Eastman Dental Institute


Congratulations on your PhDs....

28 September 2017


We are delighted to announce recent PhD successes:

Dr Dallas Roulston, from Australia, has been awarded his PhD for his thesis: An investigation of optical methods for the mapping of microgradients of hydrogen-ion concentration within dental biofilms.

Primary supervisor Professor Dave Spratt said: “The oral cavity is the most complex and the most accessible microbial ecosystem in the human body where communities of bacteria attach themselves via biofilms to the various surfaces of the mouth including teeth.

“Investigating the pH within bacterial biofilms is key to us developing preventative strategies and treatments for oral disease such as dental caries.

“Dallas examined two optical methods which utilised different properties of fluorescence to investigate pH microgradients within biofilms and found that SNARF dyes combined with fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy was able to measure pH in real time in biofilms.

“This important work opens up a whole new area of research into how pH changes in multispecies biofilms and indeed how different carbohydrates influence this.”

“Insights into how pH influences the formation of biofilms and indeed mature bacterial communities should allow us influence the progression from oral health to disease.”

This work was funded by the BBSRC and GSK

Thai researcher Dr Piyaphong Panpisut (Note) has also successfully obtained his PhD entitled Development of Composites for Tooth and Bone Repair.

Primary supervisor Anne Young said: “Piyaphong’s work on dental composites has helped the development of a SMART self-repairing material that can be used to restore children’s teeth without need for anaesthetic, drill, etchant, adhesive or the complex layering techniques currently required with conventional composite placement. 

“Furthermore, in his thesis, Piyaphong modified the above composites to enable their use in the cementation of osteoporotic fractures of the vertebra.

“This work has led to recent Newton Fellowship Funding which will enable him to continue working on these materials in Thailand.  

“He has been an exceptional student who is always willing to help others. 

“I look forward to working with him on the above new grant proposals to move his bone composite materials closer to the clinic - and I wish him all the best in his lecturing position in Dentistry back in Thailand.”

Finally, Dr Nasser Alqhtani, from Saudi Arabia, recently received his PhD for his thesis entitled The effect of bisphosphonates on human mesenchymal stem cell behaviour and its implication on titanium osseointegration - examined by Professor Knowles from UCL and Dr Aslam from Imperial College London.

Primary supervisor Dr Rachel Leeson said: “Dr Alqhtani’s research involved a broad range of laboratory techniques and even extended to epigenetics.

“Nasser successfully completed his Master’s programme here at UCL EDI and was then accepted to do his PhD studies.

“He demonstrated an excellent aptitude for research work whilst at UCL and was a dedicated and thoughtful postgraduate.

“I am grateful to all those involved in his supervision Dr Sajeda Meghji, Dr Peter Brett and those available in the lab for constant advice Dr Graham Palmer, Dr Nicola Mordan and Mr George Georgiou.

“During his PhD Nasser had the opportunity to present his work at National and International conferences and his research findings have the potential for use in future clinical applications, for patients undergoing reconstructive surgery and dental implants.

“It has been a privilege to work with Nasser and supervise this significant body of work. I wish him all the best in his future Academic and Surgical career as he returns home to Saudi Arabia with his family.

“We would like to gratefully acknowledge the Government of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Education, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz Unversity for generously funding this PhD.”