Celebration to Honour Professor Eric Reynolds

A function to celebrate Professor Eric Reynolds' 16 year term as Head of the Melbourne Dental School was held at University House and attended by over 100 friends and colleagues.

A function to celebrate Professor Eric Reynolds' 16 year term as Head of the Melbourne Dental School was held at University House and attended by over 100 friends and colleagues.

Professor Eric Reynolds is a Melbourne Laureate Professor and was also Associate Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences of the University of Melbourne.  He has been the Head of the Melbourne Dental School (and prior to that, the School of Dental Science) for 16 years. His tenure represents the longest of any head of School and is by any measure simply an outstanding achievement.

His accomplishments in other spheres are no less exceptional and include his current position as CEO and Director of Research of the Oral Health CRC at The University of Melbourne and Head of the Oral Biology Section of the Melbourne Dental School.

He has been researching and teaching for over 30 years on the aetiology and prevention of oral diseases. He has 255 scientific publications and 22 patents on a wide range of technologies. 

Professor Reynolds is on the Editorial Board for the Australian Dental Journal and has also been a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Dental Research, the publication of the American Association for Dental Research. 

Eric has received numerous awards and distinctions with the most significant being the Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Award in 2002 to recognize the successful application of science and technology and the Victoria Prize in 2005 which is awarded to an individual whose scientific discovery or technological innovation has significantly advanced the State of Victoria. 

In 2005 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to community dental health and to dental education.  In 2011 he received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the International Association for Dental Research and in 2015 he was awarded the Leach Medal at the Lorne 40th International Meeting on Protein Structure and Function.

Eric has driven the School's research agenda and reputation forward to bring it to the lofty heights that it has attained: ranked number 1 in Australia and from independent benchmarking the only University of Melbourne School to be equivalent or better than its counterpart at Harvard University. Also the Melbourne school is the only dental school in Australia to secure the highest possible rating of 5 in its 'Field of Research' in both 2010 and 2012 ERA exercises. None of these things can be achieved without the commitment of individual academics and the support of our professional staff, and work which is developed over a sustained period of time, however it takes an effective Head of School to ensure that the necessary environment is available to facilitate such excellent levels of productivity. Eric has consistently gone to great lengths to do this, be it through the day to day responsibilities of HR management and strategic workforce planning, through to delivering efficiencies which mean that more time and money is freed up to support the funding of positions and infrastructure to enhance research productivity.

Eric's personal research productivity is remarkable given his commitments as Head of School, and we're delighted to see that he'll have plenty to occupy himself with following his stepping down as Head of School with his responsibilities in the Oral Health CRC and his success with NHMRC grants in the recent grant rounds.

Eric has been a planner and instigator of new ventures – The Oral Health CRC of which he was the principal architect and since 1996 Eric has attracted $96.7 million in research funds from the CRC program, NH&MRC, ARC, NIH and industry. He has used these funds to develop technologies that have been licensed by the University of Melbourne to a number of companies and are now in products sold in over 50 countries worldwide. His vision to improve dental education through the establishment of the Melbourne Dental Clinic has paid dividends in terms of clinical experience for the future dental workforce. The Melbourne Dental Clinic places the Melbourne Dental School ahead of any of its competitors in the country for the opportunities provided to the BOH, DDS and the dental specialties. The MDC is now becoming a part of the dental landscape and is establishing itself as a significant oral health care provider in Victoria.

Eric is highly regarded as an excellent citizen of both the Faculty and the University. He has served on committees and working groups across the Faculty and University, despite his extensive commitments in the area of teaching, research and school administration.