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Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE FMedSci DDSc PhD FDSRCS FRCS FRCPsych FRCEM FFPH FLSW

Professor Emeritus in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

School of Dentistry

Media commentator


I am Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Professor at the university's Security, Crime and Intelligence Innovation Institute.

My research on clinical decisions, community violence and the evidence ecosystem has made many contributions to clinical and public policy and to legislation. Prompted by my discoveries I led the development of a prototype community safety partnership which I continue to chair and which was used as a model in the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act which mandated the creation of such partnerships across Great Britain.

Innovations include the Universities' Police Science Institute in Wales, the information sharing "Cardiff Model" for violence prevention which was adopted in the 2008 UK violence reduction strategy, by the Coalition Government in 2010 and by the present UK Government in 2016, and a comprehensive care pathway for people harmed by violence. My field experiments and advocacy on glass injury resulted in a switch to toughened glassware and polycarbonate and plasticware in the UK licensed trade. I initiated and am the author of practice standards published by four medical Royal Colleges.

My proposal in 2008 for an independent professional body for policing was taken up by government; the new College of Policing was launched in 2013 underpinned by primary legislation. My proposal for a similar standard setting institution for probation - now the Probation Institute - was also adopted by government. I was instrumental in the establishment of the new College of Teaching, the independent standard setting institution for school teachers and 0-19 teaching, of which I am a founder trustee. These three new national institutions were all inspired by the medical Royal College model.

My research and advocacy prompted the first National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance and technology appraisal - published in 2000. I won the 2008 Stockholm Criminology Prize (the first UK recipient of what The Times described as "the equivalent of a Nobel prize"); am an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists reflecting my contributions to alcohol and traumatic stress treatment services; of the College of Emergency Medicine; and of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians.

I have served as an elected council member and trustee of the Royal College of Surgeons of England who awarded me an Honorary FRCS in 2012, as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, and as vice chair of the national charity Victim Support. I contributed to the Domestic Violence (Wales) Act and spoke for the NHS at the 2012 launch of the White Paper.

My research and policy proposals on what I defined as the evidence ecosystem led directly to new excellence institutes - What Works Centres equivalent to NICE - in education, crime reduction and other sectors, to the What Works Council based in the UK Cabinet Office which brings these Centres together, to the Police Knowledge Fund (equivalent to the National Institute for Health Research) and to the ESRC Trials Panel - equivalent to the MRC Trials Unit. I initiated the professions summit series and convened the 2013 summit on evidence-informed practice chaired by Lord O'Donnell. Since 2004 I have been a member of the UK government's alcohol strategy group which developed and delivered the national 2012 strategy which includes new policy resulting from my research.

I am a member of the Cabinet Office What Works Council, the Home Office Science Advisory Council and the Welsh Government Public Services Leadership Group.

Current appointments

  • Emeritus Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Vice Dean for Innovation and Engagement
  • Honorary Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Cardiff Health Board
  • Emeritus Professor of the Cardiff University Violence Research Group
  • Emeritus Professor of the Cardiff University Crime and Security Research Institute

Current committee/task group roles

  • Cabinet Office What Works Council
  • Home Office Science Council
  • Trustee, Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons
  • Royal College of Surgeons Honours Committee
  • Wales Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards
  • Board of Trustees, College of Teaching
  • Public Services Leadership Board, Welsh Government
  • Violence against Women and Girls Advisory Board, Welsh Government
  • Information Sharing to Tackle Violence Board, Department of Health/Home Office
  • Health and Enforcement Alcohol Advisory Board, Home Office


I am a member of the Applied Clinical Research & Public Health research theme in the School of Dentistry.

Violence Research Group

I direct the Violence Research Group which bridges the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Psychology and Business, and collaborates with the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.

My proposals that the NHS should be a statutory responsible authority for crime prevention and alcohol licensing were adopted by successive UK governments. In 1996 I set up what proved to be the prototype UK Community Safety Partnership (CSP); a collaboration between Cardiff County Council, South Wales Police, the Cardiff Health Board, the judiciary, Victim Support and Cardiff University - the Cardiff Violence Prevention Group.

Among other initiatives, the group pioneered the combination of police and Accident and Emergency data as a means of targeting police and other violence prevention activity, prompted a switch from annealed to tempered glassware in the licensed trade which led to a substantial fall in glass-related injury, and, with Jonathan Bisson, professor of liaison psychiatry, developed a care pathway for the management of people affected by violence involving primary care, traumatic stress and third sector services.

The group is highlighted as a model of good practice in the 1998 Act. My research findings have been adopted in the 2003 Licensing Act, in the 2007 & 2012 Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategies and by the Law Commission. As a founder Trustee and Vice Chair (2001-2004) of the national charity Victim Support I led the development of integrated services for victims.

