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Dr Nihal Bandara


I received my Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) with honours from The University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and graduated with honours as the Most Outstanding Dental Student of Sri Lanka (2001-2006). Subsequently, I was awarded my Ph.D. in Oral Microbiology from The Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Hong Kong in 2011 under the supervision of Prof Lakshman Samaranayake, Prof. L. J. Jin and Dr Rory Watt. My thesis was based on the communal interactions of Candida albicans, and bacteria in mixed species biofilms. After a brief 4 month research associate role in the University of Hong Kong, I joined the laboratory of Prof. Hugh Smyth at the College of Pharmacy, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to pursue work on novel approaches for drug delivery into microbial biofilms. After completion of my first postdoctoral fellowship, I moved to the School of Dentistry, University of Queensland, Australia in 2014 as a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow and continued to work on fungal bacterial interactions and quorum sensing in mixed biofilm infections. I was appointed as a lecturer in oral microbiology at University of Bristol in 2017.

My current research focuses on bacterial-fungal interactions in polymicrobial infections/environments, quorum sensing and antimicrobial resistance.

In addition, I have been appointed as the Director of the International Foundation Programme for Medicine and Dentistry in the faculty of Health Sciences at University of Bristol in 2018.