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Current PhD projects

There is a variety of research activity taking place at the Institute. Below is a list of research areas, each with details of project titles within that area suitable for study at MPhil/PhD level.

To discuss any potential MPhil/PhD further, please do not contact potential supervisors directly.  All enquiries should be directed to the Research Student Administrator

You can also browse PhD projects by supervisor

Antibiotic resistance

 

Project titles:

New therapeutics for tuberculosis: identification and characterisation of cofactor biosynthesis pathways and their role during infection
Supervisor: Dr Dimitrios Evangelopoulos
Rational design of future drug combinations as a strategy to combat antibiotic resistance and superbugs
Supervisor: Dr Dimitrios Evangelopoulos
Exploring gene transfer in the whole oral microbiota metagenomics, oral microbiota, mobile genetic elements
Supervisor: Professor Peter Mullany
Novel approaches to understanding how the important nosocomial pathogen Clostridium difficile causes disease
Clostridium difficile, virulence, antimicrobial associated disease
Supervisor: Professor Peter Mullany
Macrolide resistance in the oral cavity: mechanisms and transfer
Supervisor: Dr Elaine Allan
Bacterial virulence

 Project titles:

Identification of novel therapeutic targets in bacteria associated with healthcare infections such as staphylococcus aureus and 'superbugs' such as VRE and MRSA
Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, enterococci, VRE, virulence
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Novel approaches to understanding how the important nosocomial pathogen Clostridium difficile causes disease
Clostridium difficile, virulence, antimicrobial associated disease
Supervisor: Professor Peter Mullany
Signal transduction in bacterial virulence
Supervisor: Dr Elaine Allan
Biofilms

Project titles:

Constant depth film fermentor models of gingivitis and periodontitis
gingivitis, periodontitis, biofilms
Supervisor: Professor Dave Spratt
Development of new strategies for treating implant infections
biofilms, enterococci, periodontal pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Molecular mechanisms of biofilm formation
Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, VRSA
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Synthetic biology to develop agents for disrupting medically important biofilms
molecular breeding, domain shuffling, enzymes
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Understanding biofilm regulation in Campylobacter jejuni
biofilms, signalling, virulence
Supervisor: Dr Elaine Allan

Bacterial vitamin biosynthesis pathways and their role in the homeostasis of the oral microbiome 
Supervisor:  Dr Dimitrios Evangelopoulos

Biomaterials and composites for matrix tissue engineering

Project titles:

  • Catalyst free synthesis of polyesters for tissue engineering
  • Neurogenic and Osteogenic peptide delivery via polymer matrices
  • Development of Degradable Fibres for Hard and Soft Tissue Engineering
  • Silk fibroin and degradable polyurethane composites with improved mechanical properties
Supervisor: Profssor Jonathan Knowles
Caries Microbiology

 Project titles:

Novel signal transduction mechanisms in Streptococcus mutans
 Supervisor: Dr Elaine Allan
Synthetic biology to develop dental plaque disrupting agents
molecular breeding, domain shuffling, enzymes
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Development of novel antimicrobial therapies

Project titles:

A synthetic biology approach to the development of phage therapy to bacterial diseases
phage, oral acquisition microflora, caries
Supervisor: Professor Peter MullanyDr Paul Ashley
Identification of novel therapeutic targets in bacteria associated with healthcare infections such as staphylococcus aureus and 'superbugs' such as VRE and MRSA
Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, enterococcus, VRE, virulence
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Development of novel antimicrobial agents and identification of antimicrobial agents produced by microorganisms novel antimicrobials, metagenomics, antimicrobial peptides, bacteriocins
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Metagenomics for natural product discovery
Supervisor: Dr Elaine Allan
Biofilm disruption activities in natural environments
Supervisor: Dr Elaine Allan
Targeted photodynamic therapy for bacterial infections
photosensitizers, singlet oxygen, targeting molecules, MRSA, staphylococcus
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Endodontal microbiology

Project titles:

Constant depth film fermentor models of endodontal infections
Supervisor: Professor Dave Spratt
Molecular mechanisms of enterococcal resistance to root canal treatments and host defences
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
Injectable, antibacterial, remineralising materials for tooth and bone repair

Project titles

Self adhesive, re-mineralising, antibacterial dental restorative materials
dental restoration,  methacrylate, calcium phosphate, antibacterial release / action
Supervisor: Professor Anne Young / Dr Paul Ashley
Replacement of PMMA bone cement with a modified dental composite
polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), bone cement, dental composite, strength, antibacterial
Supervisor: Professor Anne Young / Dr Lambis Petridis
Degradable composite bone cement development
calcium phosphate, degradable polymers, bone cement, drug release
Supervisor:  Professor Anne Young
Mucosal immunity

Project titles:

