Dr Mona Nasser
Associate Professor of Evidence Based Dentistry
Peninsula Dental School (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry)
Associate Professor in Evidence based Dentistry
I am currently the Associate Professor in Evidence based Dentistry in the Faculty of Dentistry(University of Plymouth), the REF coordinator for unit of assessment 3, chair of the Cochrane Priority setting Methods group, steering group member of the Evidence based Research Network, Methods Editor of the Aerospace Medicine systematic review group, Vice-president of the Evidence-based Network of International Association of Dental Research (IADR) and leading the Clinical trials in Interplanetary Missions (CTIM) project.
I have published over 50 peer-reviewed journals, including leading medical journals - Lancet (impactfactor 2015 is 44.002), BMJ (impact factor 19.697), the Cochrane Library(impact factor 2015 6.035) and JAMA dermatology (impact factor 5.097). I was included in the REF2014 and also submitted a REF impact story “Advancing methods for prioritising health research” http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/CaseStudy.aspx?Id=4645. The REF panel has provided the following feedback with regard to my impact story: “Someof the case studies were considered to be of very considerable impact in terms of their reach and significance, especially in relation to genetic counselling competencies and prioritising health research”.
I have founded or co-founded several international initiatives around the world – The Cochrane priority setting methods group (http://priority.cochrane.org), the Evidence based Research Network (www.ebrnetwork.org), and the aerospace medicine systematic review group (http://www.aerospacemed.rehab/systematic-review-group).I was previously involved in founding/co-founding the Cochrane Developing Countries Network and the VITAMIN initiative (Virtual training and mentoring international network). Both initiatives focused on mentoring researchers in developing countries to conduct systematic reviews. I have been a Board Member(Trustee) of the Cochrane Collaboration 2011-2017. The Cochrane Collaboration is the leading evidence-based health organisation in the world. The product of the Collaboration is a key resource used by health professionals, patients and policy makers, worldwide.
My current research focuses on meta-research on how research funders contribute to reducing research waste, methods to prioritise research and set a research agenda, using a combination of clinical epidemiology and creative and interdisciplinary approaches to innovate the concept of clinical trials for future space missions, develop methods to conduct systematic reviews focused on aerospace medicine and finally innovative approaches towards to social engagement in research specifically on engagement of disadvantaged groups designing outcomes to predict reduction of oral health inequalities.
I am quite passionate about engaging with a wider audience about my work and research so I have relatively active twitter account @monalisa1n and host other accounts for specific projects e.g. @capsmg, have a blog (http://monanasser.wordpress.com) and sometimes curates other twitter accounts like @realscientists http://realscientists.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/smiling-wide-and-flying-high-mona-nasser-joins-real-scientists/ or @wepublichealth http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/wepublichealth-an-experiment-in-citizen-journalism-meets-public-health/.
In addition to my academic position, I am a PPL pilot, skydiver and astrophysics students. I have participated in a four-way skydiving competition Rookie team but currently work towards to become a freeflier and aerobatic pilot and participate in related future competitions.
My current research:
Meta-researchon how research funders contribute to reducing research waste and methods to prioritise research and set a research agenda
Meta-research is an evolving scientific discipline that aims to evaluate and improve research practices. I lead the work around funding agencies as part of the wider Reduce Research Waste initiative (REWARD – www.researchwaste.net). The REWARD initiative is an international collaboration with academics from around the world e.g. Stanford University (USA), Toronto University (Canada), Bond University (Australia), University of Edinburgh (Scotland). For the funding project, I work with ZonMW (a key health care research funder in Netherlands),National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (a key health care research funder in UK), French ministry of Health, James Lind Alliance (UK), Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland), Bond University (Australia), Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Norway), Bergen University College (Norway) and University of Southern Denmark (Denmark). I have published the results of this project in Lancet. The project already had clear outputs and impact on the work of other organisations and will be part of a new impact story for REF 2020. We are currently planning a more in-depth studies how clinical epidemiological methods inform funding process. The key publications included:
· Nasser M, Clarke M, Chalmers I, Brurberg KG, Nykvist H, Lund H &Glasziou P 2017 'What are funders doing to minimise waste in research?' TheLancet 389, (10073) 1006-1007.
