Mona Nasser

Academic profile

Professor Mona Nasser

Director Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR)
Faculty of Health

The Global Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Mona's work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

Goal 01: SDG 1 - No PovertyGoal 03: SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-beingGoal 04: SDG 4 - Quality EducationGoal 08: SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic GrowthGoal 09: SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and InfrastructureGoal 10: SDG 10 - Reduced InequalitiesGoal 12: SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and ProductionGoal 13: SDG 13 - Climate ActionGoal 14: SDG 14 - Life Below WaterGoal 16: SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong InstitutionsGoal 17: SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

About Mona

Current roles and responsibilities:
  • MSc in Astrophysics, Liverpool John Moores University (expected 2024) (Dissertation: How does a neural network model for measuring spatial inclination of spiral galaxies perform against more traditional models of measuring inclination of spiral galaxies)
  • PhD (Health Services Research/Clinical Epidemiology) 2018 Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Plymouth (Dissertation:  Setting priorities for conducting and updating systematic reviews
  • Postgraduate certificate (PgCert) Clinical Education 2013 University of Plymouth
  • MSc in Dental Public Health, 2009, University of London (King's College of London) (Dissertation: Patient record systems in Dentistry: a systematic review)
  • DDS (Doctorate in Dental Surgery), 2005, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBMU) (Tehran, Iran) (Dissertation: Antimicrobial Activity of Mineral Trioxide Aggregate (MTA), Portland cement and Calcium Hydroxide against five oral microorganisms - in partnership with Pasteur Institute in Tehran). 
Other Training:
  •  Interactive Space Programme 2020 (ISP20), International Space University – 2020
  •  Data Science Programmes (PenARC Health Services Modelling Associate Programme)
  • Building Cost-effectiveness Models for Health Technology Assessment – CPD course (Sheffield University)
  • Social Design, Society, Visual Design and Code (School of Machines, Making and Make Believe)
  • Medical Bodies (School of Machines, Making and Make Believe)
  • Certificate in Bi-functional Prosthetic System, BPS-Brand Prosthetic (Education Centre of Ivoclar Vivadent, Tehran, Iran)
  • Certificate in Aesthetic Dentistry (Education Centre of Ivoclar Vivadent, Tehran, Iran)
Dr Mona Nasser DDS, MSc, PhD, FHEA
I am a trained dentist, clinical epidemiologist, oral health researcher, and interdisciplinary methodology. I have >100 peer-reviewed publications, primarily research articles in journals, including well-known ones like Lancet and BMJ. I have 20 years of experience in health, medical, and dental research, health policy, evidence synthesis, health technology assessment, evidence-based health information, and providing consultancy and advice for national and international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Institute of Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), and Public Health Organizations. I have collaborated with policymakers, patients, professionals, and the general public in setting research priorities and designing and conducting studies. My expertise extends to facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists, artists, engineers, and others as part of scientific and artistic projects.
Currently, I am a visiting fellow at the Berlin Institute of Health/QUEST Centre, working with Prof. Ulrich Dirnagl's group on methods for appraising and synthesizing in-vitro studies in a systematic review. Prior to joining the dental school, I served as a research associate and methodologist in the Department of Health Information at the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), the German equivalent of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK. My work focused on assessing evidence to inform reports commissioned by the Federal Joint Committee (GBA). During my tenure at IQWiG, I co-authored a report commissioned by the Commonwealth Fund, comparing evidence-based healthcare processes in France, Germany, England, and Australia to inform the Comparative Effectiveness Bill in the USA.
I have received recognition for my contributions, including the Bill Silverman Prize (Cochrane Collaboration) and the British Dental Editors Forum (BDEF) Young Dental Communication Award (BDJ). Additionally, I was awarded a scholarship from the European Space Agency to attend ISP20. I was the REF coordinator for UoA3 for REF2021 and was included both in REF 2014 and REF 2021 (in both cases, I have submitted an impact case study). My impact case study for REF 2014 (“Advancing methods for prioritizing health research”) was praised by the REF panel for its reach and significance - “Some of the case studies were considered to be of very considerable impact in terms of their reach and significance, especially in relation to genetic counseling competencies and prioritizing health research.” My 2021 REF impact study outlines the impact of my work on policies and processes of health research funders to add value to research.
I am also a reviewer for UK and European funding agencies and for BMJ open, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Nature Communication, and other journals.
Current Research:
I am the Director of Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR). I co-lead a research group around “Oral health services, workforce development and clinical epidemiology research group”. We are soon launching the Artificial iNtelliGence and roboticS in denTistry (ANGST) lab“. 
My research uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate complex challenges in dental care and similar environments along with designing, piloting, implementing, and evaluating interventions to address the challenges. I focus on challenges that require an interdisciplinary approach to both understanding the issues and addressing them. I currently focus on two larger areas:
a) Dental Health Services Research with a focus on tailoring health services or care for vulnerable population and technologies that can support that. We are looking at digital dimensions of affective intelligence in clinical care and training;
b) Space Medicine and Bioastronautics Research with areas of focus on impact of spaceflight environment on craniofacial and dental structures and using systematic reviews to inform operational procedures.
I also focuses on specific methodological areas:
  • Research Priority Setting (with a focus on how to be inclusive and diverse)
  • Tools to appraise and synthesis in-vitro studies in systematic reviews
  • Developing methodologies for systematic reviews in space medicine research
  • Developing methods to study decision making in health care in different (often complex) context
Active Projects:
Teaching and other engagements
I have led, designed, and taught modules on critical appraisal, evidence based I have led, designed, and taught modules on critical appraisal, evidence-based healthcare, systematic reviews, and decision-making as part of the BDS undergraduate program, Physician Associate program, MBA in Healthcare, and MClinRes at the University of Plymouth. I was a visiting lecturer at Modena University, teaching research priority setting as part of an MSc program. Additionally, I have taught research methods, systematic reviews, evidence-based health, and evidence-based policy-making in universities and research institutes worldwide, including in Turkey, Brazil, Iran, Bahrain, Germany, the UK, and other countries. I have developed several mentorship programs to enhance capacity in communities with limited expertise and knowledge.
I am a futurist and have developed an approach to conduct immersive futuristic workshops that incorporate uncertainties in scientific knowledge and social and cultural issues, embedding them in a scientific fiction story. This approach, called MetaFuturism, can be explored further at this link.
I have organized MetaFuturism workshops for institutions such as Torbay Hospital, Rhode Island School of Design (USA), Royal Institute for Theatre and Cinema & Sound (Brussels, Belgium), EDGE conference, Cochrane Colloquium (2018), International Space University (Online), Wearable Technology Hackathon (organized by the University of the Philippines Open University), and Space Lab
I have extensive leadership experience. I have led and co-founded several international initiatives, such as The Cochrane Priority Setting Methods Group and the Evidence-Based Research Network. I was previously involved in founding and co-founding the Cochrane Developing Countries Network and served as a Board Member (Trustee) of the Cochrane Collaboration from 2011 to 2017.
I maintain an active Twitter account @monalisa1n and manage other accounts for specific projects, such as @capsmg. I also have a blog ( and occasionally curate other Twitter accounts like @realscientists or @wepublichealth.
Outside of work, I am a visual artist ( Instagram: @evidencepilot). I co-founded an artistic collaboration called MetaFuturism ( As part of these initiatives, I have designed several immersive futurism workshops in Belgium, the UK, and virtual events and hackathons. I have contributed to two art installations/performances: EXOMOON and Biomodd [ABD14].
I am a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and have taught adults and children yoga. 
I am also a PPL (private pilot license) pilot, skydiver, and paraglider. I have participated in a four-way skydiving competition Rookie team and flew navigational flights between UK and France.

