Jon Bennett

Jon Bennett

Associate Director of Undergraduate Dental Studies

Peninsula Dental School (Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry)


  • Academic lead in the basic sciences, the applied diagnostic sciences and pathology as applied to Dentistry
  • Module Lead - Integrated Dental Sciences


  • BSc Hons (University of London. 1977)
  • BDS (University of London. 1981)    
  • MA (University of London. 2004)
  • MEd (University of Exeter. 2013) 
  • DPhil (University of Oxford. 1991)
  • FDSRCSEng (Fellow in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 1986)
  • MFGDPRCSEng (Member of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 2016) (ad eundem)
  • FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 2002)
  • FAoME (Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators. 2015)

Professional membership

  • General Dental Council (GDC) -  Full Registration no: 55636
  • British Dental Association (BDA)
  • British/International Associations for Oral and Dental Research (BSODR/IADR)
  • British/International Associations for Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (BSOMP/IAOP)
  • Association of Basic Science Teachers in Dentistry (ABSTD)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)
  • Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts (RSA)

Roles on external bodies

  • Examiner, Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England: 1996-date
  • External Examiner, University of Dundee: 2017-date
  • External Examiner, University of Leeds: 2017-date
  • President: Association of Basic Science Teachers in Dentistry: 2013-date
  • Assistant Editor - Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Teaching interests

  • Basic Medical Science as applied to Dentistry with particular emphasis on Anatomy and Physiology
  • Applied Clinical Science contextualised to the needs of primary care and secondary care Dentistry with special emphasis on General Pathology, Oral Medicine and Pathology and the biological mechanisms of human disease processes
  • Contemporary approaches to student learning and assessment in the basic and applied medical sciences
  • Research informed teaching

Research interests

Historically, my research has been in the areas of Oral Pathology and Bone Biology at University College London and the University of Oxford.  Following appointment to a teaching role at Peninsula Dental School at its inception 2007 to develop the basic and clinical sciences in the new BDS programme, I have sought to foster links with biomedical science colleagues in the University of Plymouth, to identify common interests and a shared research vision. This has lead to the establishment of several projects themed around interactions of bacterial products (e.g. Lipopolysaccharides) with oral tissues, and has contributed to the establishment of this area as a growing theme within Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD). Although primarily in a teaching role I have lectured widely in the UK and overseas and have  regularly presented at international meetings and conferences. Furthermore, since arriving in Plymouth I have co-supervised three successful PhD's.

From an educational perspective, I have been instrumental in introducing novel methods of assessment to the dental curriculum, notably progress testing, believed to be the first time this assessment strategy has been used as a summative tool in Dentistry.

My current research interests include...

1. Interactions between physical and biological factors in the oral environment and the oral tissues

2. Assessment of basic and applied science knowledge in contemporary problem based curricula

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Recent Theses - Details of Masters/PhD degree completions prior to 2010 will be provided on request

• Belfield L. A.  ‘Interactions between Porphyromonas gingivalis and macrophages in Oral Pathology’ PhD – 2013

• Triner J.C.  ‘Defining neurochemical properties and functions of primary sensory neurons in the rat trigeminal ganglion’ PhD – 2013

• Helley M. ‘Toll-like receptor expression and signalling in rat trigeminal neurones: Consequences for oral infection and mechanisms of orofacial pain’ PhD - 2016


Selected Papers  - A full list of publications together with details of published research abstracts, invited lectures and conference papers is available on request (last updated - 27th December 2015).

1. Belfield L.A., Bennett J.H., Abate W., Jackson S.K. (2017) Exposure to Porphyromonas gingivalis LPS during macrophage polarisation leads to diminished inflammatory cytokine production. Archives of Oral Biology. V81. pp 41-47. doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.04.021 

2. Helley M.P.,  Abate A., ,  Bennett J.H.,  Thompson S.W.N. (2015)  The expression of Toll-like receptors and co-receptors in neurochemical sub-populations of mammalian trigeminal & dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons. Neuroscience. 310, 686-698. 

3. Ali K., Coombes L, Kay E.J.; Tredwin C., Jones G. Ricketts C.,  Bennett J.H.  (2016) Progress Testing in Undergraduate Dental Education: The Peninsula Experience and Future Opportunities. European J. of Dental Education. V20(3). pp 129-134.

