Browse/search for people

Professor Jonathan Sandy

Professor Jonathan Sandy

Professor Jonathan Sandy

Dean of Health Sciences

39-41 St Michaels Hill,
Bristol, BS2 8DZ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 1530
+44 (0) 117 342 4356


I am part of the The Lifecourse Epidemiology and Population Oral Health Research programme which is a multi-disciplinary team led by Professor Andy Ness. Within this group I support the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded programme (Cleft care UK) where we are evaluating the impact of the centralisation of cleft services following the recommendations made by the Clinical Standards Advisory Group (CSAG) in 1998. The study will repeat and extend the original CSAG survey by reviewing the treatment and outcomes of around 250 five-year old children born with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. It will also examine the characteristics of cleft teams, and the economic impact of the centralisation of cleft services.

I am also leading the Healing Foundation birth cohort gene backed study known as the Cleft Collective. Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common birth anomalies in the world, little is known about the cause and despite modern surgical advances, thousands of children and families affected by cleft continue to face life-long psychological and social challenges.

The Cleft Collective will address the three most important questions that a parent of a cleft child may ask;

• What has caused my child’s cleft?
• Will my child be OK in later life?
• What are the best treatments for my child?

Up to 3,000 children and their families are being recruited to the Birth Cohort Study hosted by the University of Bristol and many are being invited to take part in clinical trials and other studies coordinated by the Clinical Trials Unit, at the University of Manchester and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital . The Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England will be working on the psychological issues associated with cleft lip and palate and the support needed by families and children.

Within a generation, we will know more about the causes of cleft, the impact of cleft on a child’s life and the best treatments, offering new hope for the many thousands of families affected by cleft each year throughout the world.


I am a Professor in Orthodontics and currently Head of the Bristol Dental School.  My dental training was in London (Kings College Hospital, The London Hospital and the Eastman).  I was awarded an MSc in Orthodontics in 1981 and obtained my Diploma in Orthodontics in the same year.  I was awarded FDS by examination the following year at both the English and Edinburgh Royal College of Surgeons.  I completed my Senior Registrar training in Orthodontics in 1985 and was then awarded an MRC Training Fellowship to undertake a PhD.  This was completed in 1988 and the MRC funded me as a postdoctoral scientist for two years in the Biochemistry Department, University of Cambridge.  I was appointed to Bristol University as a Consultant Senior Lecturer in 1991, promoted to a Reader in 1997 and awarded a Personal Chair in 1999.  My main research interests are in cleft lip and palate and the delivery of clinical care by orthodontists.  I have co-authored three books and have over 150 peer reviewed publications. 


I developed the postgraduate programme in orthodontics, was responsible for setting up the NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship and Academic Clinical Lecturer programme and have had leadership roles in education including Chairing the Dental Education Committee and being appointed as Head of Teaching.  I took educational responsibility for the GDC visit in 2003, the discipline audit trail by the QAA in 2004 (where both the BDS and DDS programmes were scrutinised) and the curriculum review in 2005.  I was appointed Head of School in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011 for a further 4 year term.  I completed a term as Lead Doctor for the UHBristol Trust from 2009-2012.


In teaching I have a role in undergraduate and postgraduate clinical supervision and teaching.  I developed the postgraduate programme in orthodontics which had its first intake of MSc students in 1993.  As the programme developed it became clear that the expectations of the research aspects were above that of an MSc.  In 2002 the course was re-written as a professional doctorate and renamed as Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) orthodontics.  In total we have trained or are training over 50 orthodontists.  The programme is clinically based but the research aspects are diverse and have included projects in health services research, basic laboratory sciences (both biological and biomaterials), epidemiology and psychology.  These projects have contributed to wider research agendas including the CSAG study in Cleft Lip and Palate.  Students have been awarded local, national and international prizes for their research and clinical cases.  The course is now run by Professor Tony Ireland with whom I jointly supervise the research projects.


Main research interests are in the anomaly of cleft lip and palate. Led the work in 1996 which informed centralisation of cleft services in the UK and this subsequently resulted in improved outcomes. Responsible for running the Cleft Collective Birth Cohort study and leading the analysis of the Cleft Care UK data which is a re-run of the original work that led to centralisation.

  • cleft lip and palate
  • Memberships


    Health Sciences Faculty Office

    Research topics

    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

    Edit this profile If you are Professor Jonathan Sandy, you can edit this page. Login required.

    PDF versionDownload PDF