Speaker Biographies


Prof. Walid Altayeb, DDS, MSc, PhD

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) 


Dr. Altayeb received his dental degree from the Faculty of Dentistry, Damascus University, in 1998 and completed his Master of Science in Periodontics in 2004 and Doctorate of Philosophy in Periodontics in 2007. He has achieved Advanced Proficiency certificates from the Academy of Laser Dentistry in 980- nm diode and Er:YAG lasers. Dr. Altayeb has Mastership in the Academy of Laser Dentistry, is a member of the ALD Board of Directors and Speakers Bureau, Chair of the ALD International Relations Committee, Founder and Chair of the ALD Gulf Laser Chapter, and received The John G. Sulewski Distinguished Service Award from ALD in 2019. He is the founder of the laser section in the British Academy of Implant and Restorative Dentistry (BAIRD) and the founder  of the Professional Diploma in Advanced Laser Dentistry of BAIRD. Dr. Altayeb conducts “Pink Aesthetics & Laser Dentistry” courses with the British Academy of Implant and Restorative Dentistry in Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and UAE. He has participated in many conferences in the Middle East, Europe, and USA as a speaker in the fields of periodontal medicine and laser dentistry. He served as the General Secretary of the iLED 2018 and 2019 Conferences and is a Lecturer for the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Rome, Italy. He is working in private practice as a periodontist and implantologist in the Tamim Dental Polyclinic, Doha, Qatar, Dr. Imran Aestheticare Center, Dubai, UAE, and the Masters Dental and Aesthetic Center, Abu Dhabi, UAE.


Disclosure: Dr. Altayeb has no proprietary, financial or personal interest of any nature in any product, service and/or company that will be discussed or considered during the proposed program.



Anthony Bolamperti, DDS
Private Practice | Omaha, Nebraska, USA


Dr. Bolamperti is a general dentist in Omaha, NE‚ and a graduate of Creighton University Dental School. He began practicing with his father in 1995 and opened his own private practice in 1997. Dr. Bolamperti is a part-time faculty member at Creighton University School of Dentistry. He has more than 15 years of laser dentistry experience.
Disclosure: Dr. Bolamperti lectures for Convergent Dental and receives a modest honorarium for these events.


Juliana Barros Juliana A. Barros, DDS, MS
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA


Dr. Barros is an Associate Professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. She serves as the Director for the Laser Dentistry Clinic, Operative Dentistry I and II. Dr. Barros earned her DDS from the University of Uberaba, Brazil, in 1995. She has postgraduate training in Restorative Dentistry from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. In addition, she has earned a master’s degree in Laser Dentistry from the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute and University of São Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Barros lectures and conducts research in the fields of restorative dentistry, biomaterials, and hard/ soft tissue laser applications. Recognizing opportunities to advance knowledge and treatment in laser dentistry, she developed the laser dentistry curriculum at UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston and is the acting director of the laser clinic. She isa member of several organizations such as the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), Academy of Operative Dentistry (AOD), International Association for Dental Research (IADR), American Dental Education Association (ADEA), and Consortium of Operative Dentistry Educators. In 2019, Dr. Barros was the recipient of the Academy of Laser Dentistry’s T.H. Maiman Award for Excellence in Dental Laser Research.


Disclosure: Dr. Barros has only academic interests in further studying and understanding lasers and their interactions with biological tissues.



Kevin Boyd, DDS, MSc
Private Practice | Chicago, Illinois, USA

Dr. Boyd is a board-certified pediatric dentist practicing in Chicago. He is also an attending instructor in the residency-training program in Pediatric Dentistry at Lurie Children’s Hospital where he additionally serves as a dental consultant to the Sleep Medicine service. Prior to completing his dental degree from Loyola University's Chicago College of Dentistry in 1986, he obtained an advanced degree (M.Sc.) in Human Nutrition from Michigan State University where his research interests were focused on unhealthy eating, dental caries, obesity, and diabetes. He attended the University of Iowa for his post-graduate residency training where he received a Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry in 1988. Dr. Boyd has served on the teaching faculties of the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, the University of Michigan College of Dentistry, the University of Chicago Hospital, Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and Michael Reese Hospital as an attending clinical instructor. He is currently completing prerequisite course work in Biological Anthropology at Northeastern Illinois University in preparation for graduate study and research in the newly emerging discipline of Evolutionary Medicine. His clinical focus is centered on prevention of oral and systemic disease through promotion of healthy breathing and eating; his primary research interest is in the area of infant/early childhood feeding practices and how they impact palatal-facial development, naso-respiratory competence, and neuro-cognitive development. He is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania doing research in the areas of anthropology and orthodontics. He has recently received appointment as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas.

