News for October 2014

The Oral & Dental Research Trust (ODRT; are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 ODRT-GSK Research Awards.

  • Louise Belfield, Plymouth University
  • Margaret Mullin, University of Liverpool
  • Mark Payne, Bart's and the London
  • Praveen Sharma, University of Birmingham
  • Phillipa White, University of Birmingham

Further details of the award winners can be found in the link below.

E-Cigarette Summit: Science Regulation and Public Health

The Programme and Speakers for the 2014 E-Cigarette Summit –Science Regulation and Public Health have now been confirmed and can be viewed on the website  Following on from the unprecedented success of the inaugural Summit in 2013, this year’s event hosts an outstanding line up of the leading experts from the regulatory, policy, scientific and health communities and offers all stakeholders a neutral and comprehensive analysis of the critical issues and debates that surround e-cigarettes.  A downloadable version of the programme is available hereThe E-Cigarette Summit will take place at The Royal Society on Thursday November 13th full details for the event, speakers, timings and topics can be found at Summit has a maximum capacity of 300 places and is likely to be oversubscribed. If you would like to ensure you have a place, please register as soon as possible.

There’s no doubt that e-cigarettes remain one of the most controversial public health issues of a generation and have created unprecedented divisions within long standing professional alliances across the tobacco control, public health and scientific communities.   The E-Cigarette Summit provides a unique opportunity to look beyond the rhetoric and understand the critical issues that lie behind these differing perspectives and policy positions. The Summit will explore why these divisions exist -despite a continued shared goal of eliminating the tobacco and smoking epidemic - and provide a much needed neutral and impartial platform to explore whether e-cigarettes are a dangerous unknown that pose a risk not just to users but also to bystanders or a positive harm reduction product that could save the lives of millions.  Whatever your views, the E-Cigarette Summit remains a must attend event.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof. Ann McNeill (Chair Person) – Professor of Tobacco Addiction (UKCTAS)
  • Prof. Robert West – Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies (CRUK)
  • Alette Addison – Team Leader, Tobacco Control (EU) Department of Health (DoH)
  • Rosanne O’Conner – Director, Public Health England (PHE), Alcohol Drugs and Tobacco
  • Alan Depauw – Vice President (AIDUCE) French users group.
  • Dr Alan Marshall – Pharmaceutical Assessor, Licensing Division MHRA
  • Louise Ross – Stop Smoking Services and Tobacco Control Manager, Leicestershire NHS Trust
  • Ian Gray, MBE  – Principal Policy Officer, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
  • Prof. Peter Hajek - Professor of Clinical Psychology, Queen Mary University, London
  • Dr Jacques Le Houezec – Consultant in Public Health, Tobacco Dependence, Amzer Glas
  • Shahriar Coupal –Director of Advertising Policy and Practice, Advertising Standards Authority
  • Dr Scott Steedman CBE, FREng – Director of Standards, British Standards Institution
  • Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos – Researcher, Onassis Caridac Surgery Centre, Greece
  • Prof. Ricardo Polosa – Director of the Institute for Internal Medicine, University of Catania
  • David Sweanor – Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Prof Linda Bauld – Professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling and UKCTAS
  • Clive Bates – Public Health Campaigner/Advocate, Owner of The Counterfactual
  • Prof Jean Francois-Etter – Professor of Public Health, University of Geneva
  • Deborah Arnott – Chief Executive Officer, Action on Smoking (ASH)

23 October 2014

PhD studentship available - Dental School, University of Glasgow

Project title: Development of novel in vitro models to investigate the role of pathogens in the aetiology of feline chronic gingivostomatitis and to test therapeutic interventions

Supervisors:    Dr Marcello Riggio (

                        Dr Christopher Nile (

                        Dr David Lappin (

                        Professor David Bennett (

Application deadline: 21st November 2014

Stipend: Tax-free stipend (MRC UK rate) of £13863 (year 1), £14002 (year 2) and £14142 (year 3), which will also over the cost of home tuition fees.

Eligibility: UK/EU

Start date: Up to 1st February 2015 (negotiable)

Project description: The Dental School and School of Veterinary Medicine (University of Glasgow) are seeking applications for a three-year PhD scholarship funded by the Petplan Charitable Trust. The student will be based at the Dental School.

Feline chronic gingivostomatitis (FCGS) is a severe inflammation in the oral cavity of cats that causes much pain and distress that can be serious enough to lead to euthanasia of affected animals. It presents as a proliferative and ulcerative inflammation of the oral cavity, mostly on the palatoglossal folds and the buccal gingiva. Other areas that can be affected are the pharynx, tongue and lips. The palate can become inflamed at the sites of the molar and premolar teeth, with varying amounts of plaque and calculus present. Clinical signs, generally caused by the inflammation that induces pain when opening the mouth, are dysphagia, weight loss, loss of grooming behaviour, excessive salivation, pawing at the mouth and halitosis.

