The University of Queensland has appointed an internationally recognised academic as the new Head of the School of Dentistry.
Professor Lakshman Samaranayake has joined UQ following a long and distinguished tenure as Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at The University of Hong Kong and Director of the Prince Phillip Dental Hospital in Hong Kong.
UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy said Professor Samaranayake brought valuable global leadership and academic experience to the School of Dentistry.
"Professor Samaranayake is internationally renowned as an outstanding leader and researcher," Professor Abernethy said.
"We have been fortunate to have secured someone of Professor Samaranayake's calibre at a pivotal stage as the school prepares to move from the existing site at Turbot Street to the new $114 million UQ Oral Health Centre at Herston."
Professor Samaranayake's research interests focus on infections in medically compromised people, mainly oral candidiasis and clinical oral microbiology.
He has published more than 400 articles on these subjects and has received international accolades for his work, including the King James IV professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
The UQ Oral Health Centre will be Australia's largest and most advanced tertiary oral health centre, bringing together dental experts including academics, researchers and practitioners, as well as top-tier students.
Professor Samaranayake said he was thrilled to have been selected as the new Head of Dentistry.
"To join UQ's School of Dentistry at this significant time as we transition to the new Oral Health Centre provides an exciting opportunity to strengthen the school's position in dental care and education," he said.
"The integration of clinical services in a tertiary referral centre with our expanding dental research groups will accelerate the development of new methods for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental diseases."
The new UQ Oral Health Centre is set to open in June this year.