4. Bennett, J., Freeman, A., Coombes, L., Kay, L., & Ricketts, C. (2010). Adaptation of medical progress testing to a dental setting.. Med Teach, 32(6), 500-502. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2010.486057

5. Zolfaghari, P. S., Packer, S., Singer, M., Nair, S. P., Bennett, J., Street, C., Wilson, M. (2009). In vivo killing of Staphylococcus aureus using a light-activated antimicrobial agent.. BMC Microbiol, 9, 27. doi:10.1186/1471-2180-9-27

6. Kay, E., & Bennett, J. (2010). Evidence-informed dental student recruitment techniques. British Dental Journal, 208(3), 127-131.

7. Bennett, J. H., Bennett, E. R., Lowry, J., & Derry, J. (2005). Defining the educational needs of recent dental graduates preparing for the Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery examination. Br Dent J, Suppl, 21-25. doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.4812788

8. Patrikidou A., Abou-Sleiman P., Bennett J., Delhanty J. D. A., Harris M. (2002) A novel, de novo germline TP53 mutation in a rare presentation of the Li-Fraumeni syndrome in the maxilloafcial area. Oral Oncology. V38. pp 383-390.

9. Bennett, J. H., Moffatt, S., & Horton, M. (2001). Cell adhesion molecules in human osteoblasts: structure and function.. Histol Histopathol, 16(2), 603-611. Retrieved from

10.  Bennett, J. H., Carter, D. H., Alavi, A. L., Beresford, J. N., & Walsh, S. (2001). Patterns of integrin expression in a human mandibular explant model of osteoblast differentiation.. Arch Oral Biol, 46(3), 229-238. Retrieved from

11. Bennett, J. H., Thomas, G., Evans, A. W., & Speight, P. M. (2000). Osteosarcoma of the jaws: A 30-year retrospective review. Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology Oral Radiology and Endodontology, 90(3), 323-333. doi:10.1067/moe.2000.108274

12. Bennett, J. H., Morgan, M. J., Whawell, S. A., Atkin, P., Roblin, P., Furness, J., Speight, P. M. (2000). Metalloproteinase expression in normal and malignant oral keratinocytes: stimulation of MMP-2 and -9 by scatter factor.. Eur J Oral Sci, 108(4), 281-291. Retrieved from

13. Goodman, J. R., Gelbier, M. J., Bennett, J. H., & Winter, G. B. (1998). Dental problems associated with hypophosphataemic vitamin D resistant rickets.. Int J Paediatr Dent, 8(1), 19-28. Retrieved from

14. Ketabchi, A., MacRobert, A., Speight, P. M., & Bennett, J. H. (1998). Induction of apoptotic cell death by photodynamic therapy in human keratinocytes.. Arch Oral Biol, 43(2), 143-149. Retrieved from

15. Crean S. J., Bryant C., Bennett J. H., Harris M. (1996) Four cases of Polymorphous Low Grade Adenocarcinoma. International J. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery - V25. pp 40-44.

16. Bennett, J. H., Shousha, S., Puddle, B., & Athanasou, N. A. (1995). Immunohistochemical identification of tumours of adipocytic differentiation using an antibody to aP2 protein.. J Clin Pathol, 48(10), 950-954. Retrieved from

17. Bennett, J. H., Hunt, P., & Thorogood, P. (1995). Bone morphogenetic protein-2 and -4 expression during murine orofacial development.. Arch Oral Biol, 40(9), 847-854. Retrieved from

18. Barrett, A. W., Bennett, J. H., & Speight, P. M. (1995). A clinicopathological and immunohistochemical analysis of primary oral mucosal melanoma.. Eur J Cancer B Oral Oncol, 31B(2), 100-105. Retrieved from

19. Beresford J.N, Bennett J. H., Devlin C., LeBoy P., Owen M. E. (1992)  Evidence for an inverse relationship between the differentiation of adipocytic and osteogenic cells in rat marrow stromal cell cultures. J. Cell Science - V102. pp 341-351.

20. Bennett J. H., Joyner C. J., Triffitt J. T., Owen M. E. (1991) Marrow Adipocytes and Fibroblasts have Osteogenic Potential. J. of Cell Science - V99. pp 131-139.