David Wilson

David Wilson

Adelaide Dental School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Research Activities

Research activities have centered upon the broad field of oral diseases. Work has also been undertaken in areas such as forensic odontology and paleoanthropology. Projects related to a number of clinical disciplines such as oral-maxillofacial surgery, endodontics and orthodontics and involving aspects of materials biocompatibility investigation and bone behaviour have also been undertaken. The discipline of oral pathology at Adelaide University attracted a significant number of postgraduate students from within and outside the discipline. Consequently collaborative research with academic colleagues within  and without dentistry and with postgraduate students was fostered and encouraged.

In summary, research at Adelaide encompassed the following:

Oral cancer

  • Experimental animal oral cancer
  • Histological and immunohistochemical aspects of oral cancer
  • Biochemical – molecular biological aspects of oral cancer
  • Aetiological aspects of human oral cancer
  • Epidemiology of human oral cancer

The temporomandibular joint

  • Normal structure
  • Pathology
  • Histomorphometry of normal and diseased joints
  • Synovial fluid
  • Co-Founder and Co-convener of the Australian Jaw Joint Project (AJJP) 1998 – 2002. The AJJP established in late 1999 upon the Award of a Faculty of Health Sciences Research Initiatives Grant. The AJJP now has a National and International Membership made up of over 35 dental academics and researchers, research scientists, medical academics and researchers, scientists and students. The discipline  base  of  the  AJJP  encompasses relevant dental specialties and research areas (e.g. Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Pathology, Fixed-Removable Prosthodontics, Genetics and Dental Anthropology), and medical and scientific disciplines such as Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physical Anthropology, Physiology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Biomechanical Engineering and Mathematics. The broad objectives of the AJJP are primarily directed towards research, but they also include significant aims related to education and clinical service. 

Oral Diseases and related (general).

Various studies designed to form the basis of Honours/Masters degrees for students as well as personal investigations were developed and undertaken. This research included:  retrospective histopathological studies on such lesions as cysts and hyperplastic lesions; biocompatibility investigations on implant and endodontic materials; clinical and microbiological studies of patients with HIV/AIDS and analysis and presentation-publication of rare and interesting histopathological cases.

Forensic odontology

This research work began in Canada as an investigation of the microscopic features of incinerated dental tissue included contract research investigating the durability of a human micro-chip identification system.


