Dr Marcello Riggio
- Senior Lecturer (Dental School)
- Associate (Institute of Infection Immunity & Inflammation)
Dr Riggio graduated from the University of Leicester with a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry-with-Biochemistry in July 1983. In May 1984 he took up a position as a Research Technician at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, working on oncogene expression and regulation. In April 1986 he took up a position as a Research Assistant in the Department of Veterinary Pathology at Glasgow Vet School, working on the development of recombinant equine herpesvirus vaccines, and studied for his PhD at the same time.
He obtained his PhD in 1991 and carried out his first postdoctoral position in the same department on equine herpesvirus vaccine development. In February 1994 he moved to Glasgow Dental School to take up a position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, where his immediate task was to establish a molecular microbiology laboratory and undertake novel research into oral diseases. In April 1995 he was appointed to a Lectureship in Molecular Biology and in August 2002 was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology.
Current and previous roles
Dr Marcello Riggio is a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology and is an integral member and group lead within the Infection & Immunity Research Group at the Dental School (University of Glasgow), which forms part of the School of Medicine. He has published in excess of 50 peer-reviewed papers, principally in the area of microbial ecology associate with human oral and systemic health and disease. More recently, he expanded his research portfolio by conducting research into oral diseases of companion animals (cats, horse, dogs) and sheep. Most of this research involves active collaborations with colleagues in the UK (e.g. University of Glasgow; University of Edinburgh; Cardiff University; University of Birmingham) and Europe (e.g. University of Amsterdam; Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Lillehammer; University of Sao Paolo State, Brazil).
In addition to his research portfolio, Dr Riggio has had a series of roles within the University of Glasgow linked to postgraduate management and teaching. He was Postgraduate Convenor (Dental School) from 2008-2014, overseeing all aspects of postgraduate research student administration and welfare (annual progress reviews, organisation of examining committees, pastoral support). He also served as Deputy Director of Postgraduate Dental Education (Dental School) from 2009-2014, contributing to the wider management and recruitment of students to the postgraduate dental taught programmes. In 2011 he was appointed as Deputy Postgraduate Convenor (School of Medicine), contributing to the management and assessment of postgraduate research students within the School of Medicine, the largest school within the College of MVLS. He has represented the Dental School on a number of University committees dealing with postgraduate student administration and is currently a member of Senate. He also serves on several committees within the Dental School (Postgraduate Management Committee; Research Committee; Information Services Committee; BDS1 Teaching Committee; BDS1 Staff-Student Liaison Committee).
In addition to his undergraduate teaching duties, he has been leader of the Dental Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Core Course since 2009, a course that forms the first year of study for all students studying on dental postgraduate taught courses.
Dr Riggio serves on several national and international committees influential in dental research and teaching. He is a Councillor (2012 onwards) on the management committee of the Association of Basic Science Teachers in Dentistry (ABSTD). He has had numerous roles within the British Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), which is also known as the British Society for Oral and Dental Research (BSODR): Councillor (2010-2013), Webmaster (2012 onwards), Honorary Secretary (2014 onwards). The post of Honorary Secretary involves responsibility for the day-to-day running of the society and in this role he serves on the IADR Council (its governing body) and represents BSODR on the Board of Directors of the Pan European Region (PER) of IADR. This influential role in UK dental research involves interaction with many bodies allied to dental research at national and international level. He has been Secretary/Treasurer of the Oral Microbiology & Immunology Group (OMIG) of BSODR since 2008 and previously served as a Councillor on the OMIG management committee (2005-2008). Dr Riggio was Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the BSODR conference, which was held in Glasgow in September 2009 and has organised numerous other research meetings on an annual basis for OMIG and ABSTD.
Dr Riggio is an External Examiner for undergraduate dental degrees at the University of Liverpool (2011-2015), University of Bristol (2010-2015) and Cardiff University (2015 onwards). He has also acted as External Examiner for higher degrees (eight PhD, one DDent).
