Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He graduated in Dentistry from the University of Witwatersrand in 1956. Appointed research fellow at the University of Rochester from 1959 to 1961, where he earned a MS degree. He came to the University of Alberta in 1961 and was a full professor in Dentistry until 1996. He is now an emeritus professor and has been appointed successively as a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore, the University of Witwatersrand, University of Otago, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Rochester during the past 14 years.
Dr. Sperber is the author of 6 books: Craniofacial Embryology (5 editions); Morphology of Cheek Teeth of Early South African Hominids; Atlas of Radiographs of Early Man; From Apes to Angels; Craniofacial Embryogenetics and Development. He has also had 20 book chapters and 90 scientific articles published.
Dr. Sperber was elected a Foreign Associate of the Royal Society of South Africa in 1987, was named McCalla Research Professor at the University of Alberta for 1990-91, Distinguished Academician by the Academy of Medicine in Singapore in 1991, Fellow of the International College of Dentists in 1992, received the Award of Merit of the Canadian Dental Association in 2001, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany, in 2002. He was a Bulyea Cup Laureate in 2005. He was appointed as the eponymus lecturer for the Bernard G. Sarnat Lectureship at UCLA in 2006, and has had an annual Research Prize Award named in his honour by the Society of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology in 2011.
He has memberships with the International Association for Dental Research, the American Association of Anatomists, the Canadian Association of Physical Anthropologists, the Canadian Dental Association, the American Cleft Palate Association, the American Society of Human Genetics, and the Craniofacial Genetics Society, of which he was the secretary for seven years. He was a Section Editor for the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal for 10 years, and a reviewer for several academic journals, and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Dental Research, and of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Medicine & Dental Science.