Institute of Dentistry - Barts and The London

Dr Robert Whiley, BSc, PhD



Telephone: +44 (0) 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 studying oral streptococci in the department of Oral Microbiology of the London Hospital Medical College. In 1988 he obtained a post as Research Assistant in the Department of Oral Microbiology 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 70 papers mainly in the field of oral microbiology. 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 authored the Streptococcus chapter for the 2nd edition of Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology.


Lead for Year 2 of the BDS 2012 curriculum.

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

Academic Co-ordinator for Dentistry Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS).

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)


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. In addition his research includes working with colleagues at Queen Mary, University of London on developing novel chlorhexidine containing particles for sustained release at sites of potential infection.


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.