Dashper Stuart

Prof. Stuart Dashper


Prof. Stuart Dashper
Prof. Stuart Dashper

E-mail: stuartgd@unimelb.edu.au

Telephone: +61 3 9341 1551


  • Bsc (Hons) - LaTrobe University
  • PhD - The University of Melbourne
  • Deputy Head of the Oral Biology Research Group
  • Programme Leader, Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre
  • Principal Research Fellow


In the late sixties Geoff and Vera fled the gloomy midlands of England for the sunny shores of Australia, bringing their young son Stuart with them. Stuart settled in well and developed a fascination for all things microbial. In the late eighties, after a brief exposure to the study of bacteria in sewage, he rapidly developed an interest in Oral Microbiology. Upon completing a PhD at the Melbourne Dental School on the metabolism of oral streptococci in the early 90s, he accepted a postdoctoral position at the School where he has remained to this day. During his employment at the Melbourne Dental School the study of oral bacteria has increased exponentially. With the recent establishment of the Centre for Oral Health Science, The University of Melbourne now has a world class research centre studying the causes of oral disease. Stuart continues to research this fascinating field and to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students.


The oral cavity is colonized by over 700 species of bacteria, most of which are found only in the mouth. These species exist largely as polymicrobial biofilms attached to the surface of the tooth and these biofilms play important roles in both health and disease. Bacterial biofilms are complex and diverse microbial communities with a complex ecology. Oral bacteria interact with each other and the host and these interactions help to regulate bacterial pathogenesis.

These interests encompass:-

  • Anaerobic, asaccharolytic bacteria
  • Bacterial biofilm formation, development and function
  • Bacterial quorum-sensing and the regulation of genes associated with virulence
  • Microbial ecology
  • Uptake and utilisation of bacterial micronutrients, including iron and manganese
  • Bacterial proteinases
  • Application of proteomic and transcriptomic technologies to the study of bacterial pathogenesis
  • The development of novel antibacterial therapies


  • The characterization of biofilm formation and development by oral bacteria
  • The control of virulence factors of Gram-negative, anaerobic bacteria associated with periodontal disease
  • The proteomic analysis of oral Gram-negative bacteria
  • The utilization of molecular technologies to investigate the microbial aetiology of periodontal diseases
  • How interactions between Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola,Tanerella forsythiaand Fusobacterium nucleatum contribute to the development of periodontal diseases
  • Development of a defined P. gingivalis vaccine
  • The characterization of P. gingivalis iron transport systems
  • Genomic analyses of oral bacterial pathogens
  • Discovery and characterization of novel antibacterial peptides

All of these projects are available and suitable for both Postgraduate and BSc(Hons) students and scholarships are available for these projects.


  • To see A/Prof. Dashper's publications go to his Find an Expert page at the University of Melbourne.


Australian Federal Government:-

  • Oral Health Co-operative Research Centre 2010-2019).

National Health and Medical Research Council:-

  • Regulation of Porphyromonas gingivalis gene expression.
  • Development of a synthetic multipathogen vaccine.
  • Characterisation of a novel secretion system necessary for Porphyromonas gingivalis virulence.


  • Development of Oxantel to prevent periodontopathogenic biofilm formation. International Association for Dental Research/Glaxo Smith Kline Innovation in Oral Care Awards 2009.

Industry Funded:-

  • Lactoferrin as an antimicrobial agent – Murray Goulburn


  • The International Association for Dental Research
  • The Australian Society for Microbiology


  • Oral Microbiology and Biochemistry
  • Role of Research in Treatment of Oral Disease
  • Development of Novel Oral Therapies
  • Rational Treatment of Oral Disease