Lecturer, General Dentist & PhD Candidate, The University of Queensland

Dr Arosha Weerakoon is a general dentist, lecturer and PhD candidate from the School of Dentistry, University of Queensland (UQ). She graduated from UQ in 2003 with a BDSc (Hons) and commenced employment with Queensland Health before moving to private dental practice where she currently works. In 2007, she completed her fellowship exams with the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, and in 2014 Arosha graduated with a Masters in Public Health. Her Master’s thesis explored the experiences of patients, dental practitioners and general medical practitioners involved in the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

In 2002, Arosha was awarded the Pierre Fouchard Academy’s Undergraduate Award of Merit and won the Australia-New Zealand International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Colgate Pre-doctoral research award. She was a finalist at the 2003 International Association for Dental Research’s Hatton Pre-Doctoral Research Competition. In 2015, Arosha was nominated to compete in the Emerging Young Lecturer’s Award Competition at the Australian Dental Association National Congress and placed second in the 2018 3MT competition held in IADR London, UK. This year, she was awarded the top prize, The Vice Chancellor’s Award, for her research pitch titled: "It’s about bonding with fillings", hosted by Universities Australia, the peak body that represents Australia’s Universities. As part of her prize, Arosha recently completed an internship with The Conversation. She is also successful recipient of the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant. Her latest research presentation at the 2019 Light Microscopy Australia Conference won the ‘Best Oral Presentation Award’. Arosha co-lectures with Professor Meyers at ADAQ workshops related to restorative dentistry. Arosha has been a speaker at local, national and international conferences and has published her research in several journals. Her current research focus is on the effect of patient age, cavity depth and site on dentine collagen and mineral, and how these changes affect the bond to different white adhesive restorative materials.

Awards
2019
• Winner of Vice Chancellor’s Award for the Pitch It Clever competition hosted by Universities Australia.
• Winner of The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant
• Winner of ‘Best Oral Presentation’ Award at the Light Microscopy Australia Conference, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

2018
2nd Place Three Minute Thesis Competition, International Association for Dental Research Conference, London, UK.

2002-03
Finalist IADR/Unilever Hatton Pre-Doctoral Research Award 2003
Bede Hintz Endodontic Scholarship 2002 & 2003
Pierre Fouchard Academy Undergraduate Award of Merit for outstanding academic achievement 2002
Colgate Pre-doctoral Research Award 2002

Experience

  • 2018–present
    Lecturer, School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland
  • 2007–present
    General Dentist, Private Dental Practice
  • 2016–present
    PhD Candidate, School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland
  • 2017–2017
    Learning Designer, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland
  • 2015–2015
    Lecturer, School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland
  • 2014–2014
    Associate lecturer, School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland
  • 2003–2007
    Dental Officer, Queensland Health

Education

  • 2014 
    School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Master of Public Health
  • 2006 
    Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, GDP Fellowship
  • 2003 
    School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Bachelor of Dental Science (Hons 1)

Publications

  • 2018
    Pateman KA, Weerakoon AT, Batstone MD, Ford PJ. A culture shock in dental hygiene: Exploring the management of oral health after head and neck cancer.Int J Dent Hygiene. 2018;00:1–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/idh.12376,
  • 2017
    Akers HF, Weerakoon AT, Foley MA, McAuliffe AJ. The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme: Historical, Scientific, Socio-political Origins. Journal of the history of dentistry. 2017;65(2):46-62,
  • 2014
    Weerakoon A, Fitzgerald L, and Porter S, (2014) An Australian government dental scheme: Doctor-dentist-patient tensions in the triangle. Journal of Forensic Odontostomatology, 32 Sup No. 1: 9-14.,
  • 2007
    Tsai PCL, Weerakoon AT, Meyers IA, Symons AL,Walsh LJ. Optomization of current resin photopolymerization systems. Aust Dent J, 2007; 52:S35.,
  • 2003
    Symons AL, Weerakoon A, Marks SC Jn. Growth hormone receptor and insulin-like growth factor-I immunoreactivity in osteoclast-like cells during tooth eruption in the toothless (osteopetrotic) rat following treatment with colony-stimulating factor-1. Crit Rev Eukar Gene, 2003; 13:195-204.,

Professional Memberships

  • International Association of Dental Research
  • Australian Dental Association
  • Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons
  • Australian Society of Endodontology
  • International Dental Ethics and Law Society
  • Academy of Dental Materials
  • Australian Science Communicators
  • Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Society