Speaker Biographies

Speaker Biographies

Prof Purnima Kumar

Professor Purnima Kumar

Currently the William and Mary K. Najjar Endowed Professor of Dentistry and Chair of the Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Dr. Purnima Kumar collaborates extensively with the oral healthcare industry to develop therapeutics for microbial modulation. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and actively participates in patient care limited to periodontics and implant surgery. Dr Kumar has authored over 100 papers and book chapters and serves as the Co-Editor of Clinical Advances in Periodontics, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Periodontology, Periodontology 2000, Nature Scientific Reports and Microbiome. She is a member of the Council of Scientific Affairs of the American Dental Association and is their official spokesperson on e-cigarettes and vaping. Dr Kumar also serves on several task forces for women in science, women in surgery and women in STEM, and volunteers for groups that empower women locally and nationally.

Prof William Scarfe

Professor William Scarfe

On the faculty at the University of Louisville since 1993, Professor Bill Scarfe is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. He is currently the Scientific Editor of the Oral Radiology Section of Oral Surgery Oral Pathology Oral Medicine and Oral Radiology and on the Editorial Board of Angle and the Australian Dental Journal. He is a Past Treasurer of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and Past-Vice President of the International Association of Dento-Maxillofacial Radiology. He has published extensively on cone beam computed tomographic (CBCT) imaging including recent consensus statements on general, implant, endodontic and orthodontic use guidelines, and has presented internationally as well as nationally, and is active in research on the clinical applications of CBCT imaging.

Dr Sharonne Zaks

Dr Sharonne Zaks

With 24 years’ experience in private practice, Dr Sharonne Zaks has a special interest in working with anxious and phobic patients, and survivors of sexual assault and trauma with patients travelling from all over Australia to see her. Taught nationally and internationally, Dr Zak’s compassionate approach benefits patients, clinicians, and staff and incorporates trauma-informed principles, clinical experience and research into dental anxiety, phobia, and trauma. Dr Zaks presented to over 5,000 people at TEDx Sydney at the Australian Dental Congress, and many other conferences and events around Australia. Her groundbreaking work has been featured in a critically acclaimed book and has attracted global media attention with interviews by the ABC, BBC, SBS, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and many others. Dr Zaks has been awarded fellowships of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the International College of Dentists, and received the ADAVB Dentistry Achievement award for 2021.

Ass Prof Matt Hopcraft

Associate Professor Matt Hopcraft

With more than 25 years in the dental industry, Associate Professor Matt Hopcraft is a recognised leader and expert in dental public health and advocacy. As a dentist he has worked in the Army, private and public dental practices, and then as an academic at The University of Melbourne. A/Prof. Hopcraft is a strong advocate for measures to improve oral health in the community, including improving access to care and for healthy eating. He is currently the CEO of the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch and an honorary academic at the Melbourne Dental School, The University of Melbourne.

Dr Felix Sim

Dr. Felix Sim

An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon with subspecialty interest in head and neck oncology and reconstruction, Dr Felix Sim is a consultant surgeon at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Geelong University Hospital, Victoria. He is the one of the few fellowship-trained Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in Australia performing microvascular reconstruction of the jaw, having completed a two-year fellowship in head and neck oncology and microvascular reconstruction at the Head and Neck Institute in Portland, Oregon, USA. Dr Sim led a team of reconstructive surgeons at RMH to perform the first ‘Jaw in a Day’ procedure in Australia, and his surgical expertise focuses on oral cavity tumours, jaw reconstruction, dental implantology and zygomatic implants. He has published widely, and his research interest is currently focused on refining the application of computer modelling and 3D printing in facial trauma and maxilla-mandibular reconstruction, quality of life analysis and study of patients who have undergone jaw resection with reconstruction.

Prof Danny Eckert

Professor Danny Eckert

An NHMRC Leadership Fellow and a Mathew Flinders Professor at Flinders University and Director of the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, Prof. Danny Eckert leads a comprehensive basic sciences and translational research program that focuses on identification of the causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), optimisation of existing therapies, and development of new tailored therapies. Prof. Eckert is most well-known for his pioneering endo-phenotyping work which has led to a new precision medicine therapeutic framework to understand and treat OSA, and for his role in the development of novel pharmacotherapy. He has ~200 publications in the leading sleep/respiratory medicine and other cross-disciplinary and general medical journals. Prof. Eckert’s previous appointments include Professor of Medicine, UNSW and Principal Research Scientist at NeuRA in Sydney where he maintains affiliate appointments. Prior to 2011, he was an Assistant Professor in Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Dr Mark Wotherspoon

Dr Mark Wotherspoon

A successful general dental practitioner with diverse interests, Dr Mark Wotherspoon has worked for many years in private practice as principal and practice owner as well as gaining experience in the public service, military service and corrective services. Dr Wotherspoon firmly believes in establishing best practice oral hygiene routines for his patients and educating other health professionals and the public on the close link between oral health and general health. He is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer and Clinical Team Leader [Portable Dentistry] CSU and this year was made an Honorary member of the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia.

Dr Wendy Thompson

Dr Wendy Thompson

A clinical academic general dentist whose research is about antimicrobial stewardship, Dr Wendy Thompson is an elected member of FDI World Dental Federation’s science committee and chair of its antibiotics working group. In addition, Dr Thompson is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and an Ambassador of the College of General Dentists.

Angus Walls

Professor Angus Walls

The Director of the Edinburgh Dental Institute, and Director of Dentistry for NHS Lothian, Professor Angus Walls is a Past-President of the IADR and his research interests focus on the oral health care issues of older people, particularly issues that relate to access to dental care and oral health inequalities associated with ageing, as well as addressing some of the common risk factors for oral and systemic disease. Prof. Walls has mentored 25 PhD students in his career to date and has examined PhDs widely in the UK, Europe, Brazil, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia.

Prof Ivan Darby

Professor Ivan Darby

Head of Periodontics at Melbourne Dental School and previous convener of the postgraduate periodontics program for 15 years, Prof. Ivan Darby qualified as a dentist in 1991 from the University of Glasgow, and then worked for 10 years in general practice in the UK. He completed his PhD in 2000 and FRACDS(Perio) in 2006. In part-time specialist periodontal practice for 20 years undertaking periodontics and surgical implant treatment, Prof. Darby has published over 100 papers with a recent focus on socket healing, ridge preservation and early implant placement. He is the current section chair of the ITI Australasian section. In addition, he is also the current President of the Australian and New Zealand Academy and editor of the Australian Dental Journal.

Dr Brett Dorney

Dr Brett Dorney

Following graduation from Sydney University in 1971, Dr Brett Dorney obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons in 1985 and fellowships from The Academy for Sports Dentistry and the International College of Dentists. Dr. Dorney has been lecturing on the prevention and treatment of traumatic dental injuries for over 30 years. Career highlights include teaching undergraduate and post graduate courses at Sydney University, being Deputy Director of Dental Services for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Paralympics, being a reviewer for the Australian Dental Journal and publishing papers on treating traumatic dental injuries.