Professor Fortune is Professor of Medicine in relation to Oral Health in the Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences (CDOS). She graduated in both Dentistry and Medicine from University College, University of London. In 1992 she obtained her PhD in University of London. She is on the specialist register for Oral Medicine in Dentistry (GDC), and Immunology in Medicine (GMC). She was appointed Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine at UMDS (Guys and St Thomas Hospital). In 1998 she was conferred the title of Professor of Oral Medicine at Leeds University.
In 2002 Professor Fortune was recruited to the position of Professor of Medicine in Relation to Oral Health at Queen Mary. She had previously held the positions of Head of Oral Medicine at Leeds University and Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine at the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals.
She has extensive experience in teaching within both the undergraduate and postgraduate sector. Her expertise is in curriculum development, assessment methodology and quality assurance. She works in these areas both in the UK and abroad. She chaired Royal College of Surgeons examination committee for a number of years. She has being seminal in the reintroduction of the LDS RCSeng., which was the first licensed examination in Dentistry. She is one of the founding members of Interprofessional Education Network of Royal Society of Medicine 2013. Member of (UKHEAC) UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee.
Nationally and internationally her strategic focus has been on widening access and increasing uptake into higher education. In London she and works with several schools to develop aspiration in schoolchildren from the earliest years. She chairs London Healthcare Education Widening Access Committee. The focus abroad has been to build capacity and increase uptake using nontraditional models. An example is in-community and community outreach programs for teaching and training. The evidence shows that these approaches are a productive, dynamic and efficient use of resource to deliver high quality teaching and training. She has played a major role internationally in health and education initiatives and remains committed to global collaboration to enhance health and education. Her current focus is to embed health and education within the contextual focus of national and societal cultures, and economics. Ongoing programs in Africa are with Global Knowledge Education Network, SCiEH, and Goonhilly Space station to deliver affordable access to health and education, through UN 2015 Sustainable Goals.
Her clinical expertise in Oral Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Oral manifestations of Systemic Disease is well recognised. Professor Fortune’s standing within Oral Medicine is reflected by her election to the Council of the British Society of Oral Medicine in 2004 and to the role of President in 2007 and as President of Odontology section of Royal Society of Medicine in 2011. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2007.
In 2012 Professor Fortune played a leading role in the organisation, implementation and the delivery of three separate dental facilities for oral healthcare at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The organising medical team was awarded the prestigious Nursing Times award 2013. The Team of the Year Award celebrates new projects that demonstrate the value of teamwork in the UK health care sector.
Professor Fortune’s main research focus is epithelial biology, including mucosal disease and oral cancer, on which she has published extensively. She has a particular interest and expertise in Behçet’s disease and is a member of the medical advisory panel to the Behçet’s Syndrome Society. Recently, together with Behçet’s Society they secured funding to set up three dedicated Centres in England for the management of this condition. She is the Scientific Advisor to the International Society for Behçet’s disease 2012-14. Further to this, she is a member of the Research Grants Committee (Hong Kong) – Biology and Medicine panel 2012-17
In 2004, she was awarded a CBE for services to dentistry. In 2012, she was awarded prestigious Colyer Gold Medal for significant contribution to the profession through their research, teaching and clinical work.