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My PhD Experience

Dr Chris Dowson on his time at Newcastle Dental Sciences

16 June 2022

Dr Chris Dowson on his time at Newcastle Dental Sciences

PhD Research

My PhD research aimed to evaluate salivary SIRT2 as a novel biomarker for periodontitis. This meant I analysed saliva samples collected at the Dental Clinical Research Facility of Newcastle Dental School and conducted experiments in the Translational Oral Biology . The broad diversity of research activity there contributed enormously to my decision to carry out my research at the School.  

I also had the opportunity to work with Dr Richard Holliday on a project to evaluate aerosol generation from dental procedures and methods to mitigate risk of viral infection. The work I carried out as part of this project greatly expanded my laboratory skills and resulted in several publications, as well as informing policy within the Dental Hospital in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What have you enjoyed during your time here?

My background is in mammalian cell biology, so working closely with microbiologists in the Translational Oral Biology laboratory was immensely valuable.  It provided me with opportunities to further develop my skills outside of my area of research and also provided an outside perspective on my own work. Similarly, working in the School of Dental Sciences meant that I was exposed to the clinical side of dental research.

The School organises regular research seminars which I found useful in both increasing my own knowledge and also offering a clinical perspective of oral health that was of benefit to my own research.


Moving On

I have now completed my PhD and have obtained a position at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies as a Research Scientist.  I would not have obtained this job without the experience that I gained during my time at the Dental School.

I have greatly benefitted from the available facilities and excellent supervision that was available to me and I have made some amazing friends during my time here.