6 March 2012
Streptococcus bacteria (green) tightly associated with filaments of Candida albicans (blue)
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.