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Dr. Gary Moran

Associate Professor (Dental Science)

I run the Oral Microbiome research group in the School of Dental Science. My research focuses on the pathogenicity of oral microorganisms, specifically the fungal pathogen Candida albicans and the oral bacterium Fusobacterium nucleatum. Our research involves a combination of molecular genetics, genomics and transcriptomics. We also carry out 16S profiling of the oral microbiome to better understand oral disease. Our research is carried out in the Microbiology laboratory at the Dublin Dental University Hospital, which is on the campus of Trinity College Dublin.
  16s Profiling   antifungal drug resistance   CANDIDA ALBICANS   comparative genomics   fungal morphogenesis   Fusobacterium nucleatum   Genomes, Genomics   in vitro models of infection   microbiome   Molecular Biology   Periodontal disease   Porphyromonas gingivalis   Tissue Culture   transcriptomics   virulence factors
 The TLO genes of Candida albicans
 Analysis of the oral metagenome for markers of malignant transformation of oral leukoplakia
 The Oral Microbiome in Disease
 The role of Tor kinase in filamentation in Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis
 The Hag genes of Porphyromonas gingivalis

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Details Date
Member of the Irish Expert body on Fluorides and Health 2020-Present
Irish Division Committee, Microbiology Society UK 2021-2022
President of the Irish Fungal Society 2015-2019
Meetings Secretary of the British Society of Medical Mycology 2006-2009
Editor for Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing group) 2017-Present
Topic Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology 2017-2021
Grant reviewer for MRC UK, Wellcome Trust, NSF USA, and H2020 Marie Curie Fellowship programme, among others. 2010-Present
Details Date From Date To
British Society for Medical Mycology 1994 Present
Internation Association of Dental Research (IADR) 1998 Present
American Society for Microbiology 2000 Present
Society for General Microbiology 2007 Present
Dublin Academy of Pathogenomics and Infection Biology 2010 Present
Irish Fungal Society (IFS) Present 2010
O'Connor M, Harrison G, Lenahan D, Moran GP., A dentifrice containing salivary enzymes and xylitol exhibits superior antimicrobial activity in vitro against adherent Streptococcus mutans compared to a chlorhexidine dentifrice., Letters in applied microbiology, 76, (2), 2023, povad026 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Moran GP, Zgaga L, Daly B, Harding M, Montgomery T., Does fluoride exposure impact on the human microbiome?, Toxicology letters, 2023, pS0378-4274(23)00098-X , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
O'Connor-Moneley J, Alaalm L, Moran GP, Sullivan DJ., The role of the Mediator complex in fungal pathogenesis and response to antifungal agents., Essays in biochemistry, 2023, pEBC20220238 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Galvin S, Moran GP, Healy CM., Influence of site and smoking on malignant transformation in the oral cavity: Is the microbiome the missing link?, Front Oral Health, 4, 2023, p1166037 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Winning L, Moran G, McClory M, El Karim I, Lundy FT, Patterson CC, Linden D, Cullen KM, Kee F, Linden GJ., Subgingival microbial diversity and respiratory decline: A cross-sectional study., Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 50, (7), 2023, p921 - 931, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Galvin, Sheila, Anishchuk, Sviatlana, Healy, Claire M., Moran, Gary P., Smoking, tooth loss and oral hygiene practices have significant and site-specific impacts on the microbiome of oral mucosal surfaces: a cross-sectional study, Journal of Oral Microbiology, 15, (1), 2023, p2263971 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Elmaghrawy K, Fleming P, Fitzgerald K, Cooper S, Dominik A, Hussey S, Moran GP., The Oral Microbiome in Treatment-Naïve Paediatric IBD Patients Exhibits Dysbiosis Related to Disease Severity that Resolves Following Therapy., Journal of Crohn's & colitis, 17, (4), 2023, p553-564 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Fletcher J, O'Connor-Moneley J, Frawley D, Flanagan PR, Alaalm L, Menendez-Manjon P, Estevez SV, Hendricks S, Woodruff AL, Buscaino A, Anderson MZ, Sullivan DJ, Moran GP., Deletion of the Candida albicans TLO gene family using CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis allows characterisation of functional differences in " - ß- and "- TLO gene function., PLoS genetics, 19, (12), 2023, pe1011082 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Qi W, Acosta-Zaldivar M, Flanagan PR, Liu NN, Jani N, Fierro JF, Andrés MT, Moran GP, Köhler JR., Stress- and metabolic responses of Candida albicans require Tor1 kinase N-terminal HEAT repeats., PLoS pathogens, 18, (6), 2022, pe1010089 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Amer A., Whelan A., Al-Hebshi NN, Healy CM, Moran GP, Acetaldehyde production by Rothia mucilaginosa isolates from patients with oral leukoplakia, Journal of Oral Microbiology, 12, (1), 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

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GARY P. MORAN, WHY CANDIDA ALBICANS FILAMENTS BETTER THAN ITS BUDDING COUSIN, EUKARYOTIC CELL, 9, (9), 2010, p1299 - 1299, Notes: [Spotlight feature on O'Connor et al. 2010, an "Article of Significant Interest Selected from This Issue by the Editors."], Journal Article, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Irish Division of International Association of Dental Research (IADR) Elida Gibbs Award 1998
F.S. Stewart prize (Awarded by Dept. of Microbiology, TCD, for highest grade in moderatorship exam) 1994
EMBO Short-term Fellowship 1997
Since embarking on my PhD studies in 1994, I have been investigating the molecular biology of pathogenic oral microorganisms. My goal is to use the tools of molecular biology and genomics to understand the evolution of pathogenicity in oral microorganisms. Since becoming Associate Professor at the School of Dental Science at Trinity College Dublin, my research interests have expanded to examine how complex communities of oral microorganisms (i.e. microbiomes) evolve in health and disease. I have an interest in how the oral microbiome influences the overall health of the GI tract and in identifying novel microbial-induced disease mechanisms. I am currently collaborating with Crumlin Children's hospital to investigate whether Crohn's disease induces changes in the oral microbiome and to determine whether this can be used to diagnose IBD. I am also PI on a HRB funded study to investigate the premalignant condition oral leukoplakia (OLK) to understand if colonization of these lesions with a dysbiotic microbiome could act as a driver of malignant progression. Linked with this I have PhD students carrying out mechanistic studies investigating how oral bacteria, specifically Fusobacteria, interact with oral cells and how these bacteria could induce malignant changes in host epithelial cells. In addition to my research on the oral microbiome, my work on virulence and drug resistance Candida species has resulted in numerous highly cited publications. Very soon after the publication of the C. albicans genome sequence in the early 2000's, my research focused on exploiting this sequence information to identify the genes that make C. albicans the most virulent of the Candida species. In one of the first microarray studies to be published on Candida species, I carried out comparative genomic hybridizations between C. dubliniensis and C. albicans on glass slide arrays that identified many unique genes in C. albicans such as the virulence factors SAP6 and HYR1, and also identified a C. albicans-specific family of genes known as the TLO family of genes, due to their telomeric location. In collaboration with Derek Sullivan, we used these data to successfully lobby the Sanger Centre in Cambridge UK to generate a whole genome sequence for C. dubliniensis at a time when genome sequencing was a major under-taking. These data were published in Genome Research and highlight many disparities in gene family content between C. albicans and C. dubliniensis. I was the first molecular biologist to develop tools to study the pathogenicity of Candida dubliniensis that have facilitated a new field of comparative virulence in Candida species. I am currently funded by SFI to investigate the function of the novel TLO gene family in C. albicans using CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis to create TLO gene mutants in order to determine their role in the evolution of virulence in C. albicans.