Disclosure: Dr. Boyd has no financial interests in any companies.

Laura Braswell

Laura Braswell, DDS
Buckhead Periodontics, Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Dr. Braswell is a periodontist in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been using lasers for over 27 years. As a new Board member of the ALD, she hopes to support laser technology for oral and systemic health. Dr. Braswell is on the FDA committee for lasers and devices. After graduating from University of North Carolina School of Dentistry in 1982, she practiced general dentistry then joined the faculty at Emory University School of Dentistry. She completed a 4 year residency there and is still on the research faculty, and teaches at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Dr. Braswell is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. She is a diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology, a charter member and Master Clinician in the Academy of Laser Dentistry, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Veterinary Dental Society. She is the staff dentist for Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium.


Disclosure: Dr. Braswell has reported no conflicts of interest.

 Mel Burchman Mel Burchman, DDS
Private Practice, Langhorne, Pennsylvania, USA 


Dr. Burchman has maintained a general dentistry practice in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, since 1976. He began using lasers in 1999 and now has eight lasers in his practice. In 2001 he received Advanced Proficiency in Nd:YAG laser from the ALD. In November 2003 he received the “The Science Behind the Clinic of Laser Dentistry” award for his presentation on “Nd:YAG and Diode Laser Therapy in the Medically Compromised Patient.” Also in 2003 his office was written up in Men’s Health magazine in an article titled “The Drill Is Gone.” In 2005 he became a Certified Laser Educator from the ALD and received its Certificate of Mastership in 2008. Dr. Burchman has been published twice in the ALD journal Wavelengths on the use of lasers in the care of medically compromised patients. Dr. Burchman calls this his passion and has presented on this topic over 50 times. He was awarded the ALD’s Leon Goldman Award for Clinical Excellence in 2012. He has served the ALD as mentor, examiner, and chairman of many committees, is a member of the its Board of Directors Executive Committee. In 2015 he was the General and Scientific Chairman of the ALD annual conference and in 2016 was the Co-Program Chair of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery conference. In 2016 he received his Recognized Course Provider certification and is currently the ALD President. Previously he has lectured for Sirona Dental, Benco Dental, and Henry Schein Dental.


Disclosure: Dr. Burchman has reported no conflicts of interest.
 James Carroll James Carroll, FRSM, CEO
THOR Photomedicine Ltd, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom


James Carroll is an electronics engineer and is the founder and CEO of THOR Photomedicine Ltd. With over 30 years of photobiomodulation experience, he is a recognized authority and much-published author on low-level laser therapy (LLLT) / photobiomodulation mechanisms of action, dose, dose rate effects, and the measurement and reporting of PBM parameters. He has co-authored 22 PBM papers and contributed to chapters of five PBM books. Mr. Carroll is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine (2009-present), co-chairs the annual Biomedical Optics Society conference on PBM mechanisms (2009-present), and is a Board member of the World Association for photobiomoduLation Therapy (2000-2004 and 2018-present). He has presented at Congressional and White House briefings on PBM as a solution for the opioid crisis, and at a United Nations Global Health Impact Forum on PBM treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


Disclosure: Mr. Carroll is founder and CEO of THOR Photomedicine, a LLLT manufacturing company and has ownership interest in Lumithera, Inc., a developmental stage medical device company developing photobiomodulation treatment protocols for age-related macular degeneration and other ocular indications, compensation for which is significant. THOR receives significant research support from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Health Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Sydney University Dental School, Birmingham University Dental School, Tel Aviv University, and others.

