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Dr. Barry John Sessle (b. 1941) is a Professor at the University of Toronto. Internationally recognized as an authority in orofacial neuroscience, his research focuses on the study of orofacial pain and neuromuscular and sensory function. He has made key contributions to the understanding of orofacial motor control, nociceptive activity, and trigeminal pain mechanisms. Dr. Sessle is the former Dean of UofT’s Faculty of Dentistry and continues to work in the Faculty of Dentistry, Medicine, and the Centre for the Study of Pain.
Dr. Sessle received his training in Australia, attending the University of Sydney (B.D.S. 1963, B.Sc. and M.D.S.. 1965) and the University of New South Wales for his doctorate in neurophysiology (Ph.D. 1969); Sessle also taught at the University of New South Wales in their School of Physiology (1965 – 1968). Following his PhD. studies, he conducted post-doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, U.S.A. In 1971, Dr. Sessle accepted a position at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry and later went on to serve as Dean from 1990 to 2001. While based in Toronto, Dr. Sessle has worked and maintained long-term partnerships with colleagues in the U.S.A. and overseas, particularly in Japan and Scandinavia.
Throughout his career, Dr. Sessle has been actively involved in a number of professional associations, serving as President for the Canadian Pain Society, the International Association for the Study of Pain, the Canadian Association for Dental Research, and the International Association for Dental Research. In addition to his professional activity, Sessle has published numerous articles, co-authored and edited twelve books and served on multiple editorial boards for publications such as the Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache and the Journal of Dental Research.
Dr. Sessle is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the Canadian Academy of Science, and was a holder of a Canada Research Chair from 2001 to 2014. He has received the Oral Sciences Award and the Pindborg International Prize from the International Association for Dental Research, the Distinguished Career Award and the Outstanding Mentorship Award of the Canadian Pain Society, in addition to honorary memberships and degrees from associations and institutions within Canada and abroad.