Senior Clinical Lecturer
I graduated from the University of Siena in 2004 with cum laude distinction. During my dental undergraduate programme I trained in molecular microbiology and developed a special interest for host-microbe interactions. After completing a PhD in Pathology at King’s College London in 2008, I worked as post-doctoral research associate and continued my involvement in 3 European Commission-funded projects (Research Programmes FP6 and FP7) aimed at developing anti-HIV-1 microbicides. During this time I also received early clinical training in Oral Medicine at the King’s College London Dental Institute. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016 and currently hold the joint post of Senior Clinical Lecturer/Honorary StR in Oral Medicine.
Since my appointment to the University of Aberdeen, I have secured research grant funding totalling approximately 1 million for national and international collaborative projects in which I am the principal investigator. I currently supervise 3 PhD students. My research work includes i) the investigation of molecular mechanisms of HIV infection and drug transport at mucosal surfaces together with the development of new inhibitors of infection, ii) the study oral microbiota-mucosal immunity interactions particularly in the context of oral mucosal inflammatory disease, iii) more recently, in collaboration with Professor Ian Gould, the study of the evolution of antimicrobial resistance as well as the discovery of new genes for antibiotic and biocide resistance in a range of pathogens on the WHO priority list.
I have been invited to give research seminars at a number prestigious institutions including Imperial College, University College London and the University of Glasgow. I have acted as external PhD examiner for UK and European institutions. I have served on European Commission research grant funding panels.
I am section editor of the Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance (Elsevier) and I serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Dental Research.
Members of my team have received awards for our research at both national (British Society for Oral Medicine) and international (HIV Research 4 Prevention) scientific conferences.
The work undertaken in my lab relates to three seperate strands of research: i) the study of the evolution of antimicrobial resistance as well as the discovery of new genes for antibiotic and biocide resistance in a range of pathogens on the WHO priority list, ii) the study oral microbiota-mucosal immunity interactions particularly in the context of oral mucosal inflammatory disease, iii) the investigation of molecular mechanisms of HIV infection and drug transport at mucosal surfaces together with the development of new inhibitors of infection.
1-Study of the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and discovery of new genes for antibiotic and biocide resistance in key pathogens relevant to hospital-acquired infections:
- Pan-Scottish collaboration to investigate epidemiological and genetic links between intensive use of biocides and spread of multidrug resistant Staphylococci in intensive care units.
- Phylogenetic studies based on genome-wide analysis of national collections of multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Haemophilus influenzae and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae.
2- Study of oral microbiota-host interactions:
- Role of oral microbiome structure in local mucosal inflammatory responses
- Role of the oral microbiota in systemic immune activation of HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.
- Investigation of the role of oral pathogens in coronary artery disease in collaboration with the Aberdeen Cardiac Research Unit.
3- Novel approaches for pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV-1: Microbicides optimisation through innovative formulations for vaginal and rectal delivery.
Prof Ian M Gould, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK.
Prof. Charles Kelly, Mucosal and Salivary Biology, Dental Institute, King’s College, London UK.
Prof. Marco Oggioni, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, Leicester UK.
Dr. Markus Hardt, Forsyth Institute, Harvard School of Medicine, USA.
Prof. Jaqueline Reilly, Department of Nursing and Community Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow UK.
Dr Cesar Nebot, Centro Universitario de la Defensa, Spain
Prof Neil Gow, Professor of Microbiology, University of Exeter, Exeter UK.
Dr Iva Navratilova, Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, University of Dundee, Dundee UK.
Dr Roger LeGrand, CEA, Université Paris Sud, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.
Prof. Soledad Penades, CIC biomaGUNE, Parque Technologico San Sebastian, Spain.
Prof Guido Vanham, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium.
Prof. Robin Shattock, Mucosal Infection and Immunity, Section of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College, London UK.
Prof Dana Dawson, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
Medical Research Scotland
Healthcare Infection Society
NHS Grampian Endowment Fund
I am the Academic Lead for Oral Medicine & Oral Surgery for the BDS programme.
I teach on the following courses:
- BDS. Dental Health & Disease (DE3031, DE4031, DE5031) which I also coordinate
- BDS. Patient Care (DE4007, DE5007)
- Masters in Physician Associate Studies. Advanced Clinical Method (ME5031)
- Further Info
Expert evaluator for the European Commission (Societal Challenges 1 - Horizon 2020).
Section Editor - Resistance to Microbicides and Disinfectants. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance (Elsevier).
Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Dental Research (2020-2023).
Member of the Faculty Board of Examiners for the degree of PhD in Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena (Italy).
Examiner for the Licence in Dental Surgery Examination. Royal College of Surgeons of England, Faculty of Dental Surgery (2015-2020).
I regularly peer-review articles for the following reputed international journals: Journal of Virology, Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy, PLoS One, Journal of Dental Research, Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, Microbiome, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Journal of Hospital Infection, Innate Immunity, Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, Archives of Oral Biology, Journal of Oral Microbiology, Scientific Reports, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
I have peer-reviewed research grant applications for MRC and Wellcome Trust.