  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2014 - 2016 Professor, School of Dentistry and Health Sciences Charles Sturt University
    2011 - 2014 Head of School, School of Dentistry and Health Sciences Charles Sturt University
    2008 - 2010 Professor, School of Dentistry & Health Sciences Charles Sturt University
    2007 - 2008 Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology International Medical University
    2005 - 2007 Associate Professor and Head of Oral & Craniofacial Sciences University of Sharjah
    2005 - 2006 Foundation Acting Dean, College of Dentistry University of Sharjah
    2001 - 2004 Associate Professor (Oral Pathology), College of Dentistry King Saud University
    1996 - 2002 Head of Discipline of Oral Pathology, Adelaide Dental School University of Adelaide
    1996 - 2002 Associate Professor, Adelaide Dental School University of Adelaide
    1988 - 1993 Head of Department of Dentistry, Adelaide Dental School University of Adelaide
    1983 - 1986 Deputy Chairman, Department of Dentistry, Adelaide Dental School University of Adelaide
    1983 - 1983 Associate Dean, (Academic Matters and Course Advisor) University of Adelaide
    1979 - 1982 Deputy/Acting Chairman, Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Surgery, Adelaide Dental School University of Adelaide
    1978 - 1996 Senior Lecturer, Adelaide Dental School University of Adelaide
    1974 - 1978 Associate Professor (Oral Pathology), Oral Biology Department, Faculty of Dentistry, and Honorary Lecturer, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine University of Saskatchewan
    1972 - 1974 Assistant Professor (Oral Pathology), Oral Biology Department, Faculty of Dentistry University of Manitoba
    1969 - 1972 Research Officer, Department of Dental Sciences, Dental School University of Otago
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1971 University of Otago New Zealand M.D.S. (Hons.) (Oral Pathology)
    1968 University of Otago New Zealand B.D.S.
  • Australian Anticancer Society - Summer studentships for undergraduate students.
  • South Australian Anticancer Foundation – Summer studentships for undergraduate students.
  • Medical Research Committee, University of Adelaide (Equipment Grant), $7000.
  • National Health and Medical Research Council - Postgraduate Student Scholarship (A. Vreugdenburg).
  • University Research Grants (Minor) (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994).
  • Anticancer Foundation of the Universities of South Australia. Two year project grant (D.F. Wilson and O.W. Wiebkin) 1989, $28,000.
  • British Council Travel (ALIS) Grant.
  • Colgate-Palmolive Pty. Ltd. (Wilson and Prabhu), $4,000.
  • Unilever Ltd. - (Prabhu, Wilson, Johnson, Daftary) £20,000 (pounds).
  • University of Adelaide Teaching Grant (1992), $8,000.
  • University of Adelaide Teaching Grant (1993), $5,000.
  • Australian Research Council (1993) (Wilson and Pierce), $15,000.
  • DEET - AIDS Council of Australia (Traineeship Dr. L. Coates) (1993), $12,400.
  • Australian Research Council (1994) (Wilson and Pierce), $15,000.
  • Australian Research Council (1995) (Pierce, Wilson, Wiebkin), $16,500.
  • South Australian Health Commission Grant HIV1994-95 (Wilson and Coates), $9,400.
  • Australian Dental Research Fund (1995) (Wilson, Pierce, Wiebkin), $4,200.
  • University of Adelaide Teaching Grant (1995) (Pierce and Wilson), $7,000.
  • University of Adelaide Equity Grant (1995) (Wilson, Logan, Stubbs), $5,262.
  • University of Adelaide Equity Grant (1995) (Wilson and Powell), $5,475.
  • National Teaching Development (CAUT) Grant (1995) (Wilson, Pash, Powell, Poteralski, Palmer), $45,750.
  • AUS-AID Private Sector Linkage Program Grant 1995-96, (with SAGRIC SA and DISC Faculty of Dentistry), $436,000.
  • South Australian Health Commission HIV Grant 1997 (Wilson and Coates), $4,536.
  • University of Adelaide URS Grant 1997-98 (Wilson, Goss, Pierce), $13,333.
  • University of Adelaide B3 Grant (1997-98) (Sampson, Pierce, Dreyer, Wilson), $25,000.
  • Australian Research Council - Small Grants Scheme (1998) (Pierce, Wilson), $10,000.
  • Division of Health Sciences Special Initiatives Grant 1998 (The Australian Jaw Joint Project: Wilson, Townsend, Wiebkin and other project members), $50,000.
  • Australian Research Council – Small Grants Scheme (1999-2000) (Pierce, Wilson), $10,000.
  • Australian Dental Research Foundation (2001-2002 Sampson, Wiebkin, Wilson, Ma. $4500; Wiebkin, Wilson, Zid. $5,500; Wilson, Wiebkin, Gardner. $2,750). [All Grants related to research under the aegis of the AJJP].

Teaching activities have occurred and been carried out within an international University framework but with a focus on Australia. Inputs and responsibilities in the contexts of course management, course design, course administration, curriculum review and content delivery have been a constant over many years of university service and have occurred at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Charles Sturt University (2008 – 2016)

At CSU teaching activities have involved curriculum planning, subject design and implementation of Years 1-5 of the dentistry curriculum. Personal teaching involvement and subject coordination responsibilities spanned years 1-5 with a focus on oral anatomy-histology, oral & maxillofacial pathology and oral medicine.

International Medical University (2007-2008)

Pre-appointment activities:

Significant document drafting and editing inputs into the IMU dental accreditation documentation for the 5 year program through early-mid 2007 before arrival at IMU in August 2007.

Roles at IMU after taking up appointment:

- Preclinical and clinical teaching facility design and development inputs

- Phase 1 curriculum development:

A major initial and ongoing focus was the translation of the dental Phase 1 curriculum outline into a working (and workable) and detailed curriculum that integrated with the IMU vision of teaching and learning and the flat, multidisciplinary content delivery systems.

Sharjah University (2005 – 2007)

2006-7 academic years:

Stream coordination: Human Biology 2

Stream co-coordination: Dental & Health Science 2

Specific teaching inputs: Image removed.

