Toby Hughes

Associate Professor Toby Hughes

Associate Professor

Adelaide Dental School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


My research has a broad focus on early life factors that influence health and development throughout childhood and early adult life.  I am interested in the nexus between oral and systemic conditions, and specifically in interactions between the genome, the epigenome, the environment and the commensal bacteria (the microbiome).  Key current research areas include:

  1. The role of the oral microbiome in health and disease
  2. Speech development and the role of the oral anatomy
  3. Pre-natal influences on oral health in mid-childhood
  4. The role of diet in early development
  5. Craniofacial development in children
  6. Dental anthropology and forensics

My group has a broad range of projects available that enable students to tailor their experience to attain specific skills. We operate both wet and dry laboratories, have a strong track record in bioinformatics and big data analysis, and have some very active collaborations with other groups (and potential co-supervisors) in Sydney, Melbourne and the USA.

Some example student projects:

Epigenetics

Our group is interested in examining the role of DNA methylation in regulating dental development (missing and extra teeth; tooth size; dental anomalies) and disease risk (dental caries; systemic inflammatory conditions). Projects in this domain would suit students interested in genetics and epigenetics, with a particular interest in developing skills in bioinformatics and analysis/ interpretation of whole-genome chip- and sequencing-based approaches.

The oral microbiome

We have a large ongoing collaboration with researchers in the US, Sydney and Melbourne examining the transmission, acquisition, proliferation and stabilisation of the oral microbiome, as well as examining its role in health and disease, both orally and systemically. Projects in this domain would suit a student interested in microbiology, with a particular interest in developing skills in bioinformatics and metagenomic sequencing.

Craniofacial biology

Our group has a long track-record in collecting longitudinal growth records from large-scale national cohort studies, with an emphasis on craniofacial growth and development. Projects in this domain would suit a student interested in using novel methodologies (2D and 3D surface topography mapping; micro CT; geometric morphometrics) to describe normal human variation and disease states, with a particular interest in developing skills in biostatistics.

Quantitative genetics

Our group has extensive phenotypic and genealogical records from many populations nationally and internationally, with a particular focus on longitudinal data from indigenous and twin cohorts in Australia. Projects in this domain would suit students interested in population/quantitative genetics, with a particular interest in developing skills in population genetics and associated analyses. The focus will be to parse out the relative influences of the genotype, and the shared and non-shared environments of individuals, on a range of craniofacial and whole-body phenotypes.

Date Project/ No. Investigators Funding Body Amount
2018 - Hughes School of Dentistry - RIBG $3,492
2018 SSP Hughes Faculty of Health Sciences - SSP $6,188
2018 - Hughes Faculty of Health Sciences - Travel Award $3,000
2018-2019 APP1147383 Hughes, Adler, Townsend, Bockmann National Health and Medical Research Council $284,652
2017 29-2016 Williams, Adler, Oshlack, Townsend, Hughes Australian Dental Research Foundation $10,920
2016-2017 161328 Hughes, Townsend, Adler, Bockmann Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation $75,000
2014-2016 APP1062911 Adler, Hughes, Townsend, Arora National Health and Medical Research Council $384,410
2015 03/2014 Ahmed, Ranjitkar, Anderson, Townsend, Hughes Australian Dental Research Foundation $5,000
2013-2016 1R01-DE19665 Hughes, Craig, Saffery, Townsend, Kilpatrick National Institutes of Health $644,189
2013 09/2012 Mihailidis, Hughes, Bockmann, Winning, Townsend Australian Dental Research Foundation $7,650
2013 08/