Dr Riggio’s main research theme is to identify the bacteria involved in inflammatory oral and systemic diseases, in both human and animals. This has largely been achieved by Sanger sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes, although next generation (high-throughput) sequencing methods are now being utilised in order to provide far greater depth, coverage, accuracy and sensitivity than that offered by Sanger sequencing in assessing the composition of complex microbial communities, uncovering microbial diversities that are orders of magnitude higher than revealed by previous sequencing technologies. One focus of his research lies in determining the bacteria associated with heart disease, prosthetic joint infections and arthritis, with particular interest in the potential role of oral bacteria in these systemic infections. His other main research focus, in collaboration with Professor David Bennett and other colleagues at the School of Veterinary Medicine (University of Glasgow), is to understand the microbial ecology of oral health and disease in companion animals (cats, dogs, horses) and sheep. With colleagues from the Dental School (Dr David Lappin, Dr Christopher Nile) he is also interested in determining the nature of host-pathogen interactions in disease, particularly by assessing the innate immune response to infection. In vitro and ex vivo model systems are being used to further understand the host-pathogen relationship in disease. Future studies will seek to adopt a combined ‘omics’ approach to understanding more fully the underlying processes associated with oral and systemic diseases in humans and animals.
Grants of £100,00 or more
- Riggio MP, Nile CJ, Lappin DF, Bennett D. Microbiological and immunological aspects of feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL). Nestle Purina Petcare (St Louis, MO, USA), 48 months from January 2015. £169,155 (ACTIVE)
- Riggio MP, Bennett D, Taylor DJ, Lappin DF, Mellor DJ, Graham EM, Courcier EA. Do previously undetectable bacteria play a significant role in the aetiopathogenesis of feline lymphocytic/plasmacytic gingivostomatitis? Petplan Charitable Trust, 36 months from February 2009. £102,710 [Supported PhD student for three years at Wellcome Trust rates]
- Riggio MP, Bagg J, Allan DB, Ramage G. Molecular analysis of the total microflora on the surface of prosthetic hip joints removed during revision arthroplasties. Arthritis Research Campaign, 36 months from June 2005. £125,963 [Supported postdoctoral researcher for three years]
- Riggio MP, Rolph HJ, Bagg J. A culture and molecular biological investigation of the microbial flora associated with the tongue dorsum in halitosis patients. GlaxoSmithKline, 24 months from December 2001. £174,104 [Supported two-year postdoctoral researcher for two years and clinical lecturer for one year]
- Saunders WP, Riggio MP, Bagg J. Characterisation of the microflora in the periradicular tissues of patients with periradicular periodontitis. Scottish Office Home and Health Department (Chief Scientist’s Office), 36 months from October 1998. £152,259 [Supported postdoctoral researcher for three years]
- Macpherson LMD, Hall AF, Riggio MP, Bagg J, Stephen KW. An in situ investigation of the effects of fluoridated milk on enamel mineral content, and plaque composition and metabolism. Borrow Dental Milk Foundation, 42 months from October 1999. £101,112 [Supported PhD student for three years]
- Macpherson LMD, Hall AF, Riggio MP, Bagg J. Influence of fluoride delivery methodologies and site-specific intra-oral factors on the composition and cariogenic potential of dental plaques. Procter & Gamble, 18 months from October 1999. £137,616 [Supported research technician for 18 months]
Grants of less than £100,000
- Riggio MP, Bennett D, Lappin DF, Nile CJ, Sloan A, Denyer S. Development of novel in vitro models to investigate the role of pathogens in the aetiology of feline chronic gingivostomatitis and to test therapeutic interventions. Petplan Charitable Trust, 36 months from February 2015. £89,942 (ACTIVE)
- Riggio MP, Bennett D. Additional studies on the microbiology and immunology of equine periodontal disease. Weipers Equine Fund, University of Glasgow, 24 months from January 2014. £20,000 (ACTIVE)
- Riggio MP, Bennett D, Lappin DF. Microbiological and immunological aspects of equine periodontal disease. Horserace Betting Levy Board. 36 months from June 2013. £99,887 [Supports PhD student for three years] (ACTIVE)
- Riggio MP, Bennett D, Hamilton G. High-throughput sequencing for identification of bacteria associated with canine periodontitis and oral health. American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. 24 months from January 2013. $31,000 [Supported research technician for 10 months at 0.6 FTE]
