Press Release – University of Otago
Wednesday 1 May 2013
Otago appoints Chair in Restorative Dentistry
A long-standing member of staff at the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry has been appointed to the Chair in Restorative Dentistry in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation.
Professor Karl Lyons has been a member of the Faculty’s academic staff since 1995, in a teaching, research and clinical service capacity, and is a graduate of the Faculty of Dentistry. He was chosen from a strong field of international applicants.
University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says it is pleasing to see an Otago graduate come up through the ranks in this way.
“Professor Lyons is one of our own, in the sense that he is a graduate who has gone on to pursue a research and teaching career, and develop as a senior academic to the point where he is prepared to step up and tackle an important leadership role within the Faculty.”
Since the early 2000s Professor Lyons, who is a dental specialist in prosthodontics, has been the head of the discipline of prosthodontics, and has a particular clinical and research interest in maxillofacial prosthetics. Maxillofacial prosthetics includes the prosthetic replacement of areas of the face and jaws that have been lost most often due to cancer, an area in which he works closely with colleagues at Dunedin Hospital and the Faculty of Dentistry.
Professor Lyons says already being a member of staff will make the transition to assuming a leadership role in the Faculty much easier.
“I have well-established clinical, teaching and research links with my Faculty colleagues, and I look forward to being able to contribute to the leadership in my department, the Faculty and the University.”
After graduating from Otago in 1989 Professor Lyons went on to do further academic study, including a Certificate in Maxillofacial Prosthetics at UCLA and, more recently, a PhD on microbial adhesion to prostheses. He has also authored numerous research journal articles and contributed to book chapters.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and has been president of a number of professional bodies including the Academy of Australian and New Zealand Prosthodontists and the New Zealand Association of Prothodontists and Restorative Dentists.
Professor Lyons also enjoys a good relationship with the wider professions and organisations in dentistry, with whom he hopes to work with even more closely.
Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry Professor Greg Seymour says the appointment of Professor Lyons underscores the ability and talent that lies within the Faculty of Dentistry.
“Karl is a graduate of the University of Otago and he has established a research and teaching career that has made him stand out even when grouped with international candidates.”
“Karl is already a valued member of staff who makes an important contribution to teaching, research and clinical service within the Faculty. He will contribute even more effectively to these aspects in his new role.”