· Moher D, Glasziou P, Chalmers I, Nasser M, Bossuyt PMM, Korevaar DA,Graham ID, Ravaud P & Boutron I 2016 'Increasing value and reducing wastein biomedical research: who's listening?' LANCET 387, (10027) 1573-1586.
· Nasser M 2017 'How Do Selected National Funding Agencies Communicate the Concept of Cognitive Innovation on Their Public Website?' AVANT. Trends inInterdisciplinary Studies.
The Cochrane Priority Setting Methods group is an international collaboration led by me between Plymouth University, John Hopkins University (USA), Cambridge University (UK), UCL (UK), Ottawa University (Canada), Bihar Monitoring and Evaluation Project (India), Modena University (Italy), Melbourne University(Australia). I conduct methodological and implementation research as part of an international collaboration of researchers and stakeholders with an interest in research priority setting methodology (Cochrane priority setting methods group– http://priority.cochrane.org). This also includes an interdisciplinary project as part of the larger CogNovo project (www.cognovo.eu) with colleagues from the arts, humanities and cognitive sciences. The project looked at how the interactive design approach to biomedicine can raise new ways to approach research questions that to address clinical problems. The Journal of Clinical Epidemiology agreed to devote a special issue to research priority setting to publish my work along with my research collaborators. The results of this project were part of a REF impact story that was submitted in 2014 http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/CaseStudy.aspx?Id=4645and praised by the REF panel for its reach and significance. There are organisations around the world that use the publications to implement new approaches to set priorities in their organisation. Some of these key publications includes:
· Nasser M, Ueffing E, Welch V & Tugwell P 2013 'An equity lens can ensure an equity-oriented approach to agenda setting and priority setting of Cochrane Reviews' J Clin Epidemiol 66, (5) 511-521.
· Nasser M, Welch V, Tugwell P, Ueffing E, Doyle J & Waters E 2013'Ensuring relevance for Cochrane reviews: evaluating processes and methods for prioritizing topics for Cochrane reviews' J Clin Epidemiol 66, (5) 474-482.
· Rosala-Hallas A, Bhangu A, Blazeby J, Bowman L, Clarke M, Lang T,Nasser M, Siegfried N, Soares-Weiser K & Sydes MR 2018 'Global health trials methodological research agenda: results from a priority settingexercise' Trials 19, (1).
There are some videos available that outline the work that we are doing:
· A video explaining our work on funders and reducing research waste https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cgvaSk3wwM&t=100s
· A video explaining on research priority setting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaB074Rgg7w
Current research Students and Staff:
· Sumanth Kumbargere (PhD student - Director of Studies) – An Equity-Oriented approach to setting priorities for Research
· Agatha Haines (PhD student - Second Supervisor) – Ideas Exchange-understanding the human objective (part of the Cognovo project - www.cognovo.eu)
Related current funding:
CA17117 -Towards an International Network for Evidence-based Research in Clinical Health Research
Using a combination of clinical epidemiology and creative and interdisciplinary approaches to innovate the concepts of clinical trials for future space mission and develop methods to conduct systematic reviews focused on aerospace medicine
We piloted and used methods of evidence synthesis and mapping to provide an overview of evidence for certain research questions as part of the aerospace medicine systematic review group. Two of the systematic reviews are already published:
· Winnard A, Nasser M, Debuse D, Stokes M, Evetts S, Wilkinson M, Hides J& Caplan N 2016 'Systematic review of countermeasures to minimise physiological changes and risk of injury to the lumbopelvic area following long-term microgravity' Musculoskeletal Science and Practice 27, S5-S14.
· Richter C, Braunstein B, Winnard A, Nasser M & Weber T 2017 'HumanBiomechanical and Cardiopulmonary Responses to Partial Gravity – A SystematicReview' Frontiers in Physiology 8.
This includeddeveloping new methodological tools like judging the quality and indirectnessof bed rest studies https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318744754_AMSRG_Bed_Rest_Assessment_Tool_v11.
