Skip to main content

Postgraduate research project

Disrupting oral biofilm formation & maturation: Covalently inhibiting glucan sucrases from Streptococci

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

This research will focus on oral biofilms and their effects on oral health. The project is highly multidisciplinary and will pioneer a novel approach to control the formation and maturation of biofilm within the oral microbiome, combining the latest chemical biology technique with microbiological methods. 

Oral biofilms aggressively developing on dental surfaces are linked to numerous human oral illnesses. Biofilms comprise a microbe-derived extracellular-matrix and with biofilm maturation, constituent matrix exopolysaccharides formed on tooth surfaces provide binding-sites and optimal environments for microbes’ growth, leading to pathogenesis. It is thus crucial to understand relationships between biofilm maturation and oral pathogenesis.

Formation and maturation of oral biofilms are affected by key enzymes. We will attempt to control such enzymes’ activity through chemical inhibitors and probes. This project combines a wide variety of expertise including carbohydrate chemistry, enzymology, molecular biology, and microbiology to provide an insight into the oral biofilm’s impact on the oral health.

You will prepare chemical probes that can control activities of key enzymes of oral biofilms, and express target enzymes for various tests. You will work on bacteria and the oral microbiome model for validation of our strategy.

This interdisciplinary project will be performed in the School of Chemistry, the School of Biological Sciences and the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC), and benefits from the expertise of Haleon, a world leading consumer health company. As the project develops, you will conduct a 3-month placement with Haleon tailored to your interests.