PhD Studentship: Photo based technologies for the treatment of biofilms and oral malodour

Ref: 1357734

UCL Department / Division Eastman Dental Institute

Duration of Studentship 3.5 years

Stipend £15,590 per annum

Vacancy Information The department of Microbial Diseases is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5-year PhD project entitled “Photo based technologies for the treatment of biofilms and oral malodour”

Studentship Description The studentship is supported by an EPSRC CASE award and it will cover tuition fees and provide a bursary (currently £15,590 per annum) for 3.5 years.

Oral malodour is a common complaint that can affect up to 50% of the population, causing embarrassment and social problems. The predominant cause of oral malodour is the production of volatile sulphur compounds by certain bacteria growing as biofilms in the oral cavity, particularly on the tongue.

Current treatments for oral malodour provide temporary relief of a few hours and it is therefore desirable to develop new treatments that can provide longer term relief.

Researchers in the department of microbial diseases have been pioneering the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT) as an alternative to conventional antibiotics and antiseptics for the treatment of bacterial diseases. PDT utilizes light in combination with a light-activated compound, known as a photosensitizer, to generate toxic reactive oxygen species such as free radicals and singlet oxygen which can damage and/or kill bacteria. This PhD project would test the hypothesis that light in combination with exogenous photosensitizers or endogenous bacterial photosensitizers can be used to kill bacteria associated with oral malodour and/or reduce the amount of volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) produced by such bacteria.

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Person Specification A good degree (equivalent to a UK BSc 2:1 or a BSc 2:2 with an MSc) in Biological Sciences, Microbiology, Chemistry or a related discipline.

Knowledge of microbiology or an area allied to microbiology and the ability to think logically, create solutions and make informed decisions are essential.

A full person specification can be found on the attached job description.

Eligibility The post is only open to UK/EU citizens because of funding restrictions.

Applicants should download the application pack available from and submit a completed UCL Application Form for Admission as a Graduate Student in hard copy, along with a full CV, references, transcripts/confirmation of previous awards, UCL disability and ethnic monitoring form, and other relevant application materials (if applicable) to:

Ms Marianne Dang, Admissions Officer, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, 1st Floor, Victoria Wing, 256 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8LD, UK.

Applicants should ensure that the reference number and studentship title are inserted in the ‘research subject area’ box; failure to do this will prevent an application from being considered.

Closing Date 30 Aug 2013

Latest time for the submission of applications 12.00 noon

Interview date 9 September 2013

Studentship Start Date 20 September 2013

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