Professor of Population Oral Health appointed

2 March 2018
Professor Woosung Sohn joins the University
The newly appointed Professor of Population Oral Health, Dr Woosung Sohn, will be leading the research and teaching in Population Oral Health in the Faculty of Dentistry.
Woosung Sohn

Dr Sohn will be working closely with NSW Health and Local Health Districts to develop a population oral health research strategy aligned with the state's needs and faculty priorities.

Dr Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer, Deputy Secretary Population and Public Health says: "I welcome Professor Sohn's appointment as the new NSW Health Chair of Population Oral Health. Dr Sohn's internationally recognised skills and experience will help us to better understand the value and effectiveness of population oral health strategies in NSW and will facilitate the use of research in oral health policy and practice in NSW."

"Dr Woosung Sohn's appointment will strengthen our partnership with the NSW Health's Centre for Oral Health Strategy and the State Oral Health Executive. A closer alignment of our research strategy with the State's needs will improve health outcomes for our community," said Professor Heiko Spallek, Acting Dean of Dentistry.

Dr Sohn will be focusing on optimising the oral health of the nation through excellence in research, clinical placement, population oral health relationships and teaching. He will be working to integrate Population Oral Health activities across health including a focus on prevention, managing disadvantaged and vulnerable community groups' health, and cost-effective services.

The Faculty of Dentistry already have strong relationships with the School of Public Health and Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and run a number of initiatives that focus on prevention and education.

"We were delighted to hear of Woosung's appointment to the position of Professor in Population Oral Health. We are sure that under his great leadership, wisdom and guidance, we will move and strive too much greater heights and achievements in improving the oral health status of Aboriginal people in NSW. The 'Healthy teeth, Healthy kids' initiative is the flagship of our core business and with Woosung's knowledge and experience we can only further improve the oral health of Aboriginal people in regional and remote NSW," said Boe Rambaldini, Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.

Associate Professor Joel Negin, Head of School, School of Public Health also welcomed the new appointment. "The School of Public Health is very pleased to hear of Woosung's recruitment and we are excited about strengthening our relationship with Dentistry. There are real possibilities for partnerships across areas such as health literacy, epidemiology and health policy."

Professor Louise Baur, Professor of Child & Adolescent Health, Associate Dean and Head, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School added: "The appointment of Dr Woosung Sohn is very exciting. There are many synergies between his work and that at The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School."

The Population Oral Health Discipline is based primarily at Westmead Hospital. Teaching in Population Oral Health is across multiple sites, including Westmead, Sydney Dental Hospital and the main University of Sydney campuses. As such, there will be exceptional opportunity for research collaboration at Westmead, across the University and the broader scientific community.

Dr Sohn will be moving from his current role in the Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research at Boston University. His area of research is in Cariology, Preventive Dentistry, Epidemiology, and Health Services Research. Woosung is a dentist with extensive experience in the development of better ways to understand the underlying status of dental disease and to help improve dentistry's efforts in the areas of prevention, access to care, provider attitudes, and patient behaviours, with particular focuses on prevention of dental disease, specifically early childhood caries, and elimination of oral health disparities.

Dr Sohn says: "I am extremely thrilled to join the University of Sydney and lead the discipline of Population Oral Health. The ultimate vision of Population Oral Health is 'optimum oral health for all'. My aim is to work with colleagues from across the university and within NSW Health to achieve greater excellence in research and teaching that can make significant impacts on improvements of people's oral health locally and globally."


Dr. Sohn is a graduate of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, and of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where he received his DrPH degree. Prior to joining Boston University, he was at the University of Michigan where he held a joint faculty appointment as Associate Professor at the School of Dentistry and Director of the Dental Public Health Program in the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health.

Dr. Sohn has attained national and international recognition as a leading scholar in oral epidemiology and health services research. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and was a Fellow of the ADEA Leadership Institute in 2009-2010. He is Editor of the Journal of Evidence-based Dental Practice, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry. In 2009, he was honored by the International Association for Dental Research with its Aubrey Sheiham Award for Distinguished Research in Dental Public Health Sciences.

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