Dr Joey Shepherd
BSc., M.Med.Sci., PhD., FHEA
School of Clinical Dentistry
Senior Lecturer in Microbiology
+44 114 215 9412
Full contact details
School of Clinical Dentistry
19 Claremont Crescent
My research career has come full circle since graduating from the University of Leeds in 1995 with a degree in Microbiology. A move to the University of Sheffield followed with an M.Med.Sci. In Microbial Pathogenicity (1996) and a two year stint as a Research Technician in the Vascular Surgery Unit at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital. I completed a PhD (1998-2002) and Postdoc (2002-2004) at the University of Sheffield with Dr Martin NIcklin investigating autoimmune inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and arteritis) in mice lacking the gene for interleukin 1 receptor antagonist, and then continued the vascular theme as a Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Boston USA (2004-2007) developing near infra red fluorescence probes to detect early molecular events in atherosclerosis with Prof. Peter Libby. A move back to Sheffield saw another three postdoc posts come and go, combining all the previous experiences in investigating tumour microvasculature, biodiesel production in micro algae, and the development of polymers to detect and remove bacteria from chronic skin wounds. I took up my first academic post as a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at Sheffield Hallam University (2014-2015) then returned to the University of Sheffield as a Lecturer in Microbiology at the School of Clinical Dentistry in 2015. I was promoted to a Senior Lecturer in December 2019.
My current research interests are largely translational and interdisciplinary in nature and lie primarily in novel approaches to a) the acceleration of wound healing, and b) detecting, preventing and treating bacterial infections (especially biofilm) without traditional use of antibiotics due to the rise in antimicrobial resistance. These include the use of polymer-based systems, ultrasound and acoustic vibration, novel wound dressings, antimicrobial biomaterials for dentistry, bone, skin and cornea and using 3D tissue engineered models to examine effects of planktonic and biofilm infection and treatment on both bacteria and human cells.
- Research interests
My current research interests are largely translational and interdisciplinary in nature and lie primarily in novel approaches to a) the acceleration of wound healing, and b) detecting, preventing and treating bacterial infections without traditional use of antibiotics, including the use of polymer-based systems, ultrasound and acoustic vibration, novel wound dressings, antimicrobial biomaterials for dentistry and bone and using 3D tissue engineered models to examine effects of planktonic and biofilm infection and treatment on both bacteria and human cells.
Recent projects have included:
MOZART, involving 8 different countries and 11 partners. Development of a library of inorganic nanomatrices to be used as smart platforms for effective, non-invasive and highly targeted therapies to treat delayed bone healing and non-healing chronic skin wounds. With Prof Sheila MacNeil, Prof Ian Douglas and Dr Anthony Bullock. Funded by Horizon 2020
EPSRC funded grant to produce antibacterial objects via additive manufacturing, led by Dr Candice Majewski
EPSRC-GCRF funded project to develop a low cost robust detection device for fungal eye infections with Prof Sheila MacNeil and Prof Steve Matcher
MRC partnership with LV Prasad Eye institute, Hyderabad, India developing models of corneal bacterial and fungal infection and devising novel methods of detection and treatment of these infections. With Dr Prashant Gard, (LVPEI), Prof Sheila MacNeil, Prof Ian Douglas, Prof Steve Rimmer (University of Bradford)
Wellcome funded project to develop polymers that are able to rapidly diagnose corneal infections , in collaboration with LVPEI, with Dr Prashant Garg (LVPEI), Prof Steve Rimmer (Bradford), Prof Ian Douglas
Effects of acoustic vibration on bacterial biofilm growth and formation, in collaboration with Dr Mark Murphy, Liverpool John Moores University
Development of a novel therapeutic device in collaboration with and funded by Smith & Nephew
Development of bacteria sensitive hyperbranched polymers (with Prof. Sheila MacNeil, Prof. Ian Douglas and Prof. Steve Rimmer)
The use of low frequency ultrasound as antibacterial therapy in a tissue engineered model of skin infection (PhD student Guma Beleid, co-supervised with Dr Prachi Stafford and Dr Keith Miller, Sheffield Hallam University)
- Developing wound dressings using 2-deoxy-D-Ribose to induce angiogenesis as a backdoor route for stimulating the production of vascular endothelial growth factor. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(21). View this article in WRRO
- Development of a novel micro-bead force spectroscopy approach to measure the ability of a thermo-active polymer to remove bacteria from a corneal model. Scientific Reports, 11(1).
- Branched amphotericin functional poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide): an antifungal polymer. Royal Society Open Science, 8(1). View this article in WRRO
- Best served small: nano battles in the war against wound biofilm infections. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, 4(6), 567-580.
- Effect of steam autoclaving on laser sintered polyamide 12. Rapid Prototyping Journal, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print).
