridation pioneer Frank McClure, was first presented in 1964; and is based on an academic's published research achievements over the past ten years. A global panel of past prize-winners selected Professor Blinkhorn from a host of international entrants, making him the first North West academic to win the award.

Professor Blinkhorn said: "I feel very honoured to have been given such a prestigious award, which actually recognises the achievements of everyone I have been lucky enough to work with over the past ten years. I would particularly like to thank Martin Tickle and Keith Milsom, Directors of the Oral Health Unit, and all my colleagues at Manchester, as well as my wife and fellow dentist Fiona, a constant source of inspiration and advice.

"Undertaking research in primary care is a difficult and daunting task, and teamwork is the only way to achieve results. Our work has led directly to the formation of the National Oral Health Unit within the National Primary Care R&D Centre at the University, which is making a real difference to the development of more effective dental policies and services in this country."

Head of the School of Dentistry Professor Kevin O'Brien said: "Anthony's work has elevated dentistry research in Manchester to an unparalleled international level, and we are extremely proud of his recent accomplishments."

The University's Vice President for Research Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell added: "We are delighted by Professor Blinkhorn's wonderful achievements, which demonstrate that he is amongst the world leaders in his field."

The Distinguished Scientist award was created in memory of the late H. Trendley Dean, President of the IADR in the Forties. He was dedicated to the development of dental public health, serving as First Dental Officer with the National Institute of Health, Dental Director of the Public Health Service and the first director of the National Institute of Dental Research in the United States.

It will be presented to Professor Blinkhorn at the IADR's annual scientific meeting in Australia in June.


Notes for Editors
Professor Blinkhorn is available for interview on Friday 13 January in the morning only. For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Photographs of Professor Blinkhorn are available upon request.

Professor Anthony Blinkhorn OBE, BDS, FDS, PhD, MSc, FFPH, FIHPE

Professor Blinkhorn qualified in 1970 and became an associate in a general dental practice in London. In 1971 he was awarded a Fellowship to study Public Health and Health Education at Manchester Medical School, and then undertook a PhD in Behavioural Sciences in the Dental School at the Victoria University of Manchester.

In 1976 he became an outreach teacher in Salford supervising dental undergraduates, joined Edinburgh Dental School in 1979 as a Senior Lecturer and became an NHS Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at Glasgow Dental School in 1984. He was appointed Reader in Paediatric Dentistry at Glasgow University in 1989, before moving to Manchester University in 1991 as Professor of Oral Health.

His main clinical interest is the care of children with medical or physical handicaps and learning difficulties. Professor Blinkhorn developed services for such patients at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and currently undertakes outpatient and inpatient clinical services at St Mary's Children's Hospital, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and the Dental Hospital.

Professor Blinkhorn was co-author of the Department of Health document 'Options for Change' which suggested how dentistry could be modernised in order to offer a better service to patients and improve the teaching of dental undergraduates. He is co-director of the National Oral Health Unit based at the University, which is taking forward research in primary dental care.

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