Identifying age-related extracellular microenvironment in dental tissues


Periodontal disease is the sixth most globally prevalent age-related disease and a leading cause of tooth loss, significantly impacting quality of life and healthy ageing. According to UK oral health’s latest survey, root decay varied from 11% of 55-64-year olds affected compared with 20% of 75-84-year olds. In order to develop preventive or therapeutic regimens to improve oral health in older age, a deeper understanding of the detailed molecular mechanisms of ageing in oral tissues are required.

The extracellular matrix (ECM) influences many important cellular processes including inflammation. Thus, age-related changes to the oral ECM may alter the susceptibility to oral microorganisms, increasing the risk for periodontitis, root decay and subsequent tooth loss. To date, our team have developed a robust method to extract proteins from dental tissues for mass spectrometry-based protein identification. This project aims to investigate the changes in ECM components and turnover in dental tissues with ageing and its pathological impact on the progression of oral diseases. The study will use state-of-the-art proteomics, transcriptomics, imaging, biochemical, molecular and cell biological techniques.

This project involves interdisciplinary collaborations between the Department of Musculoskeletal Biology and the School of Dentistry at the Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences. Accomplishment of this project will establish a new cornerstone in our understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms of healthy ageing and will guide us in exploring therapeutic interventions to improve the oral health of older adults.


To apply: please send your CV and a covering letter to Dr Kazuhiro Yamamoto