PhD, MHA, DDS, ADC Certificate
Boyen Huang was appointed as Head of School at Charles Sturt University, School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, in January 2015. Before joining CSU, he held teaching and research posts at the University of Western Australia (2004-2009), Kyoto University (2009-2011) and James Cook University (2012-2015). He also acted as a domestic councillor to the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) (2006-2009, 2012-2015), the founder of the Far North Queensland Section of the IADR, and Secretary for the Australian and New Zealand Division of the IADR (2013-present). Furthermore, he was the Asia/Pacific Councillor of the paediatric oral health group in the IADR (2014-2015). In addition, he is a Co-Editor-in-Chief for Oral Health and Dental Management, and a journal editorial board member for Pediatric Dental Journal, as well as Journal of Dental Research, Dental Clinics, Dental Prospects. He is also a peer reviewer for more than a dozen scientific journals related to medicine, dentistry and public health, and an assessor/panel member of grant proposals to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (2012-2014). Of further note, he has worked in private practice as a general and paediatric dentist (1996-2000, 2002-2003)
His research career has focused on biological and behavioural risk factors for oral conditions. A special interest is on genetic variation as a risk factor for abnormality in dental and craniofacial morphogenesis, and the role of behaviour in oral and maxillofacial trauma.
Hyperdontia in humans, whether considered an oral disease or the third dentition, results from hereditary factors along with a possibility of environmental influence. Multiple supernumerary teeth accompanied with craniofacial abnormality are mainly seen in congenital disorders such as cleidocranial dysplasia, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis. He is concerned with the development of an evidence-based model for hyperdontia and associated craniofacial conditions. A current collaboration with Kyoto University (Japan) involves the characterisation of genetic interactions amongst CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (CEBPB) and other factors in formation of multiple supernumerary teeth and abnormality of maxillofacial tissues. This may lead to development of a cure for these disorders and a potential key to tooth regeneration.
Aetiology of oral and maxillofacial trauma is another focus of his research activity. Based on his previous study using a sample of more than six thousand adolescents in Taiwan, risk-taking behaviour is a determinant of traumatic dental injuries. Being parented by birth parent(s) only is a protective factor for the injury, including cases residing with a single parent. Other relevant factors include socio-economic status, gender, overjet and lip coverage. Of further note, a recent collaborative bid with colleagues from the University of Western Australia (Australia) and Aichi Gakuin University (Japan) has raised an awareness of the connection between dental education and a reduction in social nicotine dependence. As oral and maxillofacial trauma shares some aetiological factors with tobacco smoking, including risk-taking behaviour, a joint investigation in the relationship between traumatic dental injuries and nicotine dependence is being undertaken with colleagues at Khon Kaen University (Thailand).
One of his projects working with some Australian dentists and dental hygienists is to investigate in an approach of orofacial myology on digit-sucking-related manifestations. With an application of dental anatomy and oral myology, occurrence of digit sucking behaviour and consequent open bite has been reduced in a sample of children. This work may suggest a key role of myology in craniofacial morphogenesis and also introduce a new concept in managing dental displacement and/or mild jaw disharmony. A large-scale project will be carried out in collaboration with Khon Kaen University (Thailand).
In addition to the above, he is involved in a collaborative project of developing an ionic sensitive filed effect transistor (ISFET) with National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan). The device will be used for the purpose of measuring and recording the pH value in the oral cavity. His role in the project is to provide clinical concepts to product designers and to carry out a clinical trial upon completion of the product. An initial model of the device has been established. It is under revision for feasibility of future clinical application.
He has been teaching paediatric dentistry, dental public health, health care management, and research methods for 15 years. At present he teaches DOH310 Clinical Practice and Theory 3. Students' feedback reflects the strength of his pedagogy as "interactive lectures that encourage student input and participation plus memorable clinical examples/scenarios".