Mucosal immune response in health and disease
Innate, adaptive, immunity, inflammation, macrophage, Toll-like receptors
Transcriptomic analysis of oral inflammatory disease
Transcriptomics, inflammation, human disease, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics
Understanding epithelial immunity to bacterial and viral infection
Inflammation, toll-like receptors, inflammasome, autophagy, next generation sequencing
Understanding the mechanisms driving oral inflammation
Innate immunity, inflammation, toll-like receptors, human disease, probiotics, dysbiosis
Studying the role of probiotics in the regulation of mucosal inflammation and immunity
Investigating how autophagy influences mucosal immune responses
Innate immunity, toll-like receptors, Nod-like receptors, epithelial cells, macrophages
 Supervisor: Professor Andrew Smith
 
Oral medicine

Project titles:

Development of patient-related outcomes (PRO) measures in oral mucosal diseases
Supervisor: Dr Stefano Fedele
Innate Immunity defects in oral mucosal disease
Supervisor: Dr Stefano Fedele
Efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis in reducing the risk of jaw osteonecrosis in individuals exposed to bisphosphonates who undergo dental extractions
Supervisor: Dr Stefano Fedele
Mucosal immune response in health and disease
Innate and adaptive immunity, inflammation, macrophage, Toll-like receptors
Supervisor: Professor Andrew Smith
Transcriptomic analysis of oral inflammatory disease
Transcriptomics, inflammation, human disease, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics
Supervisor: Professor Andrew Smith
Understanding the mechanisms driving oral inflammation
Innate immunity, inflammation, toll-like receptors, human disease, probiotics, dysbiosis
Supervisor: Professor Andrew Smith
Studying the role of probiotics in the regulation of mucosal inflammation and immunity
Supervisor: Professor Andrew Smith
Migraine and oral health: are the two diseases linked?
Supervisor: Dr Yago Leira
Oral health and performance

Project titles:

The natural history of the dental pellicle and its relationship to dental erosion in elite sport
Oral health and performance  in elite sport 
Nasal, oral and gut microbiomes for elite sport performance and population health. 
Oral biomarkers for monitoring elite athlete performance and health
Physical activity, inflammation and periodontal health 
Supervisor: Professor Ian Needleman
Paediatric Dentistry

Project titles:

Investigations of the effectiveness of remineralising composites as a restorative material in children
pain management,paediatric dentistry, sedation, anxiety management
Supervisor: Professor Anne Young
Assessment of Acceptability of Wand for paediatric dental patients
Supervisor: Dr Susan Parekh
Periodontal Microbiology

Project titles:

Constant depth film fermentor models of ginigivitis and periodontitis gingivitis, periodontitis, biofilms
Supervisor: Professor David Spratt
Identification of natural antimicrobial agents for the treatment of periodontal disease
periodontal pathogens, natural antimicrobials
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair
The role of biofilms in infections of titanium surfaces
periodontal pathogens, implants, titanium
Supervisor: Dr Sean Nair

Periodontitis and inflammatory bowel diseases: Exploring the nature of the association.
Supervisor: Dr Jacopo Buti

Periodontology

Project titles:

Treatment of Periodontitis and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients with Diabetes
Supervisor: Professor Francesco D'Aiuto

Comparison of different modalities of periodontal therapy
Supervisor: Professor Ian Needleman
Physical activity, inflammation and periodontal health 
Supervisor: Professor Ian Needleman
Mastication and periodontitis
Supervisor: Dr Jeanie Suvan
Weight loss and periodontitis
Supervisor: Dr Jeanie Suvan
Refined carbohydrate consumption and periodontal inflammation
Supervisor: Dr Jeanie Suvan

Mechanisms of endothelial inflammation/damage in periodontitis
Supervisor: Dr Marco Orlandi

Periodontology and Dental Implantology

Project titles:

Clinical effectiveness of vertical ridge augmentation modalities.
Supervisor: Dr Federico Moreno
Characterisation of periosteum-derived grafts for periodontal repair/regeneration
Supervisor: Dr Maja Sabalic
Regulation of cementum development and repair
Supervisor: Dr Maja Sabalic
Development of a smart investigational product dispenser for clinical trials
Supervisor: Dr Maja Sabalic
Prosthodontics

Project titles:

The influence of implant-abutment corrosion products on cell metabolic pathways implant abutment, dental implants, corrosion, peri-implantitis, bone loss
Supervisor: Dr Lambis Petridis / Professor Jonathan Knowles
Microbiome
Modelling the effect of functional foods and their active components on oral microbiome
Studying the impact of the microbiome on oral mucosal inflammatory disease
Investigating ways to manipulate the oral microbiome
Investigating the anti-inflammatory properties of probiotics in oral health and disease
Supervisors: Professor Andrew Smith and Professor Dave Spratt
Nasal, oral and gut microbiomes for elite sport performance and population health. 
Supervisor: Professor Ian Needleman
Bacterial vitamin biosynthesis pathways and their role in the homeostasis of the oral microbiome 
Supervisor:  Dr Dimitrios Evangelopoulos