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Forsyth remembers Dr. Soparkar: Mentor, Colleague, Friend 

It is with great sadness that Forsyth marks the passing of Dr. Pramod “Bob” Soparkar. Dr. Soparkar, whose tenure at Forsyth spanned over seventy years, died on March 5, 2023, surrounded by his loved ones. He was 95.

He is remembered fondly for his mentorship, generosity, and scientific rigor. Throughout his illustrious career, he was a tireless advocate for oral health research and its impact on public health. The capstone of his career was the establishment of the Forsyth School Oral Health Program in Kuwait.

“Bob was one of the giants in the field. Not many people have had such a profound impact on children’s oral health globally,” said Dr. Wenyuan Shi, CEO of Forsyth. “I always will remember with fondness his generous welcome when I first arrived at Forsyth five years ago.”

Dr. Soparkar made significant contributions to children’s oral health worldwide. For over 40 years, he brought Forsyth’s expertise to the Middle East and established a comprehensive oral health care program for children in Kuwait beginning in the early 1980’s. The program was highlighted by the World Health Organization as a model initiative.

Today, more than 300,000 children are cared for in the Kuwait-Forsyth School Oral Health Program. They are given preventative care, and children and parents receive education to support good oral health practices at home.

In addition to leading the Kuwait program, Soparkar conducted clinical research with a focus on the study of the distribution and determinants of oral diseases, the short-and long-term assessment of new and promising prophylactic modalities, and the implementation and evaluation of public health programs involving prevention and/or care. Soparkar’s clinical studies included craniofacial growth, cavities in adults and children, gingivitis, plaque, plaque pH, calculus, tooth sensitivity, stain, and tooth whitening.

In 2011, he helped integrate the Forsyth-Kuwait Healthy Lifestyle Study into the school-based program. Under the leadership of Max Goodson, this program used saliva to learn more about diabetes.

“We started in Kuwait the same way we started out in the United States,” said Soparkar in 2015. “We wanted to stop children from suffering the pain of tooth decay. Today, our goal in Kuwait is not just oral health treatment, it’s also education and prevention—not just for oral infection, but for systemic diseases that we are linking to oral disease.”

Dr. Soparkar traveled to Kuwait several times a year up until nearly the end of his life and continued to be active in the Kuwait-Forsyth School Oral Health Program. In 2018, the program became one of the first community oral health programs to receive international accreditation He was a modest man who preferred to praise the efforts of his colleagues rather than drawing attention to himself.

In 2015, Dr. Soparkar received the Forsyth “Icon in Oral Health” award at Forsyth’s inaugural Taste & Toast event in recognition of his lifetime legacy in the oral health field. Over his lifetime, Dr. Soparkar received countless prestigious awards, but his daughter, Kamala Soparkar, told us that this award meant the most to him. He loved that he was preventing pain for children.


In his personal life, Soparkar and his wife were dedicated to helping children. The couple raised fourteen kids: they birthed four children and adopted ten children, including two sets of twins, from five different countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica and the United States.

Thank you to Kamala Soparkar for providing the feature photo of Dr. Soparkar as a young man. It was taken in 1951 during his first week at Forsyth.

To learn more about Dr. Soparkar’s incredible legacy, see the full obituary

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