Dr Wai Ling Kok

Dr Wai Ling Kok

Lecturer in Oral Sciences

Peninsula Dental School (Faculty of Health)



Wai Ling is currently employed as a Lecturer in Oral Sciences 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 her PhD, Wai Ling continued her postdoctoral training at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford. At the end of her contract, she secured her first academic position at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Jan 2024 - present      Lecturer in Oral Sciences (University of Plymouth)
Nov 2017- Dec 2023   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


Teaching interests

Wai Ling is contributing to teaching of dental sciences in BDS and DTH programmes. She is also acting as academic tutor to year 1 students. 


Research interests

Wai Ling has been working on different projects related to tooth stem cell biology and regeneration using different cellular and in vivo models. She is also interested in early pathogenic events of odontogenic tumour. 


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Break MKB, Nagalingam SV, Wai-Ling K, Hussein W, Alqarni S, Wiart C & Khoo T-J (2024) 'Synthesis, crystal structure, Hirshfeld surface analysis and DFT calculations of novel clusianone analogues as anticancer agents that downregulate β-tubulin and Cdk1/Cyclin B1' Journal of Molecular Structure 1300, 137270-137270 Publisher Site , DOI
Gao Y, Kok WL, Sharma V, Illsley CS, Hanks S, Tredwin C & Hu B (2023) 'SARS-CoV-2 infection causes periodontal fibrotic pathogenesis through deregulating mitochondrial beta-oxidation' Cell Death Discovery 9, (1) , DOI Open access
Denes BJ, Bolton C, Illsley C, Kok W, Walker J, Poetsch A, Tredwin C, Kiliaridis S & Hu B (2019) 'Notch Coordinates Periodontal Ligament Maturation through Regulating Lamin A' Journal of Dental Research 98, (12) 1357-1366 , DOI Open access
Walker JV, Zhuang H, Singer D, Illsley CS, Kok WL, Sivaraj KK, Gao Y, Bolton C, Liu Y & Zhao M (2019) 'Transit amplifying cells coordinate mouse incisor mesenchymal stem cell activation' Nature Communications 10, (1) 0-0 , DOI Open access
Evans T, Kok WL, Cowan K, Hefford M & Anichtchik O (2017) '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 , DOI Open access
Cole SL, Dunning J, Kok WL, Benam KH, Benlahrech A, Repapi E, Martinez FO, Drumright L, Powell TJ & Bennett M (2017) 'M1-like monocytes are a major immunological determinant of severity in previously healthy adults with life-threatening influenza' JCI Insight 2, (7) Publisher Site , DOI
Wegmann F, Gartlan KH, Harandi AM, Brinckmann SA, Coccia M, Hillson WR, Kok WL, Cole S, Ho L-P & Lambe T (2012) 'Polyethyleneimine is a potent mucosal adjuvant for viral glycoprotein antigens' Nature Biotechnology 30, (9) 883-888 Publisher Site , DOI
Denney L, Kok WL, Cole SL, Sanderson S, McMichael AJ & Ho L-P (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' The Journal of Immunology 189, (2) 551-557 Publisher Site , DOI
Kok WL, Denney L, Benam K, Cole S, Clelland C, McMichael AJ & Ho L-P (2011) 'Pivotal Advance: Invariant NKT cells reduce accumulation of inflammatory monocytes in the lungs and decrease immune-pathology during severe influenza A virus infection' Journal of Leukocyte Biology 91, (3) 357-368 Publisher Site , DOI
Benam KH, Kok WL, McMichael AJ & Ho L-P (2011) 'Alternative Spliced CD1D Transcripts in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells' PLoS ONE 6, (8) e22726-e22726 Publisher Site , DOI
Denney L, Aitken C, Li CK-F, Wilson-Davies E, Kok WL, Clelland C, Rooney K, Young D, Dong T & McMichael AJ (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 5, (5) e10675-e10675 Publisher Site , DOI
Lockstone HE, Sanderson S, Kulakova N, Baban D, Leonard A, Kok WL, McGowan S, McMichael AJ & Ho L-P (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) 1367-1375 Publisher Site , DOI
Krashias G, Simon A-K, Wegmann F, Kok W-L, Ho L-P, 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 28, (13) 2482-2489 Publisher Site , DOI
Kok WL, Yusoff K, Nathan S & Tan WS (2002) 'Cloning, Expression and Display of the PreS Domain of Hepatitis B Virus on Filamentous Bacteriophage M13' The Journal of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics 6, (1) 55-58 Publisher Site , DOI