Eastman Dental Institute


RCS Faculty of Dental Surgery Research Awards 2019

24 May 2019


We are delighted to announce that three UCL Eastman researchers have received new funding from the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons (FDS RCS).

Dr Owaise Sharif, Dr Frederico Moreno Sancho and Dr Krupti Patel have received awards for new and continuing clinical research projects.  

Their success reflects their skills, industry and that of their supervisors and colleagues – many congratulations!


Dr Owaise Sharif, Lecturer in Orthodontics, has been awarded an FDS RCS Research Fellowship to continue his work on the applicability of mobile phone apps to help orthodontic patients follow their treatment plans. 

A previous FDS RCS grant supported the development of the app which is grounded in behaviour change theory and informed by patient and professional engagement. 

The app is personalised and allows patients to input their own treatment information - including progress photographs. They can also set goals, develop plans for achieving these and monitor progress. 

The new grant will support the testing of the app with patients in terms of quality and also effectiveness in improving adherence to orthodontic treatment advice - including things like tooth brushing around braces, keeping a brace intact and appointment attendance.


Dr Federico Moreno Sancho, Lecturer in Periodontology, has been awarded a pump priming grant to examine aspects of angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels - utilising scaffolds. 

Recent studies have made marked progress in understanding tissue regeneration as driven by mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Simplified techniques for the harvesting and isolation of MSCs have also been developed.

A recent systematic review by our Periodontology team confirmed and highlighted the positive clinical and histological effects demonstrated by tissue-specific, cell-based (MSC) therapies for the achievement of bone and periodontal regeneration. 

This project will investigate the in vivo angiogenic potential of these tissue-based cell suspensions, collected from samples of gingival connective tissue, when loaded onto different collagen and bone scaffolds using a chick embryo model.  

Angiogenesis is critical for tissue healing and haemostasis. In vivo animal studies have shown that promoting angiogenesis will promote bone regeneration and it is understood that treatment modalities that promote tissue vascularization are likely to enhance tissue regeneration. Evidence on how cell-suspensions may affect this process will help on further understanding their role in bone regeneration. 

Dr Krupti Patel, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Oral Medicine, has been awarded a joint FDS RCS/British Society for Oral Medicine pump priming grant and will work under the supervision of Professor Andrew Smith on a project investigating how immune cells, from patients with an oral inflammatory disease called orofacial granulomatosis, kill bacteria.

Immune cells called macrophages are capable of eating bacteria by a process termed phagocytosis, which results in the killing and digestion of the ingested bacteria. 

Professor Smith has recently identified a number of mutations in genes involved in the process of phagocytosis in patients with orofacial granulomatosis.  Dr Patel' award will allow her to determine if these mutations are associated with the development of the disease. 

A greater understanding of the processes underlying the development of orofacial granulomatosis will help in future therapeutic design. Dr Patel hopes to use the pump prime grant to obtain a clinical research training fellowship in order to obtain a PhD and begin an academic clinical career in Oral Medicine.