Professor Paul Cooper has taken up a position at the Dental School in Dunedin New Zealand. Paul was Professor of Oral Biology, Director of Research and Deputy Head of School at the School of Dentistry. He was also Deputy Director of Research in the Institute of Clinical Sciences.
Paul was a great researcher who focused on the oral basic sciences but was able to bridge the gap between bench top to chairside research. His ability to work in the area of interdisciplinary research projects was valuable to the school. He understood the needs of clinicians in dental research. His leadership in research was valued by the School of Dentistry and he was one of the main research leads that helped us do so well in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
The stats of his research are amazing as he has brought in 5 million pounds of funding. The following case study demonstrates this ability to bring people together and stimulate future research. One of his early grant funding was a Wellcome grant to purchase a MicroCT imaging unit. This established a number of projects throughout the school and led to interdisciplinary work with the SciPhy for Health EPSRC doctoral training centre. It has been used in Endodontic and Periodontic publications. It has assisted in many biomaterial and dental material projects. It has even been used in the schools of engineering and Palaeontology. One of his strengths is bringing young scientists into the clinical research environment. He equips them with the skills to work with clinicians and this has led to several successful clinician scientists partnerships in dentistry.
Paul was also a good networker and this ranged from his early days of being involved in the staff student football to his present links assisting the school in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework. Whilst he will be missed, we know that he will be continuing his research links with the school which will enhance our reputation.
The school gathered to say goodbye to Paul in the staff restaurant and there were speeches from Prof Chapple and Paul himself. Paul thanked many people in the School and University who he had worked with over the years. We will miss Paul but know that his future successes will be our success as well.