View all news

Howard Jenkinson awarded $2.1 m from NIH

Streptococcus bacteria (green) tightly associated with filaments of Candida albicans (blue)

Streptococcus bacteria (green) tightly associated with filaments of Candida albicans (blue)

6 March 2012

Howard Jenkinson, Professor of Oral Microbiology and Head of Research for the School of Oral and Dental Sciences, has been awarded $2.1 m from NIH to develop research into yeast infections

Streptococcus bacteria interacting with fungus Candida albicans

Streptococcus bacteria (green) tightly associated with filaments of Candida albicans (blue)

The most common fungal infections in humans are caused by Candida. More generally known as yeast infections, these conditions are uncomfortable for a healthy person, but deadly for someone whose immune system is weak or who is vulnerable after surgery. Over 50% of the population have suffered from yeast infections at one time or another and this is one reason why Candida generates considerable interest from a public health perspective.

Howard Jenkinson, Professor of Oral Microbiology and Head of Research for the School of Oral and Dental Sciences, has been funded by the US National Institutes for Health (NIH) since 2006 for research into Candida albicans — the species of Candida that causes most infections. Howard's work has observed that Candida albicans interacts very closely with several different types of bacteria in the human body, and that these help Candida colonise and cause disease.

Howard has been awarded a five-year programme renewal from NIH for $2.1 m to develop further research into yeast infections and better ways to control them. This will include new ventures to better understand the role of Candida albicans in periodontal (gum and jaw) disease. There is evidence that Candida may be involved together with bacteria in dissolving away bone, causing teeth to fall out.

Edit this page