Australasian Dental Practice

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01 Jan 2008 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 40

Top Prosthodontist to head new dental school

Appointments and Promotions Dental Schools

La Trobe University has announced that Professor Peter Wilson will head its new Dental School in Bendigo - the first to be opened in Victoria since 1904, and only the second new dental school in Australia in 60 years.


The school is a key component of La Trobe University's aim to create a world class centre of teaching in health sciences, emphasising the development of graduates who will practise in rural and regional settings. The School will graduate 50 dental students from 2012, aiming to impact significantly on the national shortage of dentists, particularly in rural and regional areas.

Announcing the appointment, the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Hal Swerissen, noted that Professor Wilson has had a distinguished academic career, demonstrating leadership nationally in the discipline of Prosthodontics, and in the development of undergraduate dental curricula. He said Professor Wilson had also played a significant role in developing international standards for dentistry. He has received a number of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grants, published more than 50 papers in the international literature, and several book chapters.

Professor Wilson said he is very excited about his new appointment and regards the development of La Trobe's School of Dentistry as the most significant challenge in his career.

"I am looking forward to leading the development of an outstanding clinical school focused on producing graduates in dental therapy, dental hygiene and dentistry who are manually skilled, intellectually capable clinicians aligned to the needs of the community," he said.

Professor Wilson graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1984, undertaking a Master of Dental Surgery at Newcastle, graduating in 1986. He undertook hospital training posts at Newcastle, University College London, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, The Eastman Institute of Dental Surgery and the London Hospital.

He gained the Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1987, before leaving for Postgraduate study in Prostho-dontics at Minnesota, supported on a SERC/NATO scholarship.

After graduating in 1989 from Minnesota, he returned to general practice in Thornsby, England, gaining the Diploma in Restorative Dentistry of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1990.

He was appointed Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry at the University of Melbourne in early 1991 and completed his PhD in 1993. He is credited with developing the graduate program in Prosthodontics at the University's School of Dental Science into the leading Australasian program for training prosthodontists. As the University's fifth year undergraduate convenor for the past 13 years, he also played a major part in revising its undergraduate dental curriculum.

Professor Wilson has provided clinical opinions for the Dental Practice Board and expert evidence to the Supreme Court of Victoria. As a senior specialist at Royal Melbourne Hospital he treats patients for maxillo-facial prosthetic problems. He also consults in complex restorative and management procedures for the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and undertakes private specialist practice in Sunbury, Victoria.

He was appointed to the Overseas Specialist Qualification Committee of the Australian Dental Council in 2002, and was recently appointed an examiner for the fellowship examination of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.

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