Gift empowers research linking oral health and chronic diseases

15 January 2016

Leadership for good meets philanthropy for good
A $3.6-million donation to the University of Sydney has been the stimulus for a bold plan to establish a $20-million world-class research centre spearheading research, policy, advocacy and education initiatives to prevent and reduce chronic diseases caused by poor oral health.
The gift by the Abrahams family through their Rosebrook Foundation funds the establishment of a new Chair of Lifespan Oral Health in the University of Sydney Faculty of Dentistry and Charles Perkins Centre. Dr Alex Abrahams, an alumnus of the university’s Faculty of Dentistry, graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 1982 and has been a practising dentist for more than 30 years.

Sydney Dental School
Professor Chris Peck, Dean of Dentistry with Dr Alex Abrahams, alumnus and philanthropist (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

Based at Westmead Centre for Oral Health, the soon to be appointed Chair of Lifespan Oral Health will investigate all aspects of preventable dental disease and its links to whole-of-body health.
The Chair’s research will be incorporated into the university’s dentistry curricula, as well as new clinical treatment guidelines for future dental professionals, and in continuing professional development programs for current practitioners.
“Our current understanding reveals profound associations between oral health and a range of chronic diseases,” says Professor Chris Peck, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry.
“Our research is revealing how the mouth and teeth can be markers for systemic illness, and how chronic infections, inflammation and degeneration in the mouth help explain disease processes throughout the body.
“The Chair of Lifespan Oral Health will advance our understanding of the specific causal connections between oral health and diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and adverse pregnancy outcomes.”
The university has also released a prospectus describing plans to translate the research findings of the Chair of Lifespan Oral Health into real-world impacts by raising $20 million to establish a world-class research centre.
“The centre will build on the work of the new Chair and develop a whole-of-health disease prevention strategy that defines benefits to individuals, the community and government through improved health, reduced costs and evidence-based health policy development,” Chris Peck says.
Academic Director of the university’s Charles Perkins Centre, Professor Stephen Simpson said, “The new Chair will be responsible for developing strategies to improve the health of current and future generations of Australians. This task goes beyond traditional dentistry and medicine and extends to education, nutrition, agriculture, economics, the built environment and communication technologies.

University of Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)

The Sydney Dental School’s Doctor of Dental Medicine is a graduate-entry program that has been purposefully designed to adhere to the well-rounded course structure of the North American postgraduate model, but has also maintained the sophisticated clinical training for which the University of Sydney has come to be renowned, giving students an applicable knowledge of dental health from the community to the laboratory.
Program: Doctor of Dental Medicine
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years

Apply to the 2017 intake of the Sydney DMD!


University of Sydney Dentistry and Medicine events in Canada

Would you like to meet the Dean of Sydney Dental School? Everyone is welcome to join us in Vancouver on Monday, Jan. 25 or in Toronto on Wednesday, Jan, 27, where the Sydney Dental School Dean Professor Chris Peck and Sydney Medical School Professor/Co-Director Inam Haq will speak about the dentistry and medicine programs offered at the University of Sydney.


Date: Monday, Jan. 25, 2016
Time: 6 – 9 p.m.
Venue: Sheraton Wall Centre, Port McNeill Room, 1088 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 2R9
RSVP for this event


Date: Wednesday, Jan, 27 2016
Time: 6 – 9 p.m.
Venue: Sheraton Centre, Simcoe/Dufferin Room, 123 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON M5H 2M9
RSVP for this event!

Do you have any questions regarding Sydney dentistry? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.