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Full NameDr Gary Moran
School of Dental Science
Trinity College Dublin
- genetics, genomics and molecular biology
- infectious disease and the immune system
- Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine
- Infectious diseases
I run the Oral Microbiome research group in the School of Dental Science. My research focuses on the role of the microbiome in health and disease:
1. How the microbiome can be used to predict the degree of oral dysplasia.
2. How the oral microbiome influences malignant progression.
3. The interaction of the oncocbaterium Fusobacterium nucleatum and oral cells.
4. The biology of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans.
Project 1: Metagenome of oral cancer. My group is part of a European consortium studying oral cancer development (INTERCEPTOR). We have access to saliva samples from oral cancer patients throughout Europe. This project will analyse the microbiome in patients with early stage premalignancies to identify microbial risk factors for oral cancer. This project will involve:
1. Liaising with a large group of European researchers
2. Isolation of DNA and metagenome analysis
3. Machine learning to develop predictive models of precancer progression
Project 2: Characterisation of the acetaldeyde (ACH) generating capacity of the oral microbiome. ACH is a carcinogen that can be generated from alcohol by microbial cells. Oral bacteria and fungi can generate carcinogenic levels of ACH and may contribute to cancer development. This project will involve:
1. Microbiome analysis of oral cancer patients using Illumina sequencing
2. Metabolomic analysis of saliva for ACH
3. Characterisation of ACH generating microbes
4. Examination of the link between ACH production and oral cancer development
Project 3: Analysis of the interaction of the oncobacterium Fusobacterium nucleatum and human cells. F. nucleatum has been found at high levels in many human tumours and high levels are associated with lower patient survival and metastases. We have a collection of F. nucleatum from oral malignancies. This project will involve:
1. Characterisation of the interaction with F. nucleatum and oral cells using RNA seq, immunoprofiling and Western blot analysis
2. Characterisation of adhesin proteins on F. nucleatum that can induce cell motility, tumour invasion and negative immune reactions.
3. Analysis of microRNAs expression in cells exposed to F. nucleatum.