- Research group
Current PhD students (Primary supervisor):
- Miss Rawan AlShalan “Inhibition of Quorum Sensing in Gram Negative Bacteria” – Co-supervised by Prof Graham Stafford, Dr William Martin (Bradford)
- Mrs Hollie Shaw “Low intensity ultrasound as adjunct therapy for bacterial biofilms” – co-supervised by Prof Graham Stafford
Co-supervision of students:
- Mr Ahmed Almuntashiri (Prof Graham Stafford)
- Mr Rayan Ibrahim H Binduhayyim (Prof Paul Hatton, Dr Cheryl Miller)
- Ms Alejandra A Penuelas (Dr Vanessa Hearnden)
- Ms Katharine Wong (Prof Graham Stafford)
- Mr James Wingham (Dr Candice Majewski)
- Mr Alhassan Alrafaie (Prof Graham Stafford)
Recent postdoctoral researchers:
- Dr Bob Turner –Validation of antimicrobial nanomatrices (MOZART project, funded by Horizon 2020) and validation of antimicrobial 3D printed parts (funded by EPSRC)
- Dr Tom Paterson – Validation of antimicrobial nanomatrices (MOZART project, funded by Horizon 2020)
- Dr Andy Frey – Ultrasonic treatment and Raman spectroscopy of bacterial infected tissue (funded by MRC)
- Dr Jacob Pattem – AFM of polymer/biofilm/cornea interactions (funded by MRC/GCRF)
- Dr Toby Holmes – development of a novel wound healing and anti-biofilm device (funded by Smith & Nephew)
- Dr Natalya Doroshenko - characterization of bacteria-binding polymers for use in ocular infections (funded by MRC/DBT)
- Dr Patrick Harrison – efficacy of a novel antimicrobial wound dressing (funded by MRC CiC)
Recent research grants (total research funding worth over £6m):
Horizon 2020 EU award. Led by Prof Chiara Vitale-Brovarone (Torino). MesopOrous matrices for localiZed pH triggered releAse of theRapeuTic ions and drugs – MOZART. 01/11/2015 – 31/10/2019. €4million (approx. £2,787,180)
DBT-MRC Joint Centre Partnership. Garg P, Rimmer S, Douglas I, Shepherd J, MacNeil S, Foster S. “UK-India Centre for Advanced Technology for Minimising Indiscriminate Use of Antibiotics”. 28/04/15 – 28/04/18 (£1,153490)
EPSRC-GCRF-GIAA MacNeil S, Matcher S, Shepherd J ‘Development of a low cost easy to use detection device for detecting fungal infection in the eye 01/19-06/19 (£49,837)
Smith & Nephew. J Shepherd, C Murdoch, I Douglas, T Holmes, S MacNeil. 25/01/2015 – 31/12/2017 (£215,606).
MRC Confidence in Concept. Bricklebank N, Miller K, Shepherd J, Breen C, Clegg F, Freeman-Parry L. “IN-CROWD - Cytotoxicity end efficacy of a novel slow release wound dressing”. 21/11/16-21/5/2017 (£43,157)
SHAMROK. Shepherd J, Dwyer-Joyce R, Hearnden V. "Ultrasound as an antibiotic-free method to combat chronic intracellular infection" 1/5/2017 – 1/8/2017 (£29,958)
Wellcome. MacNeil S, Rimmer S, Shepherd J, Gaunt J, Douglas I. “Development of a rapid system for diagnosing corneal infections using pathogen-responsive polymers’ (£512,024)
- Teaching activities
I currently teach Oral Microbiology on all five years of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree, Years 1 and 2 of the DipHE in Dental Hygiene & Hygiene Therapy, Microbiology on MBChB (Phase 2a ) and the MSc. in Antimicrobial resistance, and Tissue Engineering on the MSc. in Dental Material Science and MSc. Molecular Medicine.
I am Theme lead for Oral Cavity in Health and Disease (BDS 1st year), and Module lead for the M.MedSci on Diagnostic Oral Pathology module ORP6021 (Project and dissertation).
- Professional activities
- Treasurer, Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group (OMIG, part of BSODR)
- Member of SfAM Policy Subcommittee
- Member of Tissue & Cell Engineering Society (TCES), Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM), the Microbiology Society, Wound Care Alliance UK, the European Wound Management Association, and the Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group (OMIG, part of BSODR)
- STEM ambassador
- Member of the Florey Institute for host-pathogen interactions
- Member of SCOD Equality, Diversity Inclusion and Wellbeing Committee
- Invited peer reviewer for journals (Tissue Engineering, British Dental Journal, J Periodontology etc.)
- Pool reviewer for British Council Newton Fund and the National Biofilm Innovation Centre
- Textbook reviewer for Oxford University Press