Although FCGS is the most challenging of the oral inflammatory diseases to treat, its aetiology remains largely unknown. Full dental extraction, which is commonly used in severe cases, has a recovery success rate of only 50 to 60%. The disease is assumed to have a multifactorial aetiology and both viruses and bacteria have been implicated. We have previously shown that a number of pathogenic organisms are associated with FCGS including Tannerella forsythia, Porphyromonas circumdentaria and, to a lesser extent, feline calicivirus. The underlying hypothesis is that these organisms are, in part, responsible for the increased cytokine and Toll-like receptor (TLR2, TLR4, TLR7) expression that we have previously demonstrated in the gum/palate of affected cats and a target for potentially novel treatments.

The aim of the current study is to test the hypothesis that therapeutic intervention to reduce inflammation and microbial activity will ultimately lead to improvement of the health status of cats with FCGS.  In vitro model systems will be developed to investigate the aetiology and pathogenesis of FCGS and to test potential pharmacological interventions. The initial innate immune responses to identified pathogens in isolation or in combination will be investigated in vitro. A 3D in vitro model of the feline gingival stroma will be developed and used to interrogate the initial activation of the mucosal inflammatory response, following challenge with putative pathogens and including the effect of commensal oral bacteria identified in the healthy oral cavity. The 3D model will also provide a platform for investigating the efficacy of both existing and potentially novel antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral therapies, in isolation or in combination. This will include the use of liposomes as a local delivery vehicle for antimicrobial agents.

This project will give an ideal opportunity for training in a wide range of laboratory skills. These include microbiological and immunological laboratory techniques, which are applicable to many areas of research. The successful applicant would also be trained in many generic research skills.

If you would like to discuss the post or require further information, please contact Dr Marcello Riggio (, to whom applications comprising a CV and covering letter should also be sent.

Applicants must have at least a 2(i) in a life sciences or related degree and should demonstrate an interest in host-pathogen interactions in oral inflammatory diseases.

17 October 2014

OMIG Postgraduate Prize meeting 2015 - ACTA, Amsterdam

The next OMIG Postgraduate Prize Meeting will take place on Thursday 12th February 2015 at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA). The meeting will follow previous formats, with postgraduate students giving oral presentations on their research, which will be judged by an independent panel. There will be a prize for both the runner-up and winner. The scientific programme will commence at noon (after a buffet lunch) and finish at 4.30pm. There will then be a drinks reception.

Registration is free for academic staff and postgraduate students. OMIG hope that you will be able to attend.

14 October 2014

Vacancies for two OMIG Councillors

There are two vacancies for Councillor on the OMIG Management Committee. Each position is tenable for three years. Applicants must be a current member of OMIG.

The successful candidates will be members of the OMIG Management Committee (who meet one to two times a year), dealing with operational aspects of OMIG relating to all of its activities.

If you are interested in standing for one of these posts, or require further details, please contact Dr Marcello Riggio (Secretary/Treasurer, OMIG) at

Deadline for receipt of applications is 5.00pm on Friday 17th October 2014. Please provide a biopic of no more than 400 words stating why you are applying for the post. 

If more than two expressions of interest are received, then a ballot of members will be held and the biopic will be made available to voters. 

6 October 2014

Vote for IADR Vice-President

BSODR members should have recently received an invitation to vote in the forthcoming IADR election for Vice-President.

One of our longstanding members, an outstanding supporter of BSODR and its former President (Professor Angus Walls, Edinburgh Dental Institute) is one of the three candidates up for election.

BSODR encourages you to use your vote and hopes that you will be able to support Angus. The election closes at 11.59pm EST on 5th November 2014.

3 October 2014

Vacancy for OMIG postgraduate representative

The Oral Microbiology & Immunology Group (OMIG) of BSODR is currently looking for a Postgraduate Representative to replace the current incumbent, Emma Millhouse, with effect from 1st December 2014 or sooner. The post is tenable for two years. Therefore, applicants should be in the first or second year of their postgraduate (PhD or equivalent) studies and a member of OMIG.

The role is not onerous and the successful candidate would be a member of the OMIG Management Committee (who meet approximately twice a year) and represent the interests of OMIG postgraduate student members, dealing with operational aspects of OMIG relating to postgraduate students and activities.

If you are interested in standing for this post, or require further details, please contact Dr Marcello Riggio (Secretary/Treasurer, OMIG) at

Applicants must provide a biopic of no more than 400 words stating why they are applying for the post and a statement from their supervisor confirming their status as a PhD student or equivalent. 

If more than one expression of interest is received, then a ballot of members will be held and the biopic will be made available to voters.

2 October 2014