At the Institute of Dentistry, we offer PhD and MRes degrees under the supervision of experts in the fields of head and neck cancer, microbial diseases, population oral health and pedagogic innovation.

There are currently four main research themes within the Institute of Dentistry that build on areas of current research excellence. Our researchers and their collaborators are already making impact on the local, national and international stage. Each theme builds upon interdisciplinary research and addresses key societal questions.

Our themes include state of the art research in:

  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Microbial Diseases
  • Population Oral Health
  • Pedagogic Innovation.

PhD and MRes opportunities are available in various areas of research interests within these four themes.

View our research themes

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MRes or PhD

Our Research

Head and Neck Cancer

Digital pathology for the classification and grading of oral lesions

Contact: Dr Rasha Abu Eid

Overview: The aim of this research area is to develop reproducible and objective descriptors of different morphological features of oral lesions both at the tissue and cellular levels.

Head and neck cancer immunology

Contact: Dr Rasha Abu Eid

Overview: Our research aims at identifying different modulators of the tumour microenvironment to enhance the anti-tumour immune response in the context of cancer immunotherapy.

Microbial Diseases

Prevention of HIV transmission

Contact: Dr Karolin Hijazi

Overview: Our group works on i) discovery and testing of new inhibitors with increased potency and barriers to viral resistance, ii) optimisation of formulations of anti-retroviral drug-based microbicides.

Oral Mucosal Inflammatory Disease

Contact: Dr Karolin Hijazi

Overview: Our group investigate the role of microbiota and innate immune response in pathogenesis of oral mucosal inflammatory diseases.

Antimicrobial resistance

Contact: Dr Karolin Hijazi

Overview: This area brings together clinicians and scientists to inform the design of measures to control resistance of bacteria associated with hospital-acquired infections. The selection pressures for antimicrobial resistance as well as the dynamics of transmission of antimicrobial resistance at the genetic level are investigated.

Population Oral Health

Periodontal disease and systemic health

Contact: Dr George Cherukara

Overview: In collaboration with the Institute of Applied Health Science (IAHS), we are exploring links between periodontal disease and systemic health with the long-term goal of developing oral health-based interventions to prevent and/or control the course of disease.

Oral health in priority groups

Contact: Dr Ekta Gupta

Overview: Our group works on improving the oral health and well-being of the priority groups (e.g. older adults, homeless people) in collaboration with national and local partners.

Pedagogic Innovation

This research area focuses on development of curricula, effect of environmental factors on student performance and professionalism, quality assurance in dental education, and the development of effective assessment tools.

For more information please contact Professor Jaya Jayasinghe.

Entry Requirements

  • Undergraduate qualification in a relevant course (1st)
  • Masters degree in a relevant area of study


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Fees and Funding

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this Research Area.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

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