IADR Organising Committee

Rahena Akhter – Chair of Organising Committee

Dr. Rahena Akhter is the Head of Cariology at Sydney Dental School (SDS), the University of Sydney. She specializes in Preventive Dentistry (PhD, Hokkaido University, Japan), expert in teaching caries management system (CMS) in the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy (BOH) Program at SDS. Her broad experience, gained in Japan, Bangladesh, and Australia, has included working closely with high caries risk patients, Cerebral Palsy patients and other developmental disable patients at dental public hospitals in the completion of several funded HDR projects. She is the founder of IADR ANZ Western Sydney NSW division and has been the Section Councilor IADR ANZ Sydney division and member of IADR since 2005.

Dr. Akhter published 135 peer-reviewed (58 articles, 73 conference proceedings and 4 book chapters) articles in high impact leading journals in Dentistry. She achieved several competitive “research grants” in Australia and overseas and several competitive awards in the field of Dentistry namely “IADR ANZ preventive dentistry investigator award” Australia, “Vice-chancellors CALD Award” Sydney University, “Joseph Lister Award IADR 2015” in Boston, Massachusetts, “Young Investigator Neuroscience Research Award IADR 2011” in San Diego, “Research in Prevention Travel Award IADR 2005” in Baltimore USA. She had been an active member of various international societies and editorial board member and reviewer for several high impact international journals. She is passionate about “No drill no fill” concept and believes that understanding of caries management system and its implementation in patient management is strongly needed today.

Vesna Miletic

Vesna Miletic is Professor and Director or Restorative Dentistry and Head of Tooth Conservation at Sydney Dental School. She is actively involved in education at all levels at Sydney Dental School and research in the area dental restorative materials. She has recently taken the role of Director of Academic Career Development at Sydney Dental School. Previously she was an academic, clinician and researcher for over 20 years at University of Belgrade School of Dental Medicine (Serbia).


Shilpi Ajwani

Shilpi Ajwani is the Head of Oral Health Promotion and Research at SLHD Oral Health and Sydney Dental Hospital. She is an adjunct Associate Professor at Sydney Dental School, University of Sydney and School of Nursing & Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She is a Specialist in Public Health Dentistry and her area of research focuses on inter-relationship between oral and systemic health as well as integrated care. She currently leads numerous oral health projects in this area and is a co-investigator in other projects nationally and internationally. She supervises higher degree research students as well as graduate and postgraduate students at University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and University of NSW. She is also a mentor for young and upcoming professionals as part of the Franklin Women’s Mentoring Program. She has been part of many successful grants and has presented at conferences and published in numerous national and international journals.


Tihana Divnic-Resnik

Dr Tihana Divnic-Resnik BDS, MSc, PhD, FICD, FHEA is a senior lecturer and DMD course coordinator in the Discipline of Periodontics at the School of Dentistry, The University of Sydney. She has extensive international experience in education as well as clinical experience as a specialist of Periodontology and Oral Medicine. Currently, she is providing treatment to patients at the Department for Periodontics in Sydney Dental Hospital and supervising students’ clinical work at both Sydney Dental Hospital and Westmead Centre for Oral Health. She has published her work in several international journals and presented it at numerous professional conferences. She has also led continuous professional development courses in Australia and Internationally. She is a member of European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), Australian Dental Association (ADA), Australian Society of Periodontics (ASP) and fellow of the International College of Dentists (ICD).

William Ha

A/Prof William Ha is the Head of Endodontics at the University of Sydney and Sydney Dental Hospital. He completed his Bachelor of Dental Science in 2007, Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation in 2012, Doctor of Philosophy in Endodontics in 2017, and Doctor of Clinical Dentistry in 2021. He is a deputy editor-in-chief for the European Endodontic Journal, a committee member for the International Association for Dental Traumatology and an organising member for the 2026 International Federation of Endodontic Associations meeting. He is a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. His recent publications focus on endodontic materials, CBCT in endodontics and canal instrumentation.  

In line with the IADR-ANZ 2023 theme of “Harbouring Innovations and Bridging Solutions”, A/Prof Ha has developed multiple phone applications for dentistry to boost clinical efficiency.  

Alessandro Quaranta

Professor Alessandro (Alex) Quaranta is a Specialist Periodontist and Clinical Professor at
the School of Dentistry, University of Sydney. He maintains a private practice position as
Managing and Scientific Director of the Smile Specialist Suite, Newcastle and Neutral Bay,
NSW. From 2018 to 2020, he has been the Professor of Periodontics at the School of
Dentistry and Oral Health of the Griffith University, Queensland where he also served as the
Director of the Specialist Program (Doctor of Clinical Dentistry).
Previously, he has been the Lead of the Discipline of Periodontics Implantology at the
University of Western Australia (UWA), where he was the Founding Leader of the UWA
Research Program in Oral Implantology and Periodontics. From 2016 to 2018 he coordinated
the Specialist Clinical Service in Periodontics and Implantology of the Oral Health Centre of
Western Australia. Previously, he served as Senior Lecturer at the prestigious University of
Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Over the years, Prof. Quaranta has actively conducted and
supervised research in the broad fields of peri-implant tissues, post-extraction implants, bone
to implant interface, alveolar ridge preservation, periodontal regeneration, implant surfaces,
immediate loading, non-surgical periodontal therapy and systematic reviews in Implant
Dentistry and Periodontology.

Heiko Spallek 

Professor Heiko Spallek serves as Head of School and Dean at The University of Sydney School of Dentistry. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Professor Spallek served as Associate Dean at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1993, he graduated as DMD from the Humboldt University, Berlin where he continued his career and was appointed in the Department of Periodontology and also received his Dr. med. dent. (dental material sciences). While being appointed at Temple University School of Dentistry
in Philadelphia, he earned an MSBA (Computer and Information Science) in 2000. Professor Spallek’s research has as its focus the development of computerized clinical decision support tools—he published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers and a textbook for Dental Informatics. He has served
as chief investigator of NIH-funded research projects that support the adherence to evidence-based dentistry principles.

Munira Xaymardan

Associate Professor Munira Xaymardan has an undergrade dentistry degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University and a clinical master’s degree in Oral Surgery. That was followed by a PhD degree from The University of Sydney, Australia. Her work experiences including general and specialized dental practice, and stem cell research at the Cornell University, New York. In the past10 years, she has been teaching and coordinating the Oral and Systemic Biomedicine in the Dental School of the University of Sydney. She is the Program Director of Dentistry Continuing Education, the University of Sydney, passionate about developing Australian oral health workforce through continuing education of dental and non-dental health professionals.  The research focus of Dr Munira Xaymardan is in the developmental biology and stem cells. Current projects include the Orofacial muscle development and regeneration, and impact of maternal periodontitis in foetal development. She is PhD supervisor, and the deputy chair of the research advisory committee of Australian Dental Research Foundation.  

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