Institute of Dentistry

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Dr Robert Whiley, BSc, PhD


Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 20 7882 2389
Room Number: Blizard Building


Rob Whiley was awarded a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from the University of Leeds and a PhD from London University in 1987 on the classification and diversity of the oral streptococci. In 1988 he obtained a post as Research Assistant in the Department of Oral Microbiology in the London Hospital Medical College followed by a lectureship in 1991. In 2001 he was appointed to Senior Lecturer in Oral Microbiology within the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences, Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry. He has over 50 papers in the field of oral microbiology in peer reviewed journals. The majority of these focus on the oral or viridans streptococci of which he has described eight new species plus additional centres of genetic variation, virulence factors and disease associations. He was recently invited to contribute the Streptococcus and Streptococcaceae chapters for the forthcoming 2nd edition of Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology.

Teaching administration includes Convenor of the BDS Human Health & Disease (Pathology and related subjects) module.


Research Interests:

Oral microbiology with focus on diversity and pathogenicity. Specific current areas of research include the Anginosus group of streptococci (AGS) and their virulence determinants and the role of these streptococci in purulent infections at oral and non-oral sites including brain abscesses. Projects on the AGS include studies on intermedilysin, a human specific toxin expressed by Streptococcus intermedius and the role of the commensal AGS in pathogenic processes. Currently I am looking at the  partnerships between the AGS and overt pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa which co-infect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

Antimicrobial research, funded by the EPSRC, is focussed on developing a self-disinfecting dental alginate impression material using a low pH formulation and nitric oxide release. The material is being formulated to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities.


Key Publications

R.D. Waite, Wareham, D.W., Gardiner, S. and Whiley, R.A. (2012).  A simple, semi-selective medium for the anaerobic isolation of Anginosus group streptococci from patients with chronic lung disease. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 50(4):1430-2.

R.A. Whiley, Cruchley, A.T., Gore, C. and Hagi-Pavli (2012). Candida albicans strain-dependent modulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine release by in vitro oral and vaginal mucosal models. Cytokine 57(1) : 89-97.

Tomoyasu, T., Tabata, A., Imaki, H., Tsuruno, K., Miyazaki, A., Sonomoto, K., Whiley, R.A., and H. Nagamune. (2012). Role of Streptococcus intermedius DnaK chaperone system in stress tolerance and pathogenicity. Cell Stress & Chaperones 17: 41-55.

A. Sukeno, H. Nagamune, R.A. Whiley, S.I. Jafar, J. Aduse-Opoku, K. Ohkura, T. Maeda, K.Hirota, Y. Miyake and H. Kourai. (2005). Intermedilysin is essential for the invasion of hepatoma HepG2 cells by Streptococcus intermedius. Microbiol. Immunol. 49 (7): 681-694.

Macey, M.G., R.A. Whiley, L. Miller and H. Nagamune. (2001). Effect on polymorphonuclear cell function of a human-specific cytotoxin, intermedilysin, expressed by Streptococcus intermedius. Infect. Immun. 69: 6102-6109.

Nagamune, H., Whiley, R.A., Maeda, T.G., Inai, Y., Hardie, J.M., and Kourai, H. (2000). Distribution of the intermedilysin gene among the anginosus group streptococci and correlation between intermedilysin production and deep-seated infection by Streptococcus intermedius. J. Clin. Microbiol. 38: 220-226.

Nagamune, H., Ohnishi, C., Katsuura, A., Fushitani, K., Whiley, R.A., Tsuji, A., and Y. Matsuda. (1996). Intermedilysin, a novel cytotoxin secreted by Streptococcus intermedius UNS46 isolated from a human liver abscess. Infect.  Immun. 64: 3093-3100.

Whiley, R.A., Hall, L.M.C., Hardie, J.M., and Beighton, D., (1999). A study of small colony beta-haemolytic, Lancefield group C streptococci within the anginosus group: description of Streptococcus constellatus subsp. Pharyngis subsp. Nov., associated with the human throat and pharyngitis. Int J. System Bacteriol. 49: 1443-1449.

Whiley, R.A., Hall, L.M.C., Hardie, J.M. and beighton, D. (1997). Genotypic and phenotypic diversity within Streptococcus anginosus. Int J System bacterial 47: 645-650.

Whiley, R.A., and Beighton, D. (1991) Emended descriptions of Streptococcus constellatus, Streptococcus intermedius and Streptococcus anginosus as distinct species. Int J Syst Bacteriol 41: 1-5.

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