After completing a BSC (Hons) degree in Biomedical Sciences (1997), I undertook my PhD education at Cardiff Dental School (University of Cardiff) sponsored by the Medical Research Council (UK) (2002) . The title was "The influence of recombinant proteoglycans in the mineralisation process" of hard tissues and supervised by Professor Graham Embery and Professor Rachel Waddington. Subsequently, in 2002 I moved to the Karolinska Institutet to join the Centre for Oral Biology for my Post-doc period and continued as senior researcher. In 2009, the Centre for Oral Biology joined with the research unit at the Department of Dental Medicine. Since 2012, I have been a Lecturer at the Department of Dental Medicine, focused on the biomedical education of dental, dental hygienist and continuing professional education dentists. I have been heavily involved in the development of the biomedical dental education and the implementation of the new dental program study plan. Alongside my teaching and mentoring activities, I am also Principal Investigator (see below).
Current research is focused on developing pathological diagnostics and understanding disease processes in the soft tissues of the oral cavity. We are concerned with the complications that result following hematopoietic cell transplantation in the form of Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD). Oral manifestations are one of the most common and debilitating complications, and the histopathology poorly understood, particularly associated with long-standing chronic (c)GVHD. Our ongoing studies are working to understand oral mucosal and salivary gland cGVHD pathogenesis, clinical and diagnostic criteria and the search for predictive biomarkers.
The shortage of qualified pathologists and inter-assessor variation is a limitation to diagnostics but digital approaches are providing unique tools to increase capacity, precision and accuracy. Machine learning (ML), and in particular deep learning (DL) algorithms can be trained to perform complex prediction tasks across a multitude of application areas. Using our digital image database we aim to develop a targeted oral digital pathology (DP) platform that will benefit the assessment of cGVHD but other pre-malignant and malignant oral lesions. Thereby strengthening pathologist/clinician interactions by providing rapid accurate histological assessment for clinical decision-making.
Rachael Sugars (PI)
Victor Tollemar Wilmenius (Doctoral Student)
Head of Year 1 in the Dental Program
Course Leader for Cell and Molecular Biology, including Embryology (2TL006, 7.5hp)
Course Leader for Scientific Introduction (2TL003, 3hp)
Responsible for Oral Biochemistry (2TL007)
Working Group for Dental Program Study Plan (ALVAH)
Additional teaching occasions within the Dental Program, including Oral Pathology and Histology, supervision of exam projects; teaching on the Master's Program in Odontological Scientific Theory