Dr Simon A. Whawell
BSc (Hons), FHEA, DipEd, PhD, FRCPath
Reader in Oral Science
Faculty Lead for Postgraduate Taught Studies
School of Clinical Dentistry
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 2159345 Email: email@example.com
I am a biochemist and cell biologist with an interest in the molecular mechanisms of disease. Following undergraduate studies in Life Sciences I carried out a PhD and postdoctoral work at St Mary’s & the Hammersmith Hospitals in London on peritoneal adhesions. I then worked in the field of vascular biology before I joined Professor Paul Speight’s group at the Eastman Dental Institute UCL and then the School of Clinical Dentistry Sheffield in 2003.
I currently lead research projects in the area of periodontal cellular microbiology and oral cancer cell biology. I also lead a team carrying out services rendered work using 3D cell culture models of oral mucosa for our industrial partner Colgate-Palmolive Inc. (with Dr Helen Colley and Dr Craig Murdoch). I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students in basic and pathological science.
I have always worked in the area of extracellular matrix biology, the proteases that modify this and the receptors that bind to it (integrins). My current research interests lie in two areas:
Cellular microbiology: collaborative studies investigating the mechanism of Staphylococus aureus invasion of human cells started at the Eastman Dental Institute have continued with Professor Ian Douglas in Sheffield. Specifically we have investigated the observation that when a culture of human oral epithelial cells is exposed to the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, some cells are invaded whilst other cells are not.
Oral cancer cell behaviour: following extensive research of the role of integrins in oral cancer cell behaviour current work is focussed on the role of cancer stem cells in communication with fibroblasts in the tumour microenvironment and modelling of interstitial fluid flow and the effects this has on cell phenotype and genotype (with Dr Dan Lambert).
Intercalating BMedSci student:
DEN103: Lectures & practical classes on basic cell biology, biochemistry & histology