Personal profile


Kevin is Professor of Orthodontics.   He is currently Director of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre Clinical Trials Unit.  


Kevin O'Brien trained as a dentist at Manchester and qualified in 1979 and worked for four years in general dental practice in Middleton and Chorlton. He then returned to the hospital service and trained as an Orthodontist in Manchester. He then returned to Manchester and completed the Manchester orthodontic specialty training programme in 1986.  Following this he was appointed as a  Medical Research Council Research Fellow and carried out a Ph.D research programme into the effectiveness of orthodontic treatment.  In 1991 he spent a sabbatical year in Pittsburgh USA as associate professor.  He was made Professor of Orthodontics in November 1995.  He was Head of the School of Dentistry from 2004-2007 and was Faculty Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching  2007-11. He was Chair of the General Dental Council from 2011 to 2013.

Research interests

Kevin's main research interests are to improve the care of children with severe orthodontic problems. His recent work has included studies into the the primary/secondary care interface and clinical trials of orthodontic treatment methods. He has obtained £4.0million in external research funding mostly from the MRC and NHS R&D. His recent work on the effectiveness of early orthodontic treatment for children with very prominent upper front teeth has helped to change practice across the world. He is committed to both teaching and research.


My collaborations

  • Professor K Vig, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • Professor T Wheeler, University of Florida, Gainsville, Florida
  • Professor KFC Tulloch, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Professor R Weyant, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Methodological knowledge

He has knowledge of running complex multi centre randomised trials, development of outcome measures that reflect consumer values and general orthodontic focussed health services research.


  • 2002 - BDS, FDS, M.Sc, Ph.D, D.Orth

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Areas of expertise

  • RK Dentistry


Dive into the research topics where Kevin O'Brien is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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