Eastman Dental Institute


Fine fellowships: new grants, new studies

13 October 2017


Janine Doughty has received a Fellowship from the NIHR to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of implementing rapid, point-of-care HIV testing in dental settings.

Janine’s study will encompass:

  • The undertaking of a systematic review of HIV testing in dental settings;
  • Focus groups with patients attending dental practices and in particular those patients from populations at high risk of late diagnosis of HIV;
  • The implementation of point-of-care HIV testing across four or five dental sites; this point-of-care testing will run for 12 months and include approximately 2,000 people;
  • Statistical and health economic analysis of the outcomes of the study.

The study has the potential to impact upon and shape public policy and ultimately, if fully implemented within dental services, may help to reduce the undiagnosed fraction of people living with HIV.

Early diagnosis and timely access to treatment for HIV can give people a long and health life as well as preventing onward transmission to others.

Tomoko Kumagai, from Japan, joins us after receiving a prestigious MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship to investigate the processes which drive Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

IBD is a chronic condition affecting 300,000 people in the UK with an increasing incidence.

The mechanism of the disease still remains unclear and in order to improve the management of the condition we need to gain a greater understanding of the processes driving the inflammatory response within the bowel.

Tomoko will be investigating a function of the gene BRINP3 in a mucosal barrier function and how it might play a role in the pathogenesis of IBD.

The MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship is a government-funded scheme supporting clinicians to undertake a PhD while taking time out from clinical training.

A previous EDI PhD student, Dr Weerachai Singhatanadgit (Meng) has, with Professor Anne Young, received Newton Fellowship Funding to enable himself and Piyaphong Panpisut (Note) to work on new composites for bone repair. 

Note developed SMART, self-repairing dental composite materials during his PhD at the Institute and then modified them for bone repair.

The Fellowship will enable Note and Meng to continue work, both here and in their home country of Thailand, on these new materials. The project will undertake new cell biology studies.

Additionally, it has enabled the organisation of a network of Thai and UK clinicians, material scientists and biologists that can move the new bone composite materials closer to the clinic.

Meanwhile, Clinical Lecturer, Dr Owaise Sharif has begun looking at the personalised provision of orthodontic treatment information in the digital age.

The project will involve developing a mobile phone application to support orthodontic patients.

It will aim to improve adherence to orthodontic treatment advice, including things like tooth brushing around braces and keeping a brace intact and also appointment attendance.

This innovative project is funded by the 70th Anniversary Special Research Fellowship from the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.