- Riggio MP, Murray C. Bacteria in diseased aortic tissue of subjects with and without rheumatic disease. University of Glasgow (Faculty of Medicine) PhD scholarship, 36 months from October 2009. £60,000 [Supported PhD student for three years]
- Riggio MP, Bennett D, Taylor DJ. Do previously undetectable bacteria play a significant role in the aetiopathogenesis of feline periodontal disease and lymphocytic/plasmacytic gingivostomatitis? BSAVA Petsavers, 12 months from February 2009. £8,000
- Riggio MP, Bennett D, Taylor DJ, Lappin DF. Are previously undetectable bacteria contributors to inflammatory processes within the joints of dogs with immune-mediated arthritis, septic arthritis and cruciate disease? The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, 24 months from October 2007. £37,325 [Supported 50% recoup of research technician salary for two years]
- Riggio MP. Do previously undetectable bacteria play a significant role in the aetiopathogenesis of canine gingivitis and periodontal disease? Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust (Blue Sky Research Programme 2007), 12 months from May 2007. £10,000
- Murray CA, Whitters CJ, Ramage G, Riggio MP. Does photo-activated disinfection (PAD) improve clinical outcomes of root canal re-treatment in-vivo and is it effective upon in-vitro root canal biofilms? European Society of Endodontology, 12 months from January 2007. £3,367
- Erridge C, Murray CA, Riggio MP. Investigation of ligands of Toll-like receptors in atherosclerotic tissue. Synergy, 12 months from November 2006. £2,000
- Riggio MP. Molecular biological analysis of bacteraemias produced during dental extraction.The Oral and Dental Research Trust (Procter & Gamble Research Awards 2002), 12 months from June 2002. £1,500
- Riggio MP. Molecular biological characterisation of the microflora associated with aortic tissue of patients with cardiovascular disease. The Oral and Dental Research Trust (Procter & Gamble Research Awards 2001), 12 months from June 2001. £1,550
- Smith AJ, Riggio MP, Hood J. Molecular diagnosis of Actinomycotic infections. Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 12 months from November 2000. £5,533
- Wallace RJ, McLean N, Riggio MP, MacKenzie D, Smith AJ, Meyers N. The potential use of bacterial dipeptidyl peptidase and deaminase inhibitors to combat breath malodour. SmithKline Beecham, 12 months from October 2000. £34,572
- Riggio MP. Analysis of aortic and oropharyngeal samples for Chlamydia pneumoniae. The Oral and Dental Research Trust (SmithKline Beecham Research Awards 2000), 12 months from May 2000. £1,400
- Riggio MP. Identification and characterisation of genes specifying the immunodominant antigens of the major periodontal pathogen Bacteroides forsythus. The Oral and Dental Research Trust (SmithKline Beecham Research Awards 1998), 12 months from June 1998. £2,000
- Gibson J, Riggio MP, Wray D. A clinical and molecular biological study into the aetiology of oral Crohn’s disease and its relationship to gut Crohn’s disease in children. Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association, 12 months from May 1995. £5,077
- Riggio MP, Ramage G. Testing of active ingredients against bacteria associated with animal dental disease. Ward Industries, 6 months from July 2008. £12,000
Research administration roles - current
- Member of Senate (non-professorial), University of Glasgow (2011 onwards)
- Member, Research Committee, Dental School (2005 onwards)
The main remit of this committee is to develop, promote and publicise Dental School research strategy in line with Research Group, School and University objectives. I have sat on this committee as a representative of the Infection & Immunity Research Group.
- Member, Information Services Committee (2000 onwards)
This is a committee that discusses policy with regard to all information technology-related matters relating to the Dental School. I have served as a Junior Staff Representative and currently represent the Infection & Immunity Research Group on this committee.
Research administration roles - previous
- Member, University of Glasgow (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) Appeals Committee (2008–2010)
This committee handled appeals submitted by students within the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
- Member, University of Glasgow (Faculty of Medicine) Research Scholarships Committee (2008–2010)
The remit of this committee was to consider applications for faculty-funded PhD scholarships.
- Divisional Representative, Graduate School Board (Faculty of Medicine) (2008–2010)
The Graduate School Board had overall responsibility for policy, procedures and practice in relation to the Faculty of Medicine Graduate School.