In addition, as part of a collaboration with researchers from the Trans-technology Research group, the SEADS international network, CogNovo, the University of the Philippines, the Torbay Hospital Virtual Reality team, and enthusiastic independent researchers, we re-imagined how clinical trials could look in future interplanetary missions. The project was a combination of a methodological thought experiment and creative, interdisciplinary and interactive workshops. The project not only generated some suggestions for innovative methodological approaches for conducting clinical trials but also prompted a discussion on re-thinking the relation between patients and clinicians in the context of interplanetary missions. The results of the first part of the project was presented at the International Astronautical Conference(IAC) in Bremen Germany on 2 Oct 2018. In their abstract for “Conceptualising the design of clinical trials and its associated support systems in interplanetary missions”, the authors identify five key aspects for a conceptual framework to focus on patient commitment and motivation.
Nasser M,Peres N, Knight J, etc. Conceptualising the design of clinical trials and its associated support systems in interplanetary missions. 69th International Astronautical Conference 2018.
There are some videos available that outline the work that we are doing:
· A video on the first workshop run in Torbay Hospital https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6--c2OIA8w/
· A video explaining our work on aerospace medicine systematic reviews https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0XqsQgwG7E
Current Research Students or Staff:
Nick Perez(PhD student - third supervisor), cinematic interface for cognitive explorationin medical simulation (although the PhD is not directly related to the project,the knowledge and experience on using the cinematic interface was a keycomponent to inform the creative aspect of this project)
Innovativeapproaches towards to social engagement in research specifically on engagementof disadvantaged groups designing outcomes to predict reduction of oral healthinequalities.
We use an evidence based and inclusive approach to run our research programme. All of students and staff engage with stakeholders to prioritise, select research question, design and implement the research project. For example, two research questions by stakeholders was how to decrease waste in dental practice and the impact of fear and anxiety of dentist decision making. Both projects are ongoing – some related publications:
Plessas A,Delgado MB, Nasser M, Hanoch Y & Moles DR 2018 'Impact of stress on dentists' clinical performance. A systematic review' COMMUNITY DENTAL HEALTH35, (1) 9-15.
Richardson J,Grose J, Manzi S, Mills I, Moles DR, Mukonoweshuro R, Nasser M & Nichols A 2016 'What's in a bin: A case study of dental clinical waste composition and potential greenhouse gas emission savings' BRITISH DENTAL JOURNAL 220, (2)61-66
This includes a research project that was recently prioritised and funded by the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise. We conducted a systematic review of oral health inequality measures that was presented in IADR London in July 2018 and currently conducting interviews with homeless individuals and single mothers to design a new measurement tool.
There are some videos available that outline the work that we are doing:
· A video on how a priority setting exercise lead to our research on sustainability in dental practices https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b3_qGu2URY
· A video that outlines some of my early works on public engagement in research that long term led to these projects https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvXNN8gUexI&feature=youtu.be
Current Research Students or Staff:
· Anastasios Plessas (ReM student, Director of Studies) – impact of stress on the practice of dentistry
· Martha Paisi (Postdoctoral Fellow in Oral Health Inequalities), Impact of a community and patient-centred dental school on the existence and gradientof oral health inequalities in Devon and Cornwall
· Shiammaa Al Mashhadani (PhD student, Director of Studies) Oral Healthcare of children with disability in United Arab Emirates
· Fiona Cunningham (MSc student) What is the optimal treatment considering efficacy, occupational factors and cost effectiveness for treating non-cavitated occlusal caries in a military population: sealant or conventionalrestorations
· Christopher Munn (MSc student) Calcium phosphate derivate and fluoride versus topical fluoride in patients with xeostemia
Related current funding:
PeninsulaDental Social Enterprise (PDSE), Impact of a community and patient-centred dental school on the existence and gradient of oral health inequalities in Devon and Cornwall
Dental Education and Training Limited, Developing sustainability in dental practice and education through an action research approach
Research Degree Supervision
· Anastasios Plessas – Impactof stress on the practice of dentistry (part-time ResM student) – Director ofstudies (Started Oct 2015)
· Zoe Allen – exploring the referral interface between general dental practice and salaried dentalservices (part-time PhD student) –co- supervisor (Started Jan 2013)
· Agatha Haines – Ideas exchange: Understanding the human object (full-time PhD student)(co-supervisor) http://trans-techresearch.net/agatha-haines(part of the cognovo project www.cognovo.eu)(Started April 2014)
· Nick Perez - cinematicinterface for cognitive exploration in (medical) simulation (part-time PhD student)(co-supervisor) http://www.trans-techresearch.net/research/phd-research/phd-candidates/nick-peres/
Grants & contracts
Awards, contracts & Grants:
Co-Investigator, EU COST Action, CA17117 - Towards anInternational Network for Evidence-based Research in Clinical Health Research.