  • Human Biology 1
  • Dental & Health Sciences 2
  • Dental Learning Packages

2005-6 academic years: As Acting Dean, and, under University of Sharjah Regulations, Dean’s responsibilities related to curriculum delivery and implementation were undertaken. Additional teaching inputs included classes delivered in:

  • Human Biology 1 Stream 
  • Dental and Health Science and Dental Clinical Practice Streams
  • Medicine 1 (College of Medicine)

King Saud University (2001 – 2004)

Undergraduate Teaching, Major teaching responsibilities related to courses:

  • 331 MDS Oral Pathology [Course Director 2002 to 2004] [MUC (female) & DUC (male) Campuses]
  • 231 MDS Oral Pathology [MUC & DUC Campuses] Image removed.
  • 251 MDS Oral Biology [MUC & DUC Campuses]

Contributor to the following courses:

  • 341 MDS Oral Diagnosis [teaching clinics MUC & DUC] Advanced Education Seminars [Intern Training Program] Image removed.
  • DLT 102 Oral Biology and Physiology
  • DDA 202 Microbiology and Oral Pathology

Postgraduate Teaching. Contributor to the following programs/courses:

  • DENS 512 Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology 2001, 2002, 2004, 2004 
  • DENS 520 Research Methods and Scientific Writing 2001-2002 & 2002-2003 
  • SDS 520 Pre-Prosthetics and Gerodontics 2001-2002 
  • Saudi Dental Scientific Board Residents Programs in Orthodontics [Oral Biology and Oral-Maxillofacial Pathology] Semester 2, 2001-2002
  • Saudi Dental Scientific Board Residents Program in Restorative Dentistry [Scientific Methods] Semester 2, 2001-2002 & 2002-2003
  • Saudi Dental Scientific Board Residents Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Semester 1, 2002-2003. [Oral Biology and Oral-Maxillofacial Pathology]
  • PDS 577. Pediatric Dentistry. [Pediatric Oral Pathology] Semester 1, 2002-2003

The University of Adelaide (1978 – 2001)

Undergraduate Teaching:

Over-arching administrative and teaching responsibilities for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in oral pathology. Undergraduate teaching in oral pathology was delivered in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the dental course and was integrated within the following Year Streams – Dental and Health Science II (Semester 1), Diseases and Disorders of the Body III (Semesters 1 and 2), Dental and Health Sciences IV (Semester 1) and the Applied Oral Pathology/Oral Medicine component of Dental & Health Sciences V (Semester 1) respectively. Additional undergraduate teaching responsibility was undertaken in the course Oral Health and Disease III (Semester 2) a third year course in the Bachelor of Oral Health Degree course, Dental Selective (5th Year) and Medical Electives (4th Year). Stream Co-ordination responsibilities were undertaken for Dental Health Sciences II, Diseases and Disorders of the Body III and Oral Health and Diseases III.

Postgraduate Teaching/Specialist Training:

Overall management of oral pathology postgraduate programs and teaching and inputs to the programs of other disciplines at various levels.

  • Honors, Masters and PhD level program development and coordination.
  • General student supervision.
  • Seminars.
  • Diagnostic oral pathology reviews (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery).
  • Training in diagnostic oral pathology for oral pathology postgraduates.
  • Research project establishment and supervision for candidates.
  • Beginning in 1987 I formalised an association with the Tissue Pathology Division at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, Adelaide. This resulted in an integration of oral pathology diagnostic services within the Institute and, as a consequence, ongoing involvement in the training of General Pathology Registrars in diagnostic oral pathology in preparation for Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Fellowship examinations in Anatomical Pathology. The Institute also became a major base for the training of oral pathology postgraduate students.
  • Postgraduate Core Course, Dental School (various inputs).
  • Postgraduate Committee in Dentistry distance module in oral pathology and oral medicine for the Certificate in Clinical Dentistry.
  • Continuing Education Courses for the Postgraduate Committee in Dentistry.
  • Additional activities in this area include advisory and supervisory functions concerning research project design, experimental work and analysis and thesis supervision for postgraduates outside the discipline of Oral Pathology.
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2015 - 2017 Member Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow FDSRCPS(Glasg) United Kingdom
    1996 - 2017 Member Fellow of the Faculty of Oral Pathology [FFOP (RCPA)] Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Australia
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2004 - 2005 Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide Private Diagnostic Oral Histopathology Consultancy Practice Health services and related Australia
    2001 - 2004 King Saud University Diagnostic Oral Histopathology Service, Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Dentistry Health services and related Saudi Arabia
    1978 - 2001 University of Adelaide and the Institute of Medical & Veterinary Science Diagnostic Oral Histopathology Service, Health services and related Australia
    1975 - 1978 University of Saskatchewan Diagnostic Oral Histopathology Service, Dental College Health services and related Canada
    1972 - 1974 University of Manitoba Diagnostic Oral Histopathology Service, Oral Biology Department, Faculty of Dentistry Health services and related Canada

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