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From Public Health to Research Management

Dr. Roberto Leon-Manco
Dr. Roberto Leon-Manco

My name is Roberto A. León-Manco, I am a graduate of the School of Stomatology, Master of Public Health, and specialist in Dental Public Health at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH). Once I finished my undergraduate studies, I was invited by Dr. Cesar Del Castillo to be part of the Academic Department of Social Dentistry (UPCH) to which I still belong and I was able to learn from all his mentors, especially Dr. Juan Bernal Morales, founding professor of the faculty and first specialist in dental public health in Peru. In my early years, I began teaching at the undergraduate level and later at the master’s level. Currently, I am the Coordinator of the specialty in Dental Public Health, and head of the Academic Section of Public Health and Dental Services Management.

Within my professional training, I was able to be part of the 10th Annual Summer School of Social Determinants of Health (SDH) at the University College London (UK). In this program, in addition to meeting many other public health professionals from around the world, having shared with Sir Michael Marmot and his perspective of the SDH was crucial to really understand the health problems of Peru and the need for a new approach, especially in the case of oral health. Other important internships were at the Research Center of Social Inequality and Governance at the Universidad de La Laguna (Spain) with Dr. Sara Darías-Curvo, and the research management internship at the Faculty of Dentistry of the Universidad de La Frontera (Chile) with Dr. Ramón Fuentes.

This last internship has been the most relevant in my current teaching activity. Dr. Jorge Beltran, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Stomatology at UPCH appointed me Coordinator of the Research, Science and Technology Unit, a position that aims to improve all research processes in undergraduate and graduate students and teachers. Recently, we approved the Strategic Plan 2021-2025 of the unit, with the collaboration of the faculty and collaboration of Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario of the University of Washington (UW). With this, a long-term objective has been established that will allow the faculty to place at a high level of research in oral health.

Currently, I oversee the Integrated Unit of Research, Science and Technology of the Faculties of Medicine, Stomatology and Nursing, which represents a different opportunity at the management level, being responsible for most of the research conducted at the university and promoting the main policies for the benefit of students and teachers. In addition to this position, I continue to engage in public health activities, continuing to train professionals and participating in research. Recently, together with the UW and the Direction of Oral Health of the Ministry of Health of Peru, we are organizing a program to improve the skills of oral health coordinators throughout the country, which will improve the health of all Peruvians.

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