- Member, Training and Awards Group (TAAG), Faculty of Medicine (2008–2010)
The remit of this group was to develop policy, procedures and practice in relation to the administration of funding to develop the transferable skills of postgraduate research students and postdoctoral research assistants. It was responsible for the administration of Roberts’ funding to achieve its goals.
- Member, University of Glasgow (Faculty of Medicine) Appeals Committee (2006–2010)
This committee handled appeals submitted by students within the Faculty/School of Medicine.
- Head, Infection and Immunity Section / Infection & Immunity Research Group, Dental School (2005−2009)
This senior management post involved responsibility for the smooth and efficient running of the Section, which was one of three key sections within the Dental School. As Head of Section, I had devolved responsibility for 15 staff members and played a major role in promoting the wider research carried out by the Infection & Immunity Group at national and international levels. The research group was developed such that ultimately its research output was of a sufficiently high quality to contribute to our success in the RAE 2008. This role provided recognition of my administrative and management skills.
- Member, Dental School Executive Committee (2005−2009)
The main remit of this executive committee was to identify and prioritise key strategic areas of activity relevant to the academic and administrative functions of the Dental School. I was thereby involved in strategic decision making at a School-wide level.
- Member, RAE 2008 Steering Group, Dental School (2005−2008)
The remit of this group was to prepare the submission for the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 for the Dental School
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Development of a novel in vitro model to investigate the role of pathogens in the aetiology of feline chronic gingiovostomatitis and to test therapeutic interventions
2015 - 2019
- High-throughput (metagenomic) sequencing for identification of bacteria associated with canine periodontal disease and oral health.
2013 - 2014
- Are previously undetectable bacteria contributors to inflammatory processes within the joints of dogs with immune mediated arthritis, septic arthritis and cruciate disease?
2009 - 2010
- Do previously undetected bacteria play a signficant role in the aetiopathogenesis of feline periodontitis and lymphocytic/plasmacytic gingivostomatitis?
2009 - 2012
- Do previously undetected bacteria play a significant role in the aetiopathogenesis of feline periodontal disease and lymphocytic/plasmacytic ginginostomatitis
2008 - 2010
- Do previously undetectable bacteria play a significant role in the aetiopathogenesis of canine gingivitis and periodontitis?
2007 - 2010
- Does photoactivated disinfection (PAD) improve clinical outcomes of root canal re-treatment in vivo and is it effective upon in vitro root canal treatment
2006 - 2010
- Molecular analysis of the total microflora on the surface of prosthetic hip joints removed during revision arthroplasties
2005 - 2008
- Examination of the relationship between Orafacial Granulomatosis (OFG) and Crohn's disease (CD). Analysis of genetic, serological and saliva
2004 - 2007
- The diagnosis of infection in preterm delivery - a polyphasic approach incorporating culture independent techniques
2003 - 2006
- Molecular biological characterisation of the microflora associated with aortic tissue of patients with cardiovascular disease
2001 - 2006
Teaching administration roles - current
- Deputy Postgraduate Convener, School of Medicine (2011 onwards)
This is a key role that assumes responsibility, in conjunction with the Postgraduate Convener, for the recruitment, management and assessment of postgraduate research students within the School of Medicine, the largest school within the College of MVLS. Deputise for Postgraduate Convenor (School of Medicine) at College of MVLS Graduate School Board meetings. This role allows me to contribute to the ongoing postgraduate agenda of the School of Medicine, in particular the recruitment of international postgraduate research students. Feedback of postgraduate teaching issues to MVLS Graduate School Board through, and when deputising for, PG Convenor (School of Medicine).
- Deputy Education Lead, Biological and Medical Sciences Section, Dental School (2009 onwards)
The remit of this role is to assist in delivering the teaching aims of the Section to the undergraduate BDS curriculum.
- Member, Postgraduate Management Committee, Dental School (2008 onwards)
The remit of this committee is to oversee and manage all aspects of the postgraduate study programmes within the Dental School.
- Member, BDS1 Teaching Committee, Dental School (2004 onwards)
The remit of this committee is to continually discuss and review the management and content of the first year of the undergraduate BDS curriculum.
- Member, BDS1 Staff-Student Liaison Committee, Dental School (2004 onwards)
This committee is a forum for interaction between teaching staff and students from year one of the BDS curriculum.
Teaching administration roles - previous
- Deputy Director of Postgraduate Dental Education, Dental School (2009–2014)
In this role I contributed to the wider management and recruitment of students to the postgraduate taught dental programmes.
- Local Postgraduate Convenor, Dental School (2007–2014)
This was a key managerial post that assumed responsibility for the recruitment and management of dental postgraduate students. The main duties included approval of entry of postgraduate research students, organisation of higher degree examining committees, development of postgraduate recruitment policy, coordinating annual review of student progress and pastoral care.
- Dental School link person with staff from the School of Life Sciences teaching on the BDS curriculum, facilitated smooth delivery of teaching and acting and helping to resolve problems when they arise (2004-2013).
Professional activities beyond the university
- Honorary Secretary, British Society for Oral & Dental Research (BSODR) (2014 onwards)
I was elected to this role in September 2014. BSODR is the premiere dental research society in the UK, whose mission is to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health in the UK. BSODR is the British division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), the global body responsible for promoting oral health research worldwide. In addition, BSODR also supports and represents the oral research community in the UK and promotes international research collaboration through IADR and its federations. BSODR currently has approximately 600 members. I am responsible for the day-to day running of BSODR, including arranging meetings of the Management Committee, Annual Business Meeting and scientific meetings of the Society and developing BSODR policy and interacting with stakeholders. As part of this role, I also serve on the IADR Council (its governing body) and represent BSODR on the Board of Directors of the Pan European Region (PER) of IADR. This is an influential role in UK dental research and involves interaction with many bodies allied to dental research at national and international level.
- Councillor, Association of Basic Science Teachers in Dentistry (ABSTD) (2012 onwards)
ABSTD is dedicated to the teaching of basic sciences in dentistry and plays an active role in facilitating the development of curricula nationally and internationally.
- Editor, Journal of Medical Microbiology (2011 onwards)
As a member of the Editorial Board of this highly respected, peer-reviewed journal, I handle manuscripts submitted for publication and make the final decision on their suitability for publication in the journal. I also attend annual editorial board meetings.
- Councillor, British Society for Oral & Dental Research (BSODR) Management Committee (2010-2013) and Webmaster (2012 onwards)
Having previously served as a BSODR Councillor, I was then appointed to the newly formed post of Webmaster to redevelop and administer the BSODR website, thereby promoting and publicising the society, whilst still contributing to the development of BSODR policy.
- Member, Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group (OMIG) Management Committee (2005-2008), Secretary/Treasurer (2008 onwards)
OMIG is a sub-group of BSODR. I was elected to this national research management group as a committee member in 2005. Key tasks include organisation, management and promotion of research meetings at national and international level. In 2008, I was elected to the role of OMIG Secretary/Treasurer, assuming responsibility for the day-to-day running of the group.
- Chairman, Local Organising Committee, BSDR 2009 Conference (2006–2009)
I was Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (10 members) responsible for organisation of the British Society for Dental Research (now known as BSODR) conference, which was held in Glasgow from 1-4 September 2009. This is the premier British dental research conference and is held biennially. It is the focal point for research staff and students, as well as academic staff and clinicians, in UK dental schools and allied institutions together with those from further afield. The conference attracted over 340 delegates principally from the UK and some from much further afield (Europe, USA and Australia) and 228 abstracts were presented as posters or oral presentations. The conference was deemed a scientific, social and financial success and helped to increase the national and international profile and reputation of Glasgow Dental School.
Invited International Presentations
- 2006: Glasgow, Scotland - Chairman, Local Organising Committee, BSDR 2009 Conference
Professional Learned Society
- 2014 - present: British Society for Oral and Dental Research - Honorary Secretary
- 2012 - present: Association of Basic Science Teachers in Dentistry - Councillor
- 2010 - 2013: British Society for Oral and Dental Research - Councillor
- 2008 - present: British Society for Oral and Dental Research - Secretary/Treasurer, Oral Microbiology & Immunology Group Committee Management Group
- 2005 - 2008: British Society for Oral and Dental Research - Member, Oral Microbiology & Immunology Group Committee Managment Group