Prof Tan is a specialist Orthodontist and Certified Board Member of the Australian Society of Orthodontists. He obtained speciality training at the University of Adelaide (MDS) with additional dental degrees (FRACDS, MRACDS (ORTH)) from the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. He obtained his Doctorate (DPHIL) from the University of Oxford and also trained as a scientist with Nobel Prize winner Gerald Edelman at Rockefeller University, New York.
Prof Tan practises evidence-based Orthodontics and has a research laboratory at University of Melbourne. Prof Tan has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers. For his contribution to research in Australia, he was awarded the Amgen Australia Medal (1997) and the Special Achievement Award by the Australian Dental Association Vic Branch (2012). His standing in research is recognised by his appointment as Senior Principal Research Fellow with the National Health & Medical Research Council.
Prof Tan is Visiting Professor to the National University of Singapore.