Dr Karolin Hijazi
Dr Karolin Hijazi

Dr Karolin Hijazi


Clinical Reader

Accepting PhDs


Room A107

University of Aberdeen Institute of Dentistry

Foresterhill Campus

Cornhill Road

Aberdeen AB25 2ZR


Dr Karolin Hijazi graduated from the University of Siena in 2004 with cum laude distinction. During her dental undergraduate programme she 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, she worked as post-doctoral research associate and continued her involvement in 3 European Commission-funded projects  aimed at the development of anti-HIV-1 microbicides. During this time she received early clinical training in Oral Medicine at the King’s College London Dental Institute. She was promoted to Senior Clinical Lecturer in 2016 and Clinical Reader in 2021.

Since her appointment to the University of Aberdeen, she has secured research grant funding totalling over 1 million for national and international collaborative projects in which she is the principal investigator. She is a member of the Infection & Immunity Programme of the Institute of Medical Sciences, and leads the Microbial Diseases Research Group at the Institute of Dentistry, active in several research strands concerned with the study of microbe-host interactions at the mucosal interface.

She has been invited to give research seminars at a number prestigious institutions including Imperial College, University College London and the University of Glasgow. She has acted as external PhD examiner for UK and European institutions. She serves on European Commission research grant funding panels.

Students and post-doctoral fellows of her team have received awards at both national (British Society for Oral Medicine) and international (HIV Research 4 Prevention) scientific conferences.

External Memberships

Expert evaluator for the European Commission (Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe).

Section Editor - Resistance to Microbicides and Disinfectants. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance (Elsevier). https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-global-antimicrobial-resistance 

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.

Regular 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.

Peer-review of research grant applications for MRC and Wellcome Trust.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow).


Research Overview

Broadly the research work of my laboratory is concerned with the study of microbe-host interactions at the mucosal interface in the context of a range of diseases. Strands of work include the study:

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 of virulence mechanisms underpinning bacterial 'opportunistic' infections in the immunocompromised patient

iii) imbalances of the oral mucosal microbiota and their relationship with events driving mucosal inflammation locally and at systemic level

iv)  modulation of host-pathogen interactions and distribution of antimicrobial agents to inhibit infections at mucosal sites (in the context of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 infection).


Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Biomedical Sciences, Dentistry.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Biomedical Sciences

Accepting PhDs


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Pre-Clinical Dentistry
  • Genomics
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Immunology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

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 diseases including oral potentially malignant disorders such as lichen planus.
  • 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. 

4- Discovery of new inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2: ongoing collaborative projects for screening and optimisation of peptide- and small molecule-based binders of the 'spike' envelope glycoprotein for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


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


My current supervision areas are: Biomedical Sciences, Dentistry.


Funding and Grants

European Commission


Tenovus Scotland

Medical Research Scotland

Healthcare Infection Society

NHS Grampian Endowment Fund


Teaching Responsibilities

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)



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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

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