Retirements: full-time faculty members

June 23, 2016
The Faculty of Dentistry is saying farewell to two professors who are retiring after many years of commendable performance and service.

Rosamund Harrison, DMD, Cert PedDent, MSc, MRCD(C), Professor and Head, Department of Oral Health Sciences (bio)

Dr. Rosamund Harrison

Dr. Rosamund Harrison

Following general practice in Saskatchewan, an appointment as a lecturer in Child Dental Health in London, England, graduate school in the United States, and an academic position at Dalhousie Faculty of Dentistry in Halifax, Dr. Rosamund Harrison arrived at the University of British Columbia in 1989. She immediately launched into renewing DMD pediatric dentistry teaching at UBC.

After extracting one too many teeth from children wearing diapers, Dr. Harrison resolved to develop interventions to decrease the extent and severity of dental caries in children. She has had the good fortune to work on externally-funded research interventions with Vietnamese and Indo-Canadian moms and tots, low-income high-risk pregnant women, and First Nations communities. Her collaborators have been from dental hygiene, dental public health, psychology, nursing, private practice, and, most importantly, from the communities themselves.

Dr. Harrison has enjoyed serving on the National Dental Examining Board, the Commission for Dental Accreditation, and committees of the BC Dental Association. She has been Chair of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry since 1993 and Head, Department of Oral Health Sciences, since 2012. She was instrumental in developing the UBC specialty program in Pediatric Dentistry.

In 2004, the Canadian Dental Association awarded Dr. Harrison and her co-investigators their Oral Health Promotion Award and, in 2006, she received Honourary Membership in the BC Dental Association in recognition of her health promotion activities. She received a UBC Teaching Excellence Award in 1995 and was thrilled to be the 2010 recipient of the 3M-Espe-ACFD National Dental Teaching Award. She feels privileged to have had the opportunity in her decades’ long academic career to enable graduating DMD and pediatric dental specialty students to enter practice with the necessary compassion and skills to provide quality and caring dental services to Canadian children.

She thanks her dear colleagues and friends for their encouragement, her late parents and her sisters, Christine and Julia, for their love, and her beloved husband, Bill, for always being there.

Alan A. Lowe, DMD, Dip Orthodont, PhD, FRCD(C), FACD; Professor and Chair, Division of Orthodontics; Director, Frontier Clinical Research Centre (bio)

Dr. Alan A. Lowe

Dr. Alan A. Lowe

When Alan Lowe entered the John Barfoot Macdonald Building as a bright-eyed 20 year old in 1968, some six months after the new building opened, little did he appreciate that not only would he complete his undergraduate dental degree there but also that he would serve for 40 years as a full-time faculty member! Dr. Lowe retired on June 30, 2016 as Professor and Chair, Division of Orthodontics, and also served over the course of his career as Department Head, Chair of Undergraduate Admissions, Council Member of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and Director of the Frontier Clinical Research Centre. He developed the most comprehensive undergraduate orthodontic program in North America and was involved in the orthodontic training of more than 2,000 general dentists during his career at UBC.

Both nationally and internationally, Dr. Lowe lectured extensively with a particular emphasis on the etiology and treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. His research activities were funded by provincial and federal governments and he published 145 papers, 180 abstracts and 15 book chapters and he presented 172 invited lectures and 158 continuing dental education courses.

Dr. Lowe was one of the founding members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and served as a member of their Board of Directors, Research Advisor to the Board and Chair of their Award’s Committee. He was the recipient of the UBC Alumni of Distinction Award, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine Pierre Robin Academic Award, the Killam Teaching Award, the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia Distinguished Service Award and the German Society of Dental Sleep Medicine Meirer-Ewert Award for Career Achievement.

With a team of faculty members, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff, Dr. Lowe established a leading research center in the field of oral appliances use for the treatment of sleep disordered breathing. Published cephalometric standards for sleep apnea subjects were extensively used by physicians, dentists, orthodontists and sleep specialists. Evaluations of long-term treatment effects and the cephalometric predictors of good and poor responders were completed. Abnormalities in genioglossus muscle activity and changes in jaw position during sleep were evaluated in both control and sleep apnea subjects. The results of crossover trials of oral appliances when compared to nasal CPAP impacted the worldwide use of oral appliances. The Klearway appliance, invented by Dr. Lowe and patented and licensed by UBC, has improved the quality of life for over 40,000 patients worldwide with royalties being used to support the ongoing activities of his research team. In addition, a covert compliance monitor for intraoral use as well as a remote-controlled titration device used during overnight sleep studies were developed and patented.

Alan Lowe retired with a strong celebratory sense of the successful completion of his academic career and vivid anticipation of new directions to pursue and enjoy. At the time of his retirement, he expressed sincere gratitude for the enthusiastic team of clinical and research staff, students, faculty colleagues and UBC administrators who all contributed to the success of his career. In addition, he owes a debt of gratitude to his family for their consistent love and ongoing support.