Queen Mary, University of London’s Dean for Dentistry, Professor Farida Fortune, has received the prestigious Colyer Gold Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).
Professor Fortune was nominated for her significant contribution to the advancement of all aspects of teaching and research in Dentistry, at undergraduate and postgraduate level, in the UK. The medal was presented on Friday 5 October at the Royal College, Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Founded by the Faculty of Dental Surgery in 1951 to honour the service of dental surgeon and historian Sir Frank Colyer, the medal is awarded at irregular intervals "for liberal acts or distinguished labours, researches and discoveries eminently conducive to the improvement of natural knowledge and of the healing art".
In 2002 Professor Fortune was recruited to the position of Professor of Medicine in Relation to Oral Health at Queen Mary. She had previously held the positions of Head of Oral Medicine at Leeds University and Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine at the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals.
Her clinical expertise in oral medicine, immunology and oral manifestations of systemic disease is well recognised. Professor Fortune’s standing within oral medicine is reflected by her election to the Council of the British Society of Oral Medicine in 2004 and to the role of President in 2007. Also in 2004, Professor Fortune was awarded a CBE for services to dentistry.
Professor Fortune’s main research focus is epithelial biology, including mucosal disease and oral cancer, on which she has published extensively. She has a particular interest and expertise in Behçet’s disease and is a member of the medical advisory panel to the Behçet’s Syndrome Society. Recently, together with Behçet’s Society they secured over £20m in funding to set up three dedicated centres in England for the management of this condition.
Professor Fortune played a leading role in masterminding the delivery of three separate dental facilities for oral healthcare at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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