Dr Patel qualified as a dentist from the University of Birmingham in 2006 and after completing vocational training and a maxillofacial senior house officer job, returned to the University as a Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry.
Upen has since been actively involved in research completing his PhD studies in 2016 on the effects of ultrasound on dental regeneration and has presented his research at conferences nationally and internationally. He won first prize at the University of Birmingham Graduate School Research Poster Competition with his poster entitled ‘Ultrasound Induced Dental Regeneration’. Currently his research interest focuses on the application and the effects of therapeutic ultrasound on the repair mechanisms of the dental pulp; education, specifically assessment and feedback in clinical education and clinically, the rehabilitation of partially dentate and edentulous jaws using removable prostheses.
Upen teaches undergraduate dental students in all five years of the BDS degree programme. Since his appointment at the University of Birmingham he has been heavily involved in the delivery of both pre-clinical and clinical dental education. He was a module lead for the first year module ‘Professionalism and the Foundations of Dental Practice’ as well as organising and teaching the introductory clinical sessions ‘Clinical Photography and Impression Taking’ in the second year of the programme. He was responsible for organizing and delivering the ‘Simulated Skills in Prosthetic Dentistry’ course which prepares students for treating patients with removable dental prostheses. He introduced and developed the clinical competency in dental charting, ensuring dental students have the basic skills before they start treating patients and pioneered the concept of junior dental students actively learning from senior dental students during the degree programme.
Upen lectures and undertakes clinical teaching as part of the ‘Prosthetic Dentistry’ specialty area as well as leading the academic unit of ‘Clinical Practice’, the largest clinical placement dental students undertake and operates longitudinally though the clinical years of the BDS degree programme.
Upen is the currently the head of the BDS degree programme and his duties include the setting and marking of exam papers, pastoral care as a personal tutor to a group of dental students and has previously sat on the Admissions Executive Panel which manages the entry of new students to the BDS degree. Prior to his appointment as BDS programme lead, Upen was and continues to be the school lead for elearning and lead for assessment for the BDS programme, coordinating assessment with learning outcomes achieved by students and supports module leads with generating and standard setting their assessments.
Upen has completed part of the post graduate certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education qualifying him as an Associate of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) of the UK. He has attended conferences on Dental Education in Europe where he has presented his prize winning entry of the Rewarding Excellence in Learning and Teaching award offered by the Subject Centre for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine (MEDEV) of the HEA. Upen was also been awarded the Early Career Educator Excellence in Dental Education Award from the Association of Dental Education in Europe, one of the few opportunities for international recognition of excellence in dental education. Upen is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Dental Education in Europe.
Upen supports the development of the Clinical Assessment and Feedback System (CAFS) used by dental undergraduates nationally and internationally to record their clinical experience and assessment by teachers. As a member of the team he has presented CAFS nationally and internationally winning awards from the ConsEuro conference and the Teaching Academy Award from the University of Birmingham.