Nick Clausen, MBA

West Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Nick is the founder and owner of Dental Laser Coaching (DLC) which offers clinical and product laser consultation services to various organizations and dentists around the world. DLC is a State of Nevada board-approved laser proficiency course provider. Nick is also the Director of Laser Mastery for Fortune Management, the largest dental consulting/coaching organization in North America. His previous dental experience includes Vice President (VP) of Sales & Marketing for PIPStek, LLC, Intellectual Property owner of Photon-Induced Photoacoustic Streaming (PIPS) in which he played a key role in the sale to Sonendo. Prior to this Nick was VP of Sales and Marketing for Implant Logistics and helped create The Dominican Training Institute, which provides a hands-on surgical implant training program. His first involvement with dentistry was with HOYA ConBio where he progressed from Midwest Sales Representative to the Director of Sales & Marketing for the North American Dental Division. Nick received his Standard and Advanced Proficiency in Laser Dentistry from the Academy of Laser Dentistry. He has attended training programs and consulted with numerous dental training organizations and dental manufacturers: A.T. Still University, Biolase, Bioresearch, Convergent Dental, Dentsply Sirona, Fotona, Las Vegas Institute, Quanta Aesthetic Lasers USA, Sonendo, THOR, Ultradent, and UNLV Dental School. Nick has his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree from Iowa State University. He earned an MBA from Creighton University. Nick has certifications in both Project Management & eCommerce from Georgia Tech University, and has completed The Program on Negotiation from Harvard Law School.

Disclosure: Mr. Clausen has received honorarium for lecturing, consulting &/or training from Biolase, Convergent Dental, Dentsply Sirona, LVI and owns stock in Sonendo.



Benjamin Curtis, DDS
Private Practice | Canton, Texas, USA

Dr. Curtis graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry and went on to Pediatric Dental Residency there after completing dental school. He was named a Harris Fellow for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. He currently practices in Dallas, TX, where he utilizes an all-tissue laser in his practice on a daily basis. He enjoys being a part-time voluntary teacher for the pediatric dental residents at Texas A&M Dental School where he teaches the residents laser dentistry and private practice courses. Dr. Curtis has taught hands-on, online, and live lecture courses on pediatric laser dentistry to clinicians worldwide.

Disclosure: Dr. Curtis lectures for Biolase and receives a modest honorarium for these activities.

 Arun Darbar Arun Darbar, BDS, DGDP(UK)
Private Practice, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom


Dr. Darbar is an award-winning laser dentist constantly striving to provide the best in service and patient care. He has been instrumental in pioneering the use of photobiomodulation therapy( PBMT) with high-power surgical lasers with diffusers, beam splitters, and expanders. He has been continuously involved in research and development, and designs and beta-tests numerous laser units. Dr. Darbar recently introduced the concept of preconditioning with various wavelengths to achieve quicker, better outcomes for compromised and routine patients in dentistry and other medical applications. Some of this data has been presented and published as proceedings of SPIE conferences in 2006, 2007, and 2011 USA, World Association for Laser Therapy (WALT) 2008 South Africa and 2012 Australia. His memberships include British Dental Association, British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), British Society for Occlusal Studies (BSOS), American Dental Association (ADA), American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), ALD, World Clinical Laser Institute (WCLI) and many others. Dr. Darbar is the 2017 recipient of ALD’s John G. Sulewski Distinguished Service Award.


Disclosure: Dr. Darbar lectures for several organizations and receives modest honorarium for his courses.



Michelle Emanuel, OTR/L
Private Practice | Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Michelle has spent the last 24 years of her career as an Occupational Therapist specializing in the assessment and treatment of precrawling babies. She has a strong interest in breastfeeding, myofunctional science, neuro-based soft tissue manual therapy techniques, optimal movement, and the social nervous system. Michelle is a board-certified Reflexologist, infant massage educator, and creator of the TummyTime! Method, a unique movement sequence to optimize cranial nerve function and neurodevelopment.

Disclosure: Michelle receives compensation from TummyTime! Method.


Michael Gelb, DDS, MS
Private Practice| New York, New York, USA

Dr. Gelb grew up with a father who was a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pioneer and a mother who became a myofunctional therapist. He expanded his knowledge of TMJ into Airway, creating AirwayCentric® Dentistry and AirwayCentric® Orthodontics. Along with Howie Hindin, he is a coauthor of Gasp! Airway Health and a cofounder of the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry (AAPMD) and Foundation for Airway Health. Dr. Gelb is dedicated to the optimal development of the brain in children at the earliest age. He would like to see more diagnosis and testing of children and adults for breathing-related sleep disorders. Growing the airway as early in life as possible has become a main focus and priority. He is the director of The Gelb Center in New York City and Westchester, NY.

Disclosure: Dr .Gelb has a consulting agreement with ProSomnus.

