Ali Mohammed's PhD excellence rewarded by Rowden White Scholarship

Melbourne Dental School PhD student Ali Mohammed is the 2019 recipient of the Rowden White Scholarship.

Melbourne Dental School PhD student Ali Mohammed. 2019 Rowden White Scholarship recipient

Ali's research: "Protective effects of a hyaluronic acid-based compound in experimental models of oral mucositis"

Ali describes his research:

Oral mucositis (OM) is a common, highly debilitating side-effect of cancer treatment. The initial injury to the oral mucosa is triggered by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Nearly all patients who receive radiotherapy with or without concomitant chemotherapy experience mucositis in the month during their therapy course. Despite its severity and prevalence, no single preventive measure has been approved to date and the accessible therapeutic agents are largely palliative.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a biocompatible, biodegradable and non-immunogen polysaccharide that is potentially effective in the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis. However, the mechanisms underlying its protective effects have not been elucidated yet.

Our aims were to:

  1. Assess the effects of HA preparations in an oxidative stress-induced model of oral mucosal injury in vitro
  2. Test a selected HA preparation in vivo in a mouse model of chemotherapy-induced OM

Main conclusions:

We have provided the first evidence for the protective effect of HA-based preparations against oxidative stress-induced damage in oral keratinocytes and shown that H-MW-HA exerts significant ROS scavenging activity.

Animal studies are underway to confirm whether the prophylactic use of H-MW-HA prevents or ameliorates OM in vivo in mice.

About the Rowden White Scholarship

The Rowden White Scholarship is named after the late Sir Alfred Edward Rowden White CMG, MB (Melb.), BS (Melb.), MD (Melb.).

The scholarship is awarded to talented, high-quality students irrespective of backgrounds and personal circumstances. The main criterion for the Rowden White Scholarship is academic merit.

In 2019, the value of the scholarship is AUD $6,500.


Congratulations to Ali on his fantastic achievements!