Professor Paul Speight celebrated for his impressive achievements

Professor Paul Speight, from the School of Clinical Dentistry, has been honoured in this year’s BDA Honours and Awards round for his impressive contribution to academic dentistry over the past 35 years, with a John Tomes Medal.

Professor Speight is a major international figure, celebrated for his oral and maxillofacial pathology and dental research, and is well-known within the dental profession, and to the BDA for his contributions, both at home and abroad.

In his roles as Head of Department and Dean of the Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry, Professor Speight, had worked as both an educator and researcher, working to further dental research and encourage young dentists into research careers.

He has published extensively, especially in the field of oral and maxillofacial pathology and in the field of oral cancer research, Professor Speight has focused his work on the regulation of epithelial cell behaviour including the role of integrins in tumour invasion and progression.

His more research recent work has focused on the topic of biomarkers, including DNA ploidy status, and studies to evaluate oral cancer screening in primary care.

His commitment to his profession is evident – he served on numerous national and international committees as member, secretary, treasurer and President or Chair and has given many invited lectures at both national and international meetings. Representing the BDA, he has served on the BDA Central Committee of Dental Academic staff and the BDA’s Health and Science Committee, and his nomination for this award was supported by the BDA’s South Yorkshire Branch.

On nominating him, Professor Chris Franklin at the School of Clinical Dentistry at the University of Sheffield, said:

“Professor Speight has been a BDA member for over 25 years and has made major contributions to dentistry, particularly in dental academia. The achievements of dentists working in academia often go unsung, so we are delighted that Professor Speight is being honoured by the BDA.

“He is a fantastic role model for younger members of the profession, and has encouraged many undergraduate students, as well as supervising many PhD students. He has worked tirelessly to further the field of oral and maxillofacial pathology and obtained a huge amount of research income for his University.”

(News story from