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Introducing our 2018 Noel Martin Visiting Chair

11 January 2018
Welcoming Professor Sudarat Kiat-amnuay
The appointment is a tribute to Professor Noel Martin, one of the most influential figures in the history of dentistry at the University of Sydney, a former Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry from 1970 until his retirement in 1988
Professor Sudurat

Last year, the Faculty of Dentistry established the Noel Martin Visiting Chair, a new academic position in dentistry.

A leading advocate for change in Australian dental practice and health more broadly, Professor Noel Martin's successful championing of the fluoridation of drinking water in NSW is arguably one of our greatest gifts to society.

Following his death in 2006, alumni appeals raised funds to honour Professor Martin's contribution to dentistry and the community. These funds were used to establish the Noel Martin Visiting Chair.

It is our intention that annual appointees are individuals who share a strong focus on prevention and a whole-of-body approach to dentistry. They provide academic and research leadership, drive innovation and build international research links for the future. Students and the dental profession will have access to their expertise through lectures and meetings.

This year, the Noel Martin Visiting Chair appointee is Professor Sudarat Kiat-amnuay from the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. We will welcome Professor Sudarat Kiat-amnuay to the University of Sydney from mid-May through June, with Professor Heiko Spallek as her academic host.

Professor Kiat-amnuay will liaise between the University of Sydney's research area of Lifespan Oral Health, the Department of Prosthodontics, including the Maxillo-facial Prosthetics Unit, at Sydney Dental Hospital, the Department of Oral Restorative Sciences at the Westmead Centre for Oral Health, the Chris O'Brien Life House at RPA and the Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute.

About Professor Sudarat Kiat-amnuay

Dr Sudarat Kiat-amnuay is a tenured Professor who has been in the dental profession for almost two decades. She is a Director of Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Residency Program, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and the American Board of Clinical Anaplastology. She is a Section Head of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, Houston Center for Biomaterials and Biomimetics and has a joint appointment as a professor (gratis) at the Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Section of Oncologic Dentistry and Maxillofacial Prosthetics, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

She is a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, the International College of Dentists, and an ADEA Leadership Institute.

Throughout her career, Dr Sudarat Kiat-amnuay has received over 40 teaching and research awards, published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has presented at over 200 conferences in the USA and internationally She has been awarded over 4.7 million US dollars in grant funding. She is a principal and co-principal investigator of 16 grants including two major funding from the US National Institute of Health (NIH 2003-2008) and Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA 2010-2015). She is currently a member and/or committee members of 18 US and international dental and medical professional organisations.

One highlight of her grant was an NIH-funded 5-year U01 for an investigator-initiated, randomized controlled double-blind multicentre phase III clinical trial in maxillofacial prosthetics (Multicenter Trial of CPE for Maxillofacial Prosthetics). This project was believed to be the first trial of its kind in maxillofacial prosthetics ever funded by the US National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research/NIH, and she had a privilege to play a major role as a national Co-Principal Investigator (PI: Gettleman), devoting 25-60% time. Recently, one of her dental student mentees (second year, Mason Bates) was chosen as the winner of the 2017 IADR Arthur R. Frechette Prosthodontic Research Award.

She has actively engaged in clinical teaching and administration of residency programs and clinical practice (comprehensive care model, complex prosthodontics, full mouth rehabilitations, complex implant restorations, cosmetic dentistry, maxillofacial prosthetics and dental oncology, and restorations of gunshot wound victims). Her research focus has been on the areas of maxillofacial prosthetic and prosthodontics. The main goals are to find the best combinations of silicone/pigment/opacifier used to make facial prostheses last longer and to find affordable alternative materials to service developing countries or underserved populations.

Her team has investigated colour stability and mechanical properties of pigmented maxillofacial prosthetic elastomers subjected to artificial/natural weathering and microwave energy. Several in vivo studies have also performed on adhesive retention of maxillofacial prostheses. Her group has also studied cement bond strengths of implant-supported ceramic crowns on custom ceramic abutments. In addition, randomised controlled crossover clinical trials related to maxillofacial prosthetic and implant dentistry have been conducted to improve patients' quality of lives.