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Dorothy Geddes

Born 8 May 1936, Alloa, Scotland.
Died 14 March 1998.

A pioneering dental surgeon, she was the first woman to hold a chair in dentistry in any UK University.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Professor
Honours: OBE

Discover more Dentist on the University of Glasgow Story website


The following achievement is associated with Dorothy Geddes:

First female Professor of Dentistry in the UK
In 1990, Dorothy Geddes became the first female dental academic to take up a professorial position in the UK.


The following honours are associated with this person:


Dorothy Geddes (1936-1998) was a pioneering dental surgeon who was Professor of Oral Biology at the University. Her appointment to this chair made her the first female to hold a chair in dentistry in any UK University.

Geddes was born in Alloa and went to Brechin High School. She studied Dentistry at the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 1959.

She specialised in oral surgery and caries research, pursued first at Birmingham, and later at the Eastman Dental Centre in Rochester, New York. When she returned from the United States she took up a six year Medical Research Council funded post in Newcastle. She then moved to Glasgow where she became a lecturer at the University's Dental Hospital and School. She spent the rest of her career at the University.

Her career broke new ground for women in dentistry. She was the first woman to be awarded the fellowship in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1963, the first female Professor in Dentistry when she was appointed at Glasgow, and she achieved national recognition as the first female Dean of a Faculty of Dental Surgery of any Royal Surgical College in the UK. She was awarded an Honorary FRCS, the highest honour of the College. In 1995 she was awarded an OBE. Just weeks before she died on 14 March 1998 she was awarded the European Organization for Caries Research Rolex Prize.