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Prof Dave W Thomas 

Position:Professor/Hon Consultant in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Programme Director Implant Dentistry, Director Wales Integrated Academic Training programme in dentistry

Telephone:+44 (0)29 2074 4873

Research Theme

Tissue Engineering & Reparative Dentistry

Research Groups

Microbial Effects on Tissue Function, and Tissue Repair and Remodelling

Repair and Regeneration in the Oral Mucosa

Our group’s research is focussed in defining the molecular and cellular control mechanisms involved in impaired human wound healing. From defining the genotypic and phenotypic changes in human fibroblasts associated with disease, we have highlighted the role of  bacteria in modulating these processes.  The group was instrumental in establishing CITER. Having obtained over £10M in external funding since our establishment of the Programme in 1993, we have worked to translate our understanding of the processes of impaired healing and particularly the role of bacterial pathogens in these processes.  The group has welcomed inter-disciplinary research and the PhD and MD programme has seen general surgeons, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, physicians and dentists as postgraduate students.   

This work led to a re-evaluation of how we diagnose and manage bacteria in chronic, non-healing wounds. This work is being translated to clinical practice via the development of  new classes of agents (OligoG and polymer-drug conjugates) which offer the opportunity for new approaches to the management of human disease. We have developed and patented the use of the first oligosaccahride nanomedicines to treat multi-drug resistant gram-negative & biofilm-related infection in man (GB 0909556.3 GB 0909529.0 PCT/GB2010/001098 PCT/GB2010/001096 PCT/GB2010/001097); these agents have succesfully completed Phase 1 clinical studies in humans.

Research interests

  • Cellular and Molecular Control of human wound healing
  • The role of bacteria in impaired wound healing
  • The development of novel nanomedicines for application in anti-infective and wound healing applications


Selected Projects

US Department of Defence -  $1.6M
The development of new therapies to treat gram-negative MDR organisms in injured combat personnel

Wellcome TrustUK £83,717
The goal of this project is to develop polymer therapeutic growth factor / polymer conjugates to direct cell migration and differentiation in human wound healing.

NHS / WAG -  UK£1.4M 
Establishment of an integrated academic clinical training programme.  The major goals of this project are the production of a cohort of clinicians with PhDs and clinical specialist training.

Algipharma  - UK£266,000
Investigation of the in vitro antimicrobial acivity, and ability to overcome multi-drug resistance, of alginate oligosaccaharide nanomedicines.  

UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership - UK£92,000
Development of in vitro models for testing of novel antimicrobial compounds in wound healing

UK Medical Research Council  -  £187,000 
Development of reporter cell assays employing disease-specific fibroblast populations

UK Medical Research Council - UK£27,000
Bioresponsive polymer-peptide conjugates as novel antibacterial agents
This project has developed novel class of antimicrobial polymer-peptide conjugates for the treatment of human infections