 Ed Kusek Edward R. Kusek, DDS
Private Practice, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA


Dr. Kusek is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology, and an Honored Fellow of American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He has achieved Mastership in the Academy of Laser Dentistry and the Academy of General Dentistry. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nebraska Dental School and University of South Dakota Department of Dental Hygiene. Dr. Kusek is the President-Elect of the Academy of Laser Dentistry.

Disclosure: Dr. Kusek lectures for Ultradent Products and receives an honorarium. He consults with laser companies Biolase, Great Plains Technologies, Ultradent, and Convergent Dental, and with Straumann on dental implants.


  Larry Kotlow, DDS

Private Practice | Albany, New York, USA


Dr. Kotlow is a 1972 graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo Dental School, and completed his pediatric dental residency at the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1974. He became Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry in 1980‚ and is a life member of the American Dental Association (ADA), Life Fellow of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (FABPD) life member of the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) and Third District Dental Society of New York, member of American Academy of Physiologic Medicine and Dentistry (AAPMD)‚ and has been a member of the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) since 2000. He has achieved Mastership from the Academy of Laser Dentistry (MALD)‚ ALD Advanced Proficiency in Er:YAG, Nd:YAG, and CO2 (9300 nm) lasers, and Standard Proficiency in diode (810 nm and 980 nm) lasers. Dr. Kotlow is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, two textbooks (Atlas of TOTS and SOS 4 TOTS) about lasers, infant frenectomies, and breastfeeding. He has contributed to various chapters in six textbooks in laser dentistry.


Disclosure: In the past Dr. Kotlow has provided educational presentations, videos, and consultations to HOYA ConBio lasers and Fotona Powerlase Spa, LightWalker lasers, Xlase diode laser, and Photobiomodulating Lasers. He has contributed to the development of the infant goggles with Innovative Optics. At the present time, he receives honoraria for training and provide education on Solea procedures, laser safety, and laser physics to new Solea dentists for Convergent Dental (developer of the Solea laser). He is a beta tester of new upgrades and software for the Solea all-tissue carbon dioxide dental laser (9300 nm), as well as a dental consultant to and investor in Convergent Dental. Presently he is an investor and developer of soft tissue dental instruments with Armor-Dental.



Vicki L. Neve
Family & Implant Dentistry, Ltd | Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA

Vicki has been involved in the dental field as both a clinical assistant and in the business office since 1982. She has worked with Dr. Edward Kusek at Family & Implant Dentistry since 1995, managing the coding and insurance, and is currently Administrative Business Assistant. Vicki is passionate about helping patients afford the dental care that they deserve by assisting in comfortable payment options and working with their dental and medical insurance benefits. She has attended many hours of continuing education with focus on maximizing patient benefits, and is a part of Dr. Kusek's team that hosts courses and speaks to attending dentists, hygienists, and auxiliaries.

Disclosure: Vicki has reported no commercial affiliations or personal conflicts of interest.

Scott Parker, DDS

Woodland Hills, Utah, USA


Dr. Parker has educated thousands of clinicians across the USA and internationally. In that time, he has advocated for increased standards in aesthetic and restorative procedures, minimally invasive techniques, and dental technology. Having taught over 1000 hours in didactic courses as well as 800+ hours of hands-on surgical courses, Dr. Parker is well-versed in teaching and hands-on training. In addition to speaking and training, he has written or is listed on more than 30 patents or patents-pending and has published many articles in a variety of dental journals. In 2011, after sixteen years of dental practice experience, Dr. Parker transitioned from clinical dentistry into leadership roles in the dental industry and most recently serves as the Vice President of Clinical Affairs for DEKA Dental Lasers, where he oversees all clinical education, hands-on in-office clinical laser training, and emerging technology applications. He has a deep, hands-on understanding of dental aesthetics, lasers, implants, functional reconstruction, and dental technologies. His professional affiliations include or have included: The Academy of Laser Dentistry, Academy of RV Tucker Study Clubs, The American Dental Association, American Society for Dental Aesthetics (accredited), and The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. When not teaching, he enjoys spending time with his family, riding his bicycle, playing music, and woodworking.


Disclosure Dr. Parker is a salaried employee of DEKA Dental Lasers.


 Shalizeh Patel Shalizeh "Shelly" A. Patel, DDS, MEd
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Dentistry, Houston, Texas, USA


Dr. Shalizeh A. “Shelly” Patel is an associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (UTSD). She is the Director of Clinical Simulation for the School of Dentistry and she designed the didactic, laboratory, and clinic-based teaching curriculum in laser education at UTSD. In 2019, she received the American Dental Education Association (ADEA)/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Excellence in Teaching Award and Academy of Laser Dentistry T.H. Maiman Award for Excellence in Dental Laser Research.


