Professor Sarah Baker, Chair in Psychology as applied to Dentistry at the University of Sheffield has been awarded the 2018 Distinguished Scientist Award for Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research by the International Association of Dental Research (IADR). This highly prestigious award is designed to and recognise outstanding achievements in the areas of behavioural science and health services research as they relate to dentistry. The award will be presented at the IADR meeting in London on July 25th 2018.
Professor Baker received her PhD in Psychology in 1994 and became a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society in 2002. Following posts in Psychology Departments at the Universities of Coventry, Surrey and Keele, she moved to the School of Clinical Dentistry at the University of Sheffield in 2005.
She has been an executive member of the Behavioural, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research group of the IADR since 2010, serving as President in 2013-2014. She is associate editor of the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, and on the editorial board of Community Dental Health and International Dental Journal. Her central research interest is the examination of the psychological, social and behavioural factors which influence how individual’s experience oral health conditions and dental treatment. Understanding the role of such psychosocial factors allows her to explore potential mechanisms by which oral health impacts on individual’s quality of life and, in turn, develop, implement and evaluate intervention strategies to improve oral health both within clinical practice and for public health dentistry. She has led many successful multidisciplinary research teams, collaborating with researchers around the world on a diverse range of projects from periodontal disease, dentine hypersensitivity, xerostomia, caries, head and neck cancer, gerodontology, orthognathic surgery, dental anxiety, to implementation of evidence-based care. She has authored over 180 peer-reviewed publications, and been awarded over £1.6 million in research and consultancy income.
Professor Baker’s other recent awards for her contributions to social and behavioural sciences in dentistry include the 2013 and 2016 Giddon Award from the IADR for Distinguished Research in the Behavioural Sciences.