William Bonass

William Bonass


Dr William Bonass CBiol, MSB, PhD. Primary research theme: Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. William Bonass gained an honours degree in Biochemistry with Microbiology from Brighton Polytechnic in 1978. Following ten years of research and development in the Pharmaceutical Industry; first with with Beecham Pharmaceuticals, where he was part of the team that developed the inhibitor clavulanic acid to combat penicillin resistant bacteria, and subsequently with GD Searle and Co where he was part of the team that developed a range of plasmid expression vectors for the delivery of novel therapeutics. He returned to academia and obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the Department of Genetics at the University of Leeds in 1987, studying the molecular aetiology of Behçet's syndrome.

He carried out Postdoctoral research in Molecular Virology at the University of Leeds developing a candidate vaccine for equine herpes virus, before obtaining a lectureship in Molecular Biology in the Oral Biology Department. William Bonass is currently a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology at the School of Dentistry specialising in research into mechanisms of gene expression, and single-molecule studies of active gene transcription. He has received funding from the Wellcome Foundation, the MRC and various charities and has published >60 research articles and book chapters and is a regular reviewer for several international journals. He has been a regular presenter at international conferences, has acted as chairman for several scientific sessions and has also acted as expert consultant on several projects for major UK companies. As a Module Leader for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses he has supervised postgraduate research at the School of Dentistry and in collaboration with members of other departments of the University of Leeds. He has also acted as external examiner for postgraduate theses at several other institutions.

Recent Postgraduate Research Degree Supervision includes: Rezapour M (PhD) Effect of pulp capping materials on human dental pulp cell ageing and gene expression and Chammas O (PhD) Single molecule transcription studies with the atomic force microscope.Key Research Collaborations include Dr Neil Thomson, Department of Oral Biology, Leeds Dental Institute and Department of Physics, University of Leeds - Atomic force microscopy and the interaction of DNA and proteins, Dr Simon Wood and Dr El Mostafa Raif, Department of Oral Biology, Leeds Dental Institute and Dr W El-Hossary, Suez Canal University, Egypt - Genetic controls in periodontal ligament homeostasis. Teaching Areas include: Molecular basis of inheritance, mechanisms of regulation of gene expression and mechanisms of ageing. Professional Activities: External examiner at Kings College, London and the University of Cardiff. Dr Bonass recently developed a technique for transient arrest of Dental pulp cells, in-culture, to facilitate cell proliferation for tissue engineering projects.  He has also devised the "Telo-Clip" protocol, for determining absolute lengths of telomeres in specific target chromosomes, which is at the proof of principle stage of development.

Research interests

Oral Biology Research Areas:  

  • DNA structure and gene expression 
  • Mechanisms for regulation of gene expression
  • Molecular mechanisms of ageing
  • Development of novel molecular biology techniques.

Professional memberships

  • Royal Society of Biology
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