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Institute of Dentistry - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Abish Stephen , BSc, MRes, PhD


Lecturer in Oral Microbiology

Telephone: +44 (0)207 882 7157
Room Number: Blizard Buidling


Dr Stephen graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from Kingston University in 2010, and subsequently pursued a postgraduate research degree in Oral Microbiology funded by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. He then undertook a PhD research project on Microbiology/Infection, supervised by Prof. Robert Allaker based at Queen Mary University of London, funded by the BBSRC and GSK.
Upon completion of the PhD in 2015, he continued his research funded by GSK at QMUL as a Post Doctoral Research Associate with Prof. Robert Allaker. He is a member of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), British Society for Oral and Dental Research (BSODR), Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group (OMIG) and the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM).


Centre: Centre for Oral Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine


I teach in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Institute of Dentistry. I lead the Microbiology modules for the Year 2 Bachelor of Dental Surgery, and MSc Experimental Oral Pathology courses. I also undertake short projects for students in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.


Research Interests:

The relationship between oral pathologies and microbial volatile compounds is the main focus of my research activities at Queen Mary University of London. Understanding the mechanisms of oral malodour in health and disease is a key aspect of this research, in addition to exploring the possibility of using breath analysis for oral diagnostic and more routine monitoring purposes. This follows findings from my investigations on the relationship between chronic periodontitis and oral malodour, using analytical, molecular and next generation rDNA sequencing techniques. This study yielded associations between the presence of specific volatile sulfur compounds in the oral cavity and the oral microbiota in niches such as the tongue and periodontium. Additionally, significant associations were also observed between widely used clinical oral assessments (such as six point probing and plaque score) and the microbiological changes in the oral cavity in relation to breath volatiles and disease. These associations are being investigated further in a project exploring the relationship between breath volatiles and pathologies related to denture wearing, and role of the oral bacterial-fungal interkingdom relationships in this population group.

I’m also interested in studying the mechanisms at the host-microbial interface that underpin health, and the transition from health to disease in the oral cavity via clinical studies and in vitro biofilm models. In particular, I’m interested in understanding how changes in the oral microenvironment can affect the fitness of the so-called ‘health-associated’ oral microbial species.


  1. Development of a 3D collagen model for the in vitro evaluation of magnetic-assisted osteogenesis. Z Yuan, K Memarzadeh, AS Stephen, RP Allaker, RA Brown, J Huang. Scientific reports 8 (1), 1-11 
  2. Activity of a nitric oxide-generating wound treatment system against wound pathogen biofilms. RD Waite, JE Stewart, AS Stephen, RP Allaker. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 52 (3), 338-343
  3. Use of probiotics and oral health. RP Allaker, AS Stephen. Current Oral Health Reports. 4 (4), 309-318 
  4. In Vitro Effect of Porphyromonas gingivalis methionine gamma lyase on biofilm composition and oral inflammatory response AS Stephen, E Millhouse, L Sherry, J Aduse-Opoku, S Culshaw, G Ramage, DJ Bradshaw, GR Burnett, RP Allaker. PLOS ONE 11 (12), e0169157 
  5. In vitro effects of novel toothpaste actives on components of oral malodour GR Burnett, AS Stephen, RL Pizzey, DJ Bradshaw. International Dental Journal 61, 67-73 


All publications

Further details can be found at:

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