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Penn Dental Medicine Becomes First Cochrane Oral Health Collaborating Center

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Alonso Carrasco-Labra, D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine’s Center for Integrative Global Oral Health (CIGOH) has partnered with Cochrane Oral Health to form the Cochrane Oral Health Collaborating Center at Penn Dental Medicine, the first oral health-oriented Cochrane collaborative group in the world. The new Center marks a significant step in helping to expand evidence-based knowledge to inform practice and oral health policy worldwide. 

Cochrane Oral Health, headquartered at The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, is one of the groups within Cochrane, a global independent not-for-profit network that produces systematic reviews across all areas of medicine. Cochrane has more than 37,000 contributors from over 190 countries working together to produce up-to-date, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest to help inform decisions about health care. Since its inception, Cochrane has defined the methodological standards for conducting systematic reviews around the world.

“Cochrane is delighted and supports this new initiative with Cochrane Oral Health,” says Karla Soares-Weiser, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc., Editor-in-Chief of the Cochrane Library. “This international partnership will enhance the impact of the oral health reviews and build on the effective and long-term contribution made by the group in this area.”

“We are thrilled to be joining with Cochrane Oral Health and our colleagues at The University of Manchester to help move oral health care practice and policy forward through this new Center,” adds Michael Glick, D.M.D., Executive Director of CIGOH, the school’s first policy center, which launched in 2021 and where the Collaborating Center is based. 

The Cochrane Oral Health Collaborating Center at Penn Dental Medicine will build upon the work of Cochrane Oral Health, engaging researchers from around the globe in systematic reviews summarizing the best available evidence on oral health topics to help clinicians, policymakers, patients and caregivers make well-informed decisions. Currently, Cochrane Oral Health has a curated collection of more than 200 systematic reviews and meta-analyses of over 34 clinical areas of dentistry. Cochrane Oral Health publishes its reviews, updates and protocols in the Cochrane Library and those produced through the Collaborating Center at Penn Dental Medicine will become part of the Cochrane Library.

“This new partnership places Penn Dental Medicine at the center of the oral health evidence synthesis field globally and aligns with the school’s mission to transform global oral health and well-being through exceptional clinical care, innovation, education and research,” says Alonso Carrasco-Labra, D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., Director of the Cochrane Oral Health Collaborating Center at Penn Dental Medicine and Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences.

The Cochrane Oral Health Collaborating Center will also focus on extensive capacity building and training a new generation of evidence-synthesis researchers and policymakers. A new Master of Science in Oral and Population Health program is set to launch at Penn Dental Medicine this year, and the new Cochrane Collaborating Center at Penn Dental Medicine will present its first workshop on June 5–9, 2023. The five-day course on how to conduct and publish systematic reviews and meta-analyses will be presented with colleagues from Cochrane Oral Health in the United Kingdom.

“We believe this partnership will make a difference in improving health care decisions worldwide and is an exciting development after almost 30 years of contributing to the global oral health evidence base,” notes Professors Jan Clarkson, Ph.D., B.D.S., Anne-Marie Glenny, Ph.D., M.Med.Sci., and Tanya Walsh, Ph.D., M.Sc., of Cochrane Oral Health University of Manchester in a joint statement.

The Cochrane Oral Health Collaborating Center at Penn Dental Medicine also adds to Penn’s affiliation with Cochrane. In 2019, Penn Medicine’s Center for Evidence-based Practice was one of 11 institutions nationwide to join the Cochrane U.S. Network, which was created to expand Cochrane’s national impact.

Cochrane’s work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information and methods. 

The University of Manchester

Part of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, The University of Manchester ranks 35th in the world, ninth in Europe and fifth in the United Kingdom in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2021, and is the largest single-site university in the United Kingdom, with the biggest student community. The University is recognized as a global powerhouse of research, with 93% of the University’s research activity assessed as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”, making a positive impact across culture and creativity, economic development and inequalities, health and well-being, innovation and commercialisation, and sustainability and climate change. 

Courtesy of Penn Dental Medicine

Published on March 8, 2023

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