Institute of Dentistry

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Programme in Mucosal Immunology

Associated Centre/s:  Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences

Associated Research:  Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

Mucosal disease affects 25 per cent of the population in the UK. Clinical problems affecting the mucosa result from inflammatory insult and may result in local problems such as gingivitis, oral ulcers or periodontal disease, but may equally represent the clinical manifestation of systemic diseases with major clinical morbidity. We have built up a large database of patients with mucosal inflammatory disease and will use this to study the following:

  • Interface between the systemic and mucosal immune systems at the oral mucosal barrier
  • Influence of Genetic Profile on Inflammatory Mucosal Disease
  • Relationship between the Microenvironment  and the Genetic Basis of oral disease
  • Influence of Inflammatory Status on Wound Healing Prognosis
  • Regulation of Healing in Normal Fibrotic and Mucositis Affected Oral Mucosa
  • Interface between the innate and adaptive immune responses
  • Immune regulation at the oral mucosa in relation to oral cancer
  • Novel optical methods (SAM) for visualizing mucosal changes in systemic disease and oral cancer

We are investigating:

Chronic diseases such as Behcet's, Crohns Disease, Recurrent Oral Ulceration, Vesiculobullous Diseases, Sjogrens, and Lichen planus, Submucous Fibrosis and precancerous mucosal conditions.

  • We are profiling those peptides and cytokines involved in the inflammatory process. This will also be done at a genetic level to identify genetic lesions by mutation analysis.
  • Additionally, we are characterising how the microenvironment affects mucosal changes.

Other conditions in which regulation of the inflammatory response plays a significant role include the healing response to injury due to radiation, burns, and trauma, and the pharmacologically induced mucosal cellular changes such as dysplasia from tobacco and areca chewing. We are also studying:

  • The effects of organisms and inflammatory peptides and cytokines in these conditions, and the effects of novel therapeutic agents are currently being pursued at the level of the multiple functions associated with the mucosal barrier properties.


Professor Farida Fortune
+44 20 7882 7154 (Tel)
+44 20 7377 7022 (Fax)

Dental Dean's Office
2nd Fl. Institute of Dentistry
Queen Mary's School of Medicine & Dentistry
Turner Street
London E1 2AD


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