The importance of a supportive research environment

Meet: Dr Dhana Gorasia

Dr Dhana Gorasia is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Oral Biology Research Group at the Melbourne Dental School. Dr Gorasia's main research focus is to understand the Type IX Secretion system which is used by Porphyrmonas gingivalis to secrete its virulence factors to the cell surface.

Dr Dhana Gorasia (Melbourne Dental School)

Q&A WITH DR DHANA GORASIA

Why is your research important?

"Periodontitis and gum diseases are a major public health concern in the world. Approximately 80 per cent of the young Australian population shows clinical signs of periodontal diseases. Porphyromonas gingivalis is considered to be a principal pathogen in chronic periodontitis due to its close association with disease in humans."

"P. gingivalis produces special proteins, called gingipains, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of the disease. The gingipains are transported to the cell surface using a specialised system called the type IX secretion system (T9SS). The T9SS is very poorly characterised and the role of many T9SS components is unknown. A comprehensive understanding of the T9SS will allow us to develop drugs that can block the T9SS and hence prevent disease progression."

What is working as part of your research group at the Melbourne Dental School like?

"Working at the Melbourne Dental School has been a great experience. I have had a very supportive environment to carry out my research. I have also been supported to attend international and national conferences. I have been able to collaborate with researchers from Japan and USA who are also working on the T9SS."

Can you describe a day in your life at the Melbourne Dental School?

"A typical day at work involves juggling experiments in the lab as well as reading papers and writing my own papers or research grants."

Looking for an Honours or Masters Project for 2020?