Principal Investigator, Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE), Impact of a community and patient-centred dental school on the existence and gradient of oral health inequalities in Devon and Cornwall. £92,922
Co-investigator, Dental Education and Training limited, Developing sustainability in dental practice andeducation through an action research approach. £8000
Co-investigator, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), A systematic review of physical activity foralcohol and substance use disorders: evidence synthesis with stakeholderengagement to formulate practical recommendations. £ 149,946
Co-investigator, General Medical Council. Understanding differential attainment across medical training pathways (narrative synthesis). £34,837. 2015
2nd place, British Dental Editors Forum (BDEF) Young Dental Communicator Award 2014.
Co-investigator. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) contract. Production of an evidence review of approaches for conveying oral health promotion messages by dental teams £54,628. 2014-2015.
CO-investigator. ISSR Small Collaborative Award - How can dentistry be sustainable? An exploratory study. £9790 (Co-investigator). 2014-2015.
Co-investigator. EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN-IDP 604764; 2013-17 €4.1m) "CogNovo: Cognitive Innovation". Denham S (Coordinator, Plymouth University); Harris, Waddington, Hanoch, Dales, Nasser (Plymouth), Katsikopoulos, Beck (Berlin), Djulbegovic (Florida): Project 14. Irrationality and Decision Making.
Bill Silverman Prize 2012 for the research project (Nasser M, Welch V, Tugwell P, Ueffing E, Doyle J, Waters E.Ensuring relevance for Cochrane reviews: evaluating processes and methods for prioritizing topics for Cochrane reviews. J Clin Epidemiol 2012 Apr 19).
Principal investigator, Developing a research programme for empiricial studies on health research priority setting methodology awarded by International Research, Networking and Collaboration, Round 3 scheme through University of Plymouth (2011-2012)
Collaborator, A mixed-method study to investigate the referral behaviours and attitudes of NHS general dental practitioners in making referrals from primary dental care to specialist surgical services for the extraction of teeth in North Devon, NHS North Devon (2012)
Co-investigator, Prioritising Cochrane review topics to reduce the know-do gap in low- and middle-income countries, The Cochrane Collaboration prioritisation fund, (2007-2008)
Cochrane Developing Countries Stipend. The Cochrane Collaboration 2007
Silver Medal in National Student Biology Olympiad (Iran), 1999
- IHC Health Technology
- VOYAGE: Rural and urban ageing and health inequalities
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Other academic activities
- Shamliyan TA, Kane RL, Ansari MT, Raman G,Berkman ND, Grant M, Janes G, Maglione M, Moher D, Nasser M, RobinsonKA, Segal JB, Tsouros S. Development of Quality Criteria To EvaluateNontherapeutic Studies of Incidence, Prevalence, or Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases: Pilot Studyof New Checklists [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Researchand Quality (US); 2011 Jan. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=methresdisease
- NasserM , Sawicki P. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care: Germany. Issue Brief (Commonw Fund). 2009 Jul;57:1-12. The full report was published on the Commonwealth fund website on 28 July 2009 http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Other/2009/Comparative-Effectiveness-Across-Countries.aspx
- Karimkhani C, Boyers LN, NasserM, Dellavalle R. Mapping research prioritization by The CochraneCollaboration to Global Burden of Disease 2010 data. Cochrane Methods. IssueSeptember 2014. Available at: http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/ccoch/file/Files/Coch_Methods2014.pdf
- NasserM , Crowe S, Welch V, Ueffing E.Proposed Agenda setting and priority setting methods group. Cochrane Methods.Cochrane DB Syst Rev 2011 Suppl 1: 37-38. http://www.cochrane.org/sites/default/files/newsletters/coch_meth_2011.zip
