Training and Education: Trained in Dentistry (Royal London Hospital) and Medicine (University College London) with one year between at the University of Connecticut undertaking research into the taxonomy of oral microorganisms involved in rapidly advancing periodontal disease. With a view to pioneering a new field of Oral Dermatology, she trained in dermatology at St John’s Institute of Dermatology and Oral Medicine at Guy’s Hospital undertaking an MD which bridged the two disciplines and started a new research area in the study of mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP). Her academic vision was to spearhead research, inspire and improve teaching and training and ultimately clinical care.
Her research spans 3 areas:
1) understanding disease mechanisms
2) improving diagnosis
3) optimising treatment of immunobullous (IB) diseases and lichen planus.
As the faculty Lead for translational research into IB diseases, she has supervised 3 PhD students and several dermatology and oral medicine specialist trainees. Her Lab is currently working on improving diagnostic techniques using biomarkers in serum and saliva, identifying specific epithelial target antigens and investigating the role of the oral microbiome to further understanding of pathogenesis. Additionally the group have developed and utilised novel clinical outcome measures to improve management of mucocutaneous diseases. The ‘Oral Disease Severity Score’ is already being taken up in other centres in the UK and internationally and contributed to the successful REF impact statement 2014 3b. Her research output includes over 80 peer-reviewed publications.
Educational roles: Her aim as lead for human diseases at King's is to nurture and educate students to the highest level in medical competencies. Additionally she teaches and trains UG dental students, specialist Oral Medicine and Dermatology trainees locally and nationally, MSc and PhD students, in the management of immunobullous and complex mucocutaneous diseases. She has been a Training Programme director (2003-17) and Educational supervisor and have national roles in planning UG/PG curricula. She is a frequent invited speaker nationally and internationally and am recognised by King’s College of Educators as a Senior Fellow HEA.
Clinical roles: She leads the combined oral dermatology clinic, set up in 1994 in both the department of Oral Medicine and St John’s Institute of Dermatology. This integrated service attracts tertiary referrals (78% in 2018) from across the UK and as well as optimising care, provides dental UG students and postgraduate specialist trainees in Dermatology and Oral Medicine with vital clinical skills and is an ideal setting for undertaking clinical research. Additionally she works as a general dermatologist currently at St John’s Institute of Dermatology but until 2018, held a PT consultant post at Imperial College NHS FoundationTrust, where she ran specialist clinics in skin cancer and vulval disorders.