Understanding the cellular and molecular processes underlying tissue injury and health is instrumental to the development of improved approaches to disease diagnosis, prevention and therapy.
Within this theme, centred at the School of Dentistry, we draw upon a network of interdisciplinary medical and dental clinical researchers and basic scientists to explore a range of research topics, ranging from dental regenerative processes and neutrophil and cancer cell biology through to dental ultrasound and novel biomedical imaging techniques.
Our pioneering research on dental regeneration is exploring the dentinogenic potentiality of stem / progenitor cells involved in regenerative events, the tissue niches for these cells and matrix-mediated cellular signalling processes. We are studying how inflammatory response mediators may impact on regeneration, the biological effects of ultrasound and the translation of our mechanistic knowledge of molecular and cellular events at the tissue clinical level to develop novel clinical regenerative therapies using various bioactive molecules and biomaterials.
A major strand of research in this theme area is focussed upon unravelling some of the complex stress response pathways in periodontal inflammation at the molecular, cellular and clinical level. Our internationally-leading clinicians and researchers are exploring the mechanisms underpinning the pathogenesis of periodontitis through the study of interactions between oral bacteria, epithelial cells and those of the inflammatory-immune system and the inter-relationships between periodontal inflammation and other chronic inflammatory diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and the ageing immune system. The group also translates basic research into human application through clinical trials into novel diagnostic and host-modulating therapies and has two currently active spin out enterprises. Funding is derived from research councils, industry and the European 7th Framework.
Our oral cancer work draws upon interdisciplinary research in cell biology, biomedical imaging and the computational modelling of patho-physiological processes with the aim of developing novel evidence-based diagnosis tools for oral cancer, and identifying novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for oral cancer.