The research conducted at the Academic Centre for Dentistry in Amsterdam (ACTA), the joint dental faculty of the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam, is very good to excellent. This is the conclusion of a research quality assessment conducted by an external committee. The research quality of ACTA’s two research priority areas – Oral Infections and Inflammation, and Oral Regenerative Medicine – is deemed as excellent. This places the two priority areas among the world’s most influential research groups.
Albert Feilzer, ACTA dean: ‘This outcome supports the decision to concentrate our research in two research programmes. It provides for fruitful interaction between our researchers and makes ACTA an interesting candidate for other parties to collaborate with.’
The committee assessed ACTA on the basis of three assessment criteria: research quality, relevance to society and viability, on a scale of 1 to 4 (1= excellent, 2 = very good, 3 = good, 4 = unsatisfactory). This is the first research assessment within the UvA performed according to the new Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP).
The Oral Infections and Inflammation research priority area (OII) is focused on the etiology (the cause of disease), prevention and therapy of oral diseases (such as caries and periodontitis), and the consequences of these maladies for general health. The committee assessed the quality of this programme as excellent: ‘Many strong publications from the OII group have had a considerable impact in the field of dental research and have influenced opinion development on these topics in the broader scientific community.’ The programme’s relevance to society was judged to be very good, not least because of the ACTA-developed guidelines for oral health in the treatment of diabetes, which was included in the NHG guidelines for general practitioners. The viability of the research was also assessed as very good.
The research quality of the Oral Regenerative Medicine priority area was assessed as excellent. The research within the priority area focuses on the biological processes of adaptation and recovery of bone and periodontium, and the bio-compatibility of materials. According to the committee, the integration of the cell biology sub-group into the prosthodontics/implantology sub-group reflects a very positive development. The cell biology sub-group was considered excellent in terms of originality of thought, experimental approaches, and the quality and quantity of research output. The prosthodontics/implantology group was also deemed to be very good and has a history of a very strong research programme. The social revelance was assessed as very good, partly because of the development of products that enable exciting use of stem cells. The viability of the programme was also judged to be very good.
The report concludes with a number of recommendations. The committee strongly encourages ACTA researchers to seek more external collaboration with researchers from other faculties and European research institutions, as well as to strengthen their interactions with industry.