- NasserM . Priority setting in theCochrane Collaboration. Cochrane Methods. Cochrane DB Syst Rev 2010 Suppl 1: 6. http://www.cochrane.org/sites/default/files/uploads/Newsletters/Cochrane%20Methods%202010.pdf
- Fox DM, Nasser M.Informing the politics of prioritizing (and funding) systematic reviews:another potential step for the Agenda and Priority Setting Methods Group. Cochrane Methods Supplement 2013. ISSN: 2044-4702. http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/ccoch/file/Files/Cochrane%20Methods%202013.pdf
- Pooler J, Nasser M. Challenges in conducting priority setting exercises for Cochrane entities. Cochrane Methods Supplement 2013. ISSN: 2044-4702. http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/ccoch/file/Files/Cochrane%20Methods%202013.pdf
- Nasser M, Tibi A, Savage-Smith E. Ibn Sina’s Canon of Medicine: 11th century rules for assessing the effects of drugs. The James Lind Library.(www.jameslindlibrary.org). Accessed Sunday 6 July 2008.
- Nasser M ,Tibi A (2006). Ibn Hindu and the science of medicine. The James Lind Library ( www.jameslindlibrary.org ).
I wrote blog post for the following websites
1) Cochrane Blog - What is a good topic for a Cochrane Review? Wha tis a “real uncertainty”? http://www.cochrane.org/news/blog/what-good-topic-cochrane-review-what-%E2%80%9Creal-uncertainty%E2%80%9D
2) British Medical Journal (BMJ) blogs - How can research publication be improved? http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2015/09/30/mona-nasser-how-can-research-publication-be-improved/
3) ISSR blog (currently ISSR is called Earth Sustainability Institute)- Uncertainties, knowledge gaps and research priorities. Uncertainties, knowledge gaps and research prioritieshttp://issrplymuni.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/june-2013-uncertainties-knowledge-gaps.html
There is a short interview with me in the Anniversary video of the Cochrane Collaboration talking about the Priority Setting Methods Group at time 1:40.
I have also been asked by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), which serves as the regional office for World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Americas, to host and run four webinars on my work on research priority setting. I ran the webinars but did not edit or prepare the videos.
1) Session one– Meet the Methods Group: An introduction to the Cochrane Priority Setting Methods Group https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1bCO3wNZOY
2) Session two– An Equity Lens for Priority-Setting Approaches in Systematic Reviews https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OT2C0bMO5Y
3) Priority Setting for Cochrane Review Groups: Tips, Tricks, and Case Studies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OT2C0bMO5Y
Social Media - I run a personal blog http://monanasser.workdpress.com and a twitter account@monalisa1n. I talk about my research along with my personal interests inaviation. This makes the public more engaged. With others, I also run researchfocus twitter accounts @capsmg (priority setting) @ebrnetwork (evidence basedresearch network) and sometimes curate twitter chats on issues faced byCochrane authors (#cochraneauthor). As part of this project, I curated otherresearch-focused twitter accounts. These are the reports:
Introduction - Smiling wide and flying high – Mona Nasser joinsReal Scientists http://realscientists.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/smiling-wide-and-flying-high-mona-nasser-joins-real-scientists/
Final report - Crowdsourcing the best in science: thanks andfarewell to Mona Nasserhttp://realscientists.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/crowdsourcing-the-best-in-science-thanks-and-farewell-to-mona-nasser/
Curating @wepublichealth 22-28 Sep 2014http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/wepublichealth-an-experiment-in-citizen-journalism-meets-public-health/
Curating @wethehumanities 12-19 Jan 2015 https://wethehumanities.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/12th-19th-january-mona-nasser/