My work for the 1993 Royal Commission on Criminal Justice included a BMJ editorial on the role of expert evidence in criminal proceedings. I represent Wales in the WHO Violence Prevention Alliance and have served as a member of many government committees and reference groups including policy seminars chaired by successive Home Secretaries. I also continue to chair the Cardiff Partnership Violence Prevention Group.

Research impact

My research has made many contributions to clinical and public policy and legislation. I led the Clinical Decisions Research Group (1991-1999), which produced more than 40 publications relating to decision making in surgery, dentistry and anaesthesia. It prompted the influential Royal College of Surgeons of England guideline published in 1996 and the historic first National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal on prophylactic removal of third molars (wisdom teeth) in 2000.

As a result of these guidelines and my advocacy for selective surgery, third molar removal declined very substantially: 30,000 fewer third molar operations were carried out in NHS dental services in 2003 compared to 1996.

My research on alcohol misuse established a causal link between binge drinking and injury in assault, in part through NHS R&D and Research Council funded randomised experiments of brief (motivational) interventions in the lives of victims and offenders. I developed cost-effective one-stop alcohol misuse intervention/trauma clinic care, now the subject of "Have a Word" training materials and implementation across Wales and England.

My research findings also include strong links between alcohol prices and injury sustained in violence in England and Wales; that the rate of assault injury in England and Wales remained stable from 1995-2000 and then decreased sharply - a trend which continues to 2013; and that use of unique data from hospital emergency departments can reduce violence in cities cost effectively.

My research with Michael Harrison on the design of cycle helmets led to the development, production and retail sale of the patented FaceSaver helmet, launched by the Formula One driver David Coulthard at the 2002 National Motor Show.

Based on my research on public services I proposed the establishment of a Royal College of Policing (founded in 2013) and university police schools as a foundation for police services.

I am a keen advocate of rigorous evaluation in public services, for example by developing an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) field trials unit (founded in 2014), through establishing NICE equivalents in crime reduction and education (the "What Works" centres announced in 2013); and by developing the roles of practitioner-academics across public services.

I was instrumental in establishing the Probation Institute. As founder secretary and chairman of this national specialty academic Association, I pioneered an integrated clinical/academic training programme which became a UK model across medical science. I have served as president of my specialty international research society.


I am Emeritus Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Emeritus Professor at the university's Security,Crime and Intelligence Innovation Institute.

On completion of my clinical training at Kings College Hospital I graduated from the University of London in 1973. After House and Senior House Officer appointments at Kings, the Queen Victoria Hospital East Grinstead and the Eastman Dental Hospital in London I was appointed Registrar in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Oxford where I held a Research Fellowship in the Nuffield Department of Surgery.

Research for my Oxford MSc established that lack of scarring following low temperature injury reflects preservation of the extracellular matrix and that healing by primary and secondary intention represents a continuum rather than distinctly different processes.

I completed my specialist surgical training in Leeds University Hospitals during which a UK Government Overseas Development Administration (now the Department for International Development) appointment took me to the Ahmado Bello University Hospital in Nigeria where I investigated the association of Epstein Barr virus with ameloblastoma. These findings were published in the journal Cancer.

Observations that the miners strikes in the Yorkshire Coalfield in the 1980s were associated with increased community violence prompted my PhD, "Assault: characteristics of injured and injuries", after my appointment as Senior Lecturer/Consultant at the University of Bristol.

This interdisciplinary research, spanning the social and medical sciences, provided many new insights, particularly the great extent to which violence resulting in NHS treatment is not reported to the police and the substantial mental health impact on victims - post traumatic disorder and other conditions. These discoveries were published in medical and social science journals and I summarised implications for clinical services and violence prevention in a series of 10 BMJ and Lancet editorials which have helped inform my research and innovation since then.

I live with my family in leafy north Cardiff, where, with others interested in the Industrial Revolution in Wales, I built a working blast furnace. I am an elected member of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales.

Honours and awards

I was appointed CBE in the 2008 New Year Honours for services to the justice system and to healthcare.

Major awards:

  • 2008 - Stockholm Criminology Prize (the "Criminology Nobel")
  • 2010 - Queen's Prize in Higher Education
  • 2014 - Colyer Gold Medal of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • 2014 - Bradlaw Orator, Royal College of Surgeons of England

Professional memberships

I am an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and of the Faculty of Public Health at the Royal College of Physicians.

I was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2002 and to the Academy Council in 2011 and am a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

  • British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England.
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists.
  • Royal College of Emergency Medicine,
  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
  • Faculty of Public Health.