Dr Wai Ling Kok

Dr Wai Ling Kok

Research Fellow in Stem Cell & Cancer Biology

Peninsula Dental School (Faculty of Health)



Wai Ling is currently employed as a research fellow at the Peninsula Dental School, University of Plymouth. Wai Ling obtained her BSc and MSc degree from the University of Putra, Malaysia. She was awarded the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh scholarship to further her PhD at the University of Edinburgh. After graduation, she continued her postdoctoral training at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford. At the end of her 4 years contract, she secured her first teaching position at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. 

Nov 2017- present      Research Fellow in Stem Cell and Cancer Biology (University of Plymouth)

Mar 2015-May 2017    Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Parkinson (University of Plymouth)

Jan 2014-Sept 2014    Associate Professor (School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, Malaysia)

Nov 2010-Jan 2014     Assistant Professor (School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, Malaysia)

Nov 2006-Sept 2010    Postdoctoral Research Assistant (University of Oxford)


2006   PhD in Molecular Virology (University of Edinburgh, UK)

2001   MSc in Molecular Biology (University of Putra, Malaysia)

1999   BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and Microbiology (University of Putra, Malaysia)

Professional membership

  • International Association of Dental Research
  • British Society for Oral and Dental Research
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy



Research interests

1) Oral cancer 

2) Tooth development and regeneration

2) Salivary gland development and diseases 




Walker JV, Zhuang H, Singer D, Illsley CS, Kok WL, Sivaraj KK, Gao Y, Bolton C, Liu Y, Zhao M, Grayson PRC, Wang S, Karbanov√° J, Lee T, Ardu S, Lai Q, Liu J, Kassem M, Chen S, Yang K, Bai Y, Tredwin C, Zambon AC, Corbeil D, Adams R, Abdallah BM, Hu B (2019). Transit amplifying cells coordinate mouse incisor mesenchymal stem cell activation. Nat Commun. Aug 9;10(1):3596.

Denes BJ, Bolton C, Illsley CS, Kok WL, Walker JV, Poetsch A, Tredwin C, Kiliaridis S, Hu B (2019). Notch coordinates periodontal ligament maturation through regulating Lamin A. J Dent Res. Aug 28:22034519871448.

Evans, T, Kok WL, Hefford M, Cowan K, Anichtchik O (2018). Accumulation of beta synuclein in cortical neurons is associated with autophagy attenuation in the brains of dementia with Lewy body patients. Brain Research 1681:1-13.

Cole L S, Dunning J, Kok WL, Benam, KH, Benlahrech A, Repapi E, Martinez, FO, Drumright L, Powell TJ, Bennett M, Eldersfield R, MOSAIC investigators, Dong T, McCauley J, Liew Eddy FY, Taylor S, Zambon M, Barclay W, Cerundolo V, Openshaw PJ, McMichael AJ, Ho LP (2017). M1/M2 monocyte-macrophage imbalance is major immunological determinant of life-threatening influenza in young and healthy individuals. The Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight April 6(2):7, e91868.

Wegmann F, Gartlan KH, Harnadi AM, Brinckmann SA, Coccia M, Hillson WR, Kok WL, Coles S, Ho L, Lambe T, Puthia M, Svanborg C, Scherer EM, Krashias G, Williams A, Blattman JN, Greenberg PD, Flavell RA, Moghaddam AE, Sheppard NC and Sattentau QJ (2012). Polyethyleneimine is a potent mucosal adjuvant for viral glycoprotein antigens. Nature biotechnology, Sep:30(9):883-8.

Kok WL, Denney L, Benam K, Cole S, Clelland C, McMichael AJ, Ho LP (2012). Pivotal Advance:Invariant NKT cells reduce accumulation of inflammatory monocytes in the lungs and decrease immune-pathology during severe influenza A virus infection. J Leukoc Biol. 91(3):357-68.

Denney L, Kok WL, Cole SL, Sanderson S, McMichael AJ, Ho LP (2012). Activation of Invariant NKT Cells in Early Phase of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Results in Differentiation of Ly6Chi Inflammatory Monocyte to M2 Macrophages and Improved Outcome. J Immunol. Jul 15;189(2):551-7.

Benam KH, Kok WL, McMichael AJ, Ho LP (2011). Alternative spliced CD1D transcripts in human bronchial epithelial cells. Plos One, 6(8), e22726.

Denney L, Aitken C, Chris Li, Davies E, Kok WL, Clelland C, Rooney K, Young D, Dong T, AJ. McMichael, Carman WF, L-P Ho (2010). Reduction of natural killer but not effector CD8 T lymphoyctes in three consecutive cases of severe/lethal H1N1/09 influenza A virus infection. Plos One May 18; 5(5):e10675.

Lockstone HE, Sanderson S, Kulakova N, Baban D, Leonard A, Kok WL, McGowan S, McMichael AJ, Ho LP (2010). Gene-set analysis of lung samples provides insight into pathogenesis of progressive, fibrotic pulmonary sarcoidosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 181(12):1367-75.

Krashias G, Simon AK, Wegmann F, Kok WL, Ho LP, Stevens D, Skehel J, Heeney JL, Moghaddam AE, Sattentau QJ (2010). Potent adaptive immune responses induced against HIV-1 gp140 and influenza virus HA by a polyanionic carbomer. Vaccine Mar 16;28 (13):2482-89.