Supervised Research Degrees

Previous research students and staff:
Alexander Pollard - Academic Clinical Fellows in Restorative Dentistry Nicole Thomas (Director of studies/PhD) Oral Health Literacy Intervention (viva 2022)
Alexander Legge- Academic Clinical Fellow in Primary care/ MClinRes student - The impact of enhanced PPE on clinical performance and communication
Tom Thompson - postdoctoral fellow in oral health inequalities (2020-2021)
Jacqui Knight - Visiting Specialist on the project (Enhancing the acquisition of soft skills, sensitivity and anticipation in training clinical dentists) (2021)
Agatha Haines, Ideas Exchange: Design and the post bio-tech-body(Co-supervisor), PhD as part Cognovo project
Anastasios Plessas (Director of studies), ResM, Impact of stress on the practice of dentistry
Zoe Allen (co-supervisor), PhD, Exploring the referral interface between general dental practice and salaried dental services
Jaysan Charlesford and Martha Paisi: (Postdoctoral fellows in Oral Health Inequality - investigating the impact of a community and patient centred Dental School on the existence and gradient of oral health inequalities in Devon and Cornwall (ICOD project).
Klara Łucznik and Mihaela Taranu - (Postdoctoral fellows) ColLaboratoire 2020 project
Visiting Researchers:
Yvette Gonzalez, MPH, Senior Climate Researcher, Sky Indicators project
Gulcan Tecrili - Health Economist, Turkish Ministry of Health (Supported by Short Scientific Mission (STSM) COST EU Action EVBRES) 
Sumanth Kumbargere - Faculty of Dentistry (Manipal University, Melaka campus) 
Shiamaa Al Mashhadani - Dental Services Department, Dubai Health Authority
Alexandru-Petru Vasile - Intern, European Space Agency, Cologne, Germany (Supported by Short Scientific Mission (STSM) COST EU Action EVBRES)


Critical Appraisal Topics (CAT) Dissertation Module for MSc programmes in Dentistry (restorative dentistry, periodontal surgery, minor oral surgery)
Academic Tutor
Teaching philosophy
I am dedicated to find better ways to teach research methods that is accessible to a wider range of individuals without loss of depth, subtlety or nuance. I have a variation of roles as module lead, tutor, facilitator, supervisor and mentor in my teaching career and I use a combination of lectures, plenaries, interactive workshops and hands-on exercise to deliver most of my teaching. I tap into the knowledge and expertise in performing arts to find better ways to engage students and use the space and knowledge from visual arts and interactive design to identify better visual tools and objects in teaching. I recently have worked with different groups of students on using speculative scenario along with real-life scenario to more efficiency teach them more complex topics e.g. methodological topics that need to consider values and preferences of a diversity of stakeholders. I ensure that my teaching is based on the best available evidence and research.
I have a lot of experience using a range of media and collaborating with artists and designers in teaching and research projects. So I engage with students and researchers beyond the teaching classroom in social media or other platform to enhance engagement, crowdsourcing educational support and life-long learning.