Disclosure: Dr. Patel has only academic interests in further studying and understanding lasers and their interactions with biological tissues.

 Annette Quinn Annette Quinn, RN, MSN
UPMC Hillman Cancer Centers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Annette Quinn is the Program Manager of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center. She obtained her undergraduate degree at Pennsylvania State University and her Master’s in Nursing Education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She has already had a strong passion for prevention and treatment of oral mucositis with numerous publications on the topic. She was instrumental in implementing the first low-level laser therapy (LLLT) oncology clinic in her practice for oncology patients at risk for mucositis.


Disclosure: Ms. Quinn is an advanced practice nurse at University of Pittsburgh and has no other disclosures.



Barry Raphael, DMD
Private Practice| Clifton, New Jersey, USA

Dr. Raphael has been an orthodontic specialist in practice just outside of New York City for the past 37 years. Stories of his change of heart in orthodontics have made him a popular speaker nationally and internationally. He is a past-president of his local dental society and his State orthodontic society. He sits on the Children's Airway Health Task Force for the American Dental Association (ADA) and on the Donated Orthodontic Services committee for the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Dr. Raphael taught myofunctional orthodontics at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine for 8 years and now teaches for the Airway Collaborative, an academy for practitioners learning to add airway thinking into their dental practices.

Disclosure: Dr. Raphael is the owner of the Raphael Center for Integrative Orthdontics and founder of the Raphael Center for Integrative Education.

 Gerry Ross Gerald Ross, DDS

Allston, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Ross has been practicing General Practice Dentistry with a special interest in lasers and facial pain since 1971. He has been using lasers since 1992and has given more than 200 lectures on lasers, both nationally and internationally, and has published 15 articles on lasers. He has written chapters on photobiomodulation (PBM) in dentistry in 2 textbooks, does peer review for 4 journals, and is a member of the editorial board of Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery. Dr. Ross is a Past President of the North American Association for Photobiomodulation and holds Advanced Certification from ALD. He is also a member of the ALD speaker’s bureau, the ALD Board of Directors, and heads the ALD Certification Committee. In 2016 he was presented with ALD’s Leon Goldman Award for Clinical Excellence.

Disclosure: Dr. Ross is paid a fee for giving lectures for Zolartek Diode Laser and MedX but has no financial interest in either company.

Vanessa Anderson-Smith, MA, CCC-SLP, COM
Private Practice | Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA


Vanessa is a South Dakota native who attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, and received her master’s degree from the University of South Dakota in 2010. She began her career working in skilled nursing homes in South Dakota and then started her own private practice specializing in motor speech and feeding disorders in 2013. She recently opened a second location of her practice in Brandon, South Dakota. Her certified trainings include TalkTools Oral Placement Therapy (Level 4 Certification), PROMPT Bridging, Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty, and The SOS Approach to Feeding. Vanessa has also done specialized training in myofascial release, apraxia of speech, pediatric dysphagia, and orofacial myofunctional disorders. In addition to these trainings, Vanessa is a Certified Orofacial Myologist through the International Association of Orofacial Myology. She is a TalkTools instructor and serves on multiple non-profit boards.


Disclosure: Vanessa is a TalkTools instructor and is paid to create and teach courses using the TalkTools techniques. She is also an independent contractor for Little Sprout Speech, specifically a moderator on social media platforms for the Feed The Peds: The Myo Membership program.


Sharon Vallone, DC, FICCP
Private Practice | South WIndsor, Connecticut, USA

Dr. Vallone is a graduate of Rutgers University and New York Chiropractic College. She completed her Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics in 1996 through Palmer College and received her appointment as Fellow in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics in 2003. Dr. Vallone has a private practice limited to high-risk pregnancies and challenged children in Connecticut and is currently the Chair of the Board of Kentuckiana Children’s Center in Louisville, KY, and past Vice Chair of the International Chiropractors Association’s Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics. She is an international speaker, author, and editor of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. Dr. Vallone brings 33+ years of pediatric chiropractic experience with a primary interest in pregnancy, birth trauma, breastfeeding, and problems with infant/toddler neurodevelopment.


Disclosure: Dr. Vallone has reported no conflicts of interest.