Institute of Dentistry

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Professor Farida Fortune, CBE, BDS, MBBS, MRCP, FRCP, FDS RCSeng, FGDP, PhD, Dip Ed teachers Med/Dent


Head of Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences

Telephone: +44 20 7882 7154
Room Number: Blizard Building


Professor Fortune is Professor of Medicine in relation to Oral Health in the Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences (CDOS). She graduated in both Dentistry and Medicine from University College, University of London. In 1992 she obtained her PhD in University of London. She is on the specialist register for Oral Medicine in Dentistry (GDC), and Immunology in Medicine (GMC). She was appointed Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine at UMDS (Guys and St Thomas Hospital). In 1998 she was conferred the title of Professor of Oral Medicine at Leeds University.

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.

She has extensive experience in teaching within both the undergraduate and postgraduate sector. Her expertise is in curriculum development, assessment methodology and quality assurance. She works in these areas both in the UK and abroad. She chaired Royal College of Surgeons examination committee for a number of years. She has being seminal in the reintroduction of the LDS RCSeng., which was the first licensed examination in Dentistry. She is one of the founding members of Interprofessional Education Network of Royal Society of Medicine 2013. Member of (UKHEAC) UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee.

Nationally and internationally her strategic focus has been on widening access and increasing uptake into higher education. In London she and works with several schools to develop aspiration in schoolchildren from the earliest years. She chairs London Healthcare Education Widening Access Committee. The focus abroad has been to build capacity and increase uptake using nontraditional models. An example is in-community and community outreach programs for teaching and training. The evidence shows that these approaches are   a productive, dynamic and efficient use of resource to deliver high quality teaching and training. She has played a major role internationally in health and education initiatives and remains committed to global collaboration to enhance health and education. Her current focus is to embed health and education within the contextual focus of national and societal cultures, and economics. Ongoing programs in Africa are with Global Knowledge Education Network, SCiEH, and Goonhilly Space station to deliver affordable access to health and education, through UN 2015 Sustainable Goals.

Her clinical expertise in Oral Medicine, Clinical 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 and as President of Odontology section of Royal Society of Medicine in 2011. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2007.

In 2012 Professor Fortune played a leading role in the organisation, implementation and the delivery of three separate dental facilities for oral healthcare at the 201Olympic and Paralympic Games. The organising medical team was awarded the prestigious Nursing Times award 2013. The Team of the Year Award celebrates new projects that demonstrate the value of teamwork in the UK health care sector.

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 funding to set up three dedicated Centres in England for the management of this condition. She is the Scientific Advisor to the International Society for Behçet's disease 2012-14. Further to this, she is a member of the Research Grants Committee (Hong Kong) - Biology and Medicine panel 2012-17

In 2004, she was awarded a CBE for services to dentistry. In 2012, she was awarded prestigious Colyer Gold Medal for significant contribution to the profession through their research, teaching and clinical work.


Research Interests:

Professor Fortune is the Centre Lead for CDOS which includes Oral Biology, Oral Microbiology, Oral Pathology, Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. The Centre provides teaching support for all the above specialties in the undergraduate Dental curriculum and participates in BSc course. CDOS also runs postgraduate courses in Masters in Clinical Dental Science, Masters in Experimental Oral Sciences as well as a full programme of PhD students.

The centre has a very strong research focus. We have developed our research portfolio to encompass a basic and translational focus, which fits the wider research strategy of the Institute of Dentistry and QMUL. The Centre has invested in establishing a major research group in Oral Cancer within the Institute of Dentistry. We have built strong links with the local community, as well as international collaborators in countries where oral cancer has a major impact of health services. Oral cancer and immunity and infection research will form a major focus for us in the next 10 years.

The Oral Oncology research crosses several areas within the Institute of Dentistry and the Institutes of Cell and Molecular Biology, Cancer, as well as Engineering and Material Science at QMUL. Links within the Institute Of Dentistry are robust particularly with the Public Health group of Professor Croucher who has developed strong links with CRUK. A research driven clinical multidisciplinary clinic for the follow up of precancerous oral lesions will be embedded in the BLT academic units.
Development of Oral Cancer will not detract from the strong infection/inflammation research within CDOS. Indeed all specialties will have research embedded in both Oral Cancer and infection/inflammation. This research will be supported by the Clinical specialties within CDOS.

Professor Fortune's primary research interests focus on the role of inflammation and immune related mucosal diseases. She is especially interested in the influence of the genetic profile on inflammatory mucosal disease; the microenvironment changes and the genetic basis of oro-facial systemic diseases; the influence of inflammatory status on wound healing and the prognosis and the regulation of healing in normal, fibrotic and ulcerative lesions affecting the oral mucosa.

In addition to this, she has been working in biometrics since 1996. The facial measurements for dysmorphology with Drs. LiFong Zu and Adegun have made a unique contribution to biometrics. This has now being used for accurate analysis for facial dysmorphology to assist clinical treatment. She has recently been working alongside Professor Dan Bader, Adegun, Tomlins and  Hagli-Pavli we develop a technique called Scattering Attenuation Microscopy (SAM) to be used for the early detection of oral cancer as well as other mucosal lesions. The pilot stage is complete. The in-clinical standardization of the technique is now taking with  Professor Bader, and Adegun together with an  international group to further develop the instrument.

Professor Fortune's clinical expertise lies in systemic manifestations of oral disease. Some of these are:

Specific mucosal immune mediated diseases

Professor Fortune is the Director of the London Centre of Excellence for Behçet's disease. She is leads the largest of the 3 national commissioned Centres in the UK. The multidisciplinary clinical team includes Professor Stanford, Professor Jawad, Dr. Kidd, Dr Buckland, and Dr. Buchanan. The research team includes Lesley Bergmeier, Hagli-Pavli, postdocs and PhD students. The clinic is protocol lead with outcomes which feed into the laboratory and clinical research. The centre also runs clinical trials as part of the UK Behçet’s Network. We work closely with the International Behçet’s Society, our European network of clinicians and researches and both our national and International patients’ organisation. Professor Fortune is on the executive of the International Behcet’s Society

Professor Fortune's research interests are the immunology and outcomes of other mucosal diseases and systemic disease presenting in the Oral tissues, e.g. Renal diseases post renal transplant Haemato-onclogy after bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy-Graft Versus Host disease.

In the aforementioned specialties, the mouth is an important site to assist in the diagnosis and monitor disease activity e.g. graft versus host disease, mucosal effects of changes in the oral microflora, or the direct effects of complicated medication regimes on the mucosa.

Gastroenterology (inflammatory bowel diseases)

Professor Fortune has special expertise with patients with Orofacial granulomatous and Oral Crohn's disease. Her work in this area is part of the Biometrics program. Along with the clinical team she has provided input to several Paediatric Centres across the UK. Together with a major children's charity (CICRA) which funds their research, the team has prepared information leaflets for children and parents with this problem.

Immunology/auto inflammatory conditions

Professor Fortune is also involved in clinical research regarding the diagnosis of HIV/Aids and inflammatory conditions. It is not uncommon to make the diagnosis of HIV/Aids in her oral medicine clinic, with patients sent from the primary care sector. In her clinics she also diagnoses and manages rheumatologic conditions such as Sjögren's disease and Xerostomia. Our Oral Medicine group also runs joint salivary gland clinics with rheumatology referrals and ensures that patients receive a clinical service with specialized expertise.

Selected Publications:

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