Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr John Taylor

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Immunology

Background

Roles and Responsibilities

Research group leader
Postgraduate research supervisor

Senior Tutor Stage 2 BDS

Chair, BDS PEC Committee

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Applied Biochemistry Brunel University 1981
PhD in Autoimmune Disease Studies University of Newcastle 1987
Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 1994


Research

Research Interests

I am interested in the immunopathogenesis of human periodontitis and characterisation of molecular biomarkers for periodontal disease management.

Cells found in the periodontium e.g. myeloid immune cells, fibroblasts and keratinocytes act as sentinel cells to initiate immune responses to microbial pathogens in chronic inflammatory disorders such as periodontitis. Thus, cytokines and other regulatory molecules secreted by these cells have a critical role in regulating innate and adaptive immune responses in the periodontium and dysregulation of these pathways lead to destructive inflammation mediated by the action of host enzymes such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Furthermore, cross-susceptibility between periodontitis and systemic disease is explained at least in part by imbalance of immunoregulatory networks in common conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In particular we are currently interested in the interface between pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) from periodontal pathogens and immune signalling in myeloid immune cells such as monocytes and macrophages.

Our research into periodontal pathogenesis coupled with proteomic screening of oral biofluids informs biomarker discovery. Our well characterised saliva biobanks and patients databases from our clinical studies (conducted in our unique Dental Clinical Research Facility) are a valuable resource allowing us to qualify candidate biomarkers for gingivitis and periodontitis. This knowledge will enhance patient management through the identification of susceptible patients, the objective assessment of disease activity and the prediction of both the clinical course of disease and the response to treatment. Furthermore, we are developing and characterising a point-of-care analytical devices based on proprietary nanoscale-biological technology which will give real-time information relating to disease activity and thereby inform patient management.

My research takes place at the laboratory–clinical interface as part of the Translational Oral Biosciences group of the Centre for Oral Health Research (COHR).

Postgraduate Supervision

Fellow of the Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School
Current students: 1 PhD; 1 Masters

Funding

NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Stage 1 BDS Cell Biology
  • Stage 1 BDS Orientation and Study Skills
  • Stage 1 BDS Dental Physiology
  • Stage 2 BDS Microbiology for Dentistry
  • Stage 2 BDS Immunology and Health Care (Course Leader)
  • Stage 3 BDS Human Diseases
  • Stage 5 BDS Current opinion in Dentistry
  • Stage 3 BMS Immunology of Health and Disease 
  • Stage 3 BMS undergraduate project supervisor

Postgraduate Teaching

  • MRes, MSc and MClinDent Project supervisor
  • PhD supervisor

Publications