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Contact Details

64 3 479 7081
Professor of Molecular Microbiology
Department of Oral Sciences
MA PhD(Cantab)
Research summary
Oral microbiology and antifungal drug resistance


Professor Cannon is a molecular microbiologist interested in how microorganisms cause oral diseases and in how treatments for patients with these diseases can be improved. His research has a number of themes, one being oral adhesion. He is interested in how oral microbes, particularly yeast, adhere and colonize surfaces in the oral cavity.

He has found that saliva increases the adhesion of the yeast Candida albicans to several oral surfaces, including denture acrylics and voice prosthesis silicone. He is interested in the formation of oral biofilms, how microorganisms communicate within biofilms, and ways of inhibiting pathogenic biofilm formation.

C. albicans is a polymorphic fungus that grows mainly as yeast or mycelia. Professor Cannon is using metabolomics to investigate the changes in metabolism that are associated with the change from yeast to hyphal growth. A major focus of his research is the drug resistance of human fungal pathogens. He has found that clinically significant fungal drug resistance is due to energy-dependent drug efflux from the cell. His research group has developed a unique system for expressing and studying these efflux pumps in baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

They are currently using S. cerevisiae strains expressing efflux pumps from a variety of fungi to study pump function and to search for pump inhibitors. Professor Cannon is also using the S. cerevisiae expression system to investigate the resistance of sheep intestinal nematodes to antihelmintics.


Krishnan, C. S., Li, K. C., Tompkins, G. R., Lyons, K. M., & Cannon, R. D. (2024). Effects of simulated long-term exposure to bottled, neutral pH electrolyzed oxidizing water on the properties of denture base resins. Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2024.03.034 Journal - Research Article

Chen, X., He, Q., Zhai, Q., Tang, H., Li, D., Zhu, X., … Cannon, R. D., Mei, L., … Chen, T. (2023). Adaptive nanoparticle-mediated modulation of mitochondrial homeostasis and inflammation to enhance infected bone defect healing. ACS Nano. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.3c08165 Journal - Research Article

Li, M., Li, D., Jiang, Y., He, P., Li, Y., Wu, Y., … Cannon, R. D., Mei, L., … Yuan, H. (2023). The genetic background determines material-induced bone formation through the macrophage-osteoclast axis. Biomaterials, 302, 122356. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2023.122356 Journal - Research Article

Friedlander, L. T., Wallace, W. D. A., Broadbent, J. M., Hanlin, S. M., Lyons, K. M., Cannon, R. D., & Cooper, P. R. (2023). Preparedness and competency of New Zealand graduates for general dental practice: Perceptions from the workforce. Australian Dental Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/adj.12981 Journal - Research Article

Krishnan, C. S., Tompkins, G. R., Lyons, K. M., & Cannon, R. D. (2023). Electrolysed oxidising water as a multi-purpose biocide in dental healthcare: A scoping review. Gerodontology, 40, 422-462. doi: 10.1111/ger.12712 Journal - Research Other

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