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Institute of Dentistry - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor David Williams, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCPath, FDSRCS.


Professor of Global Oral Health

Room Number: Office 7, Floor 4, Institute of Dentistry


Professor Williams is Professor of Global Oral Health at Bart’s and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London and Academic Lead, Centre for Dental Public Health and Primary Care. Previously he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences and Professor of Pathology at the University of Southampton between 2004-10 and then Vice Provost between 2010-11.

He is currently Co-chair of the FDI Vision 2030 Working Group, a Member of the Advocacy Task Team, a Member of the Oral Health Observatory Task Team and a Member of the Science Committee of the FDI World Dental Federation. He is Joint Chair of the Project Team that has developed the Standard Set of Adult Oral Health Outcome Measures. The Project Team comprised 23 international experts nod service users and the project was a joint initiative of the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measures and the FDI World Dental Federation.

Since June 2020 he has been a Member of the Expert Advisory Group of the Global Self-Care Federation, which represents associations and manufacturers in the self-care industry and is committed to promoting sustainable growth and better global health outcomes for all. He was President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) between 2009-10. During his Presidency, he was the driving force behind the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Agenda (GOHIRA) initiative. This sets out the research agenda to generate the evidence for a strategy that will reduce inequalities in oral health within a generation. This agenda is a key IADR strategic priority and is being implemented through the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network.

Professor Williams was one of the founders of the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network and its President from 2014-17.

Professor Williams is also involved in the Barts Centre for Squamous Cancer which is a cross-institute collaborative centre at QMUL, bringing together research groups with diverse expertise from across the School of Medicine and Dentistry to tackle the problem of squamous cancer and drive clinical innovation.

CentreDental Public Health and Primary Care


I participate in the Dental Public Health teaching to years 2, 3 and 4 of the BDS course. I also supervise 4-5 students each year for the Student Selected Component on Global Oral Health. I also supervise Medical students on the Global Health BSc Course for their research dissertations on Global Health.


Research Interests:

Since 2009: Global Oral Health Inequalities

Professor Williams’ principal research focus is on the causes and consequences of the oral health inequalities that exist both within and between countries. This led to the establishment of the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Agenda (GOHIRA) initiative (see profile). The IADR-GOHIRA call to action prioritised the “develop(ment) .. , in partnership with cognate evidence-based medical and dental organizations, (of) a knowledge base that uses a standard set of reporting criteria.” In collaboration with Prof Michael Glick, University of Buffalo, USA, Professor Williams has led an international collaboration to develop a consensus dataset that integrates clinical measures of oral health with patient-reported physiological and psychosocial measures. This project is being undertaken under the auspices of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement and FDI the World Dental Federation. In addition to addressing a key IADR research priority, the dataset provides an instrument to measure oral health status and treatment outcomes in general dental practice. This is aligned with the principle of value-based healthcare that takes into account outcome measures that matter to patients. 

Prior to 2009: The Oral Mucosa in Health and Disease

Structure and function of oral mucosa: focused on the structural and functional nature of the protective barrier of oral mucosa and the effects of environmental agents on its integrity. Mucosal disease, with special reference to HIV infection: I was the convenor of the international workshop that characterised the oral mucosal lesions definitively associated with HIV infection. This classification has been adopted universally. Mucosal response to Porphyromonas gingivalis: focused on the interaction between this key periodontal pathogen and host neutrophils, keratinocytes and fibroblasts This research was recognised by the International Association for Dental Research in 1996 through a Distinguished Scientist Award, the most prestigious that the Association can confer.


  1. Ni Riordain R, Glick M, Al Mashhaani S, Aravamudhan K, Barrow J, Cole D, Crall J, Gallagher JE, Gibson J, Hedge S, Kaberry R, Kalenderian E, Karki A, Celete RK, Listl S, Myres SN, Niederman R, Severind T, Smith MW, Thomson WM, Tsakos G, Vujicic M, Watt RG, Whitaker S, Williams DM (2020) Developing a standard set of patient-centred outcome measures of adult oral health - an international, cross-disciplinary consensus. Int Dental J
  2. Glick M, Monteiro Da Silva O, Seeberger GK, Xu T, Pucca G, Williams DM, Kess S, Eisele J-L, Severin T (2012) FDI Vision 2020: shaping the future of oral health. International Dental Journal 62: 278–291.
  3. Scragg MA, Alsam A, Rangaranjan M, Slaney JM, Shepherd P, Williams DM, Curtis MA (2002) Nuclear targeting of Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 protease in epithelial cells. Infect Immun 70: 5740-5750. 
  4. Murray PG, Niedobitek G, Kremmer E, Grässer F, Reynolds GM, Crutchley A, Williams DM, Müller-Lantzsch N, Young LS (1996) In situ detection of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded nuclear antigen 1 in oral hairy leukoplakia and virus-associated carcinomas. J Pathol 178: 44-47.
  5. King GN, Healy CM, Glover MT, Kwan JTC, Williams DM, Leigh IM, Worthington HV, Thornhill MH (1995) Increased prevalence of dysplastic and malignant lip lesions in renal transplant recipients. New Engl J Med 332: 1052-7.

All publications

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