Institute of Dentistry - Barts and The London

Dr Sonia Vartoukian, PhD, BDS, MSc, MClinDent, MFDS RCS Eng, MRD RCS Eng


Clinical Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7882 7139
Room Number: Blizard Building


Dr. Vartoukian graduated in Dentistry from King’s College London (1997) with distinctions in Oral Pathology, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine and Restorative Dentistry. In 2004 she became registered as a Specialist Periodontist. While training for this specialism she completed MSc and MClinDent degrees (both with distinction). Her PhD in Microbiology (King’s College London, 2009) focussed on oral Synergistetes in periodontal health and disease, and led to the first successful cultivation and characterisation of a member of the cluster A Synergistetes. Since 2010 she has held a post-doctoral position at Queen Mary University of London investigating the pathogenesis of Sjogren’s syndrome and other autoimmune diseases, which is leading to some exciting new discoveries.

She is first author on a number of published peer-reviewed papers and has presented this work both in the UK and abroad.

She is vice-president of the Armenian Medical Association GB.


Research Interests:

Dr. Vartoukian’s research is centred on investigating the pathogenesis of Sjogren’s syndrome, a systemic autoimmune disease affecting multiple exocrine glands and characterised by overexpression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Her work focusses in particular on the role in disease of Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling 3 (SOCS3), a negative regulator of these cytokines. It is anticipated that development of this work will ultimately lead to clinical benefit with SOCS3 as a potential target in diagnosis and therapy.

Other research interests include periodontal microbiology, bacterial systematics, and cultivation of ‘unculturable’ bacteria. Her work on the bacterial phylum Synergistetes has led to the first successful cultivation and description of a member of the cluster A Synergistetes: Fretibacterium fastidiosum, a fastidious organism whose resistance to culture was found to be related to dependence on helper strains present within the plaque biofilm community.