Eastman Dental Institute


Research themes

 Our research is also organised by theme:

Clinical Research for Oral & systemic health

In this theme, our researchers are focussing on diseases of the orofacial tissues including dental disease, oral cancer and precancer, salivary gland disease, jawbone disease, musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain. This research also encompasses research in implantology, and periodontal diseases with various chronic systemic diseases (diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases).

As per of the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, the Department also focuses on translational (experimental) medicine, including clinical trials of repurposed drugs, novel diagnostics, novel drugs and devices, and improvements in treatment selection and evaluation of response. Our researchers are expert in early first-in-human clinical studies and also large multicentre phase III trials, including both Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMPs) and non-CTIMPs studies.

Microbial Disease

Our vision is to reduce the burden of infection through the development of novel antimicrobial strategies and to improve human health by studying host-microbiome interactions.

This research theme can be divided in 2 sub-themes: 

Antimicrobial resistance and novel antimicrobial therapies

Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat and there is an urgent need to develop new antimicrobials and novel anti-infective strategies. The objectives of this theme are to understand the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and to develop novel antimicrobial therapies. This sub-theme is led by a group of researchers who are internationally recognised for the development of photodynamic therapy to treat microbial diseases

Biofilms and the Microbiome

Biofilms are responsible for around 80% of all infections, in addition to being found naturally in the environment and co-existing with humans in the form of our indigenous microbiota. The Eastman is internationally regarded as one of the pioneer centres for biofilm research focusing on oral bacteria and bacteria associated with healthcare infections. Active research programmes associated with this theme are investigating the composition of biofilms, their mechanisms of formation, their resistance to antimicrobials, the development of novel anti-biofilm therapies and novel therapies based on modulation of the microbiota.

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Regeneration of tissue is a fundamental concept within current healthcare. Our primary aim is to restore function and appearance by the development of novel materials and strategies to control and drive the repair process but also to understand and enhance the cellular environment and interaction and ensure this is also in an optimised state. Thus we have two themes that our efforts are directed towards:

Developing new biomaterials technology and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches.

Work is being carried out across all materials groups from polymers, through composites to metals, to both synthesise new materials and also process into appropriate architecture. New regenerative medicine technologies draw on combinations of cell, gene and small molecular therapies. All of this knowledge is applied to address a wide range of clinical challenges and commercial opportunities.

Understanding the response of materials, cells and tissues to physical and biochemical environments

Fundamental research is being carried out into determination of the properties of materials and tissues using a wide range of probe methodologies, and at the Eastman we have particular research strengths in mechanical testing, microscopy methods, including SEM, TEM, AFM, confocal, fluorescence and chemical imaging. All of this fundamental knowledge feeds back into our applied and translational strategies

Society and Oral Heath

Oral health affects the way people live their lives. Working with UCL Dental Public Health group, our research investigates the wider importance of oral health on quality of life, wellbeing and performance.  We encompass research in disparity and inequalities in oral health and access to healthcare and their impacts on various populations groups, including people with special needs and high performance athletes.  We collaborate and engage broadly with the public and organisations both within and outside of oral health. Our partners include patient and public representatives, governments, policy makers, funding organisations and industry. Our research creates impact and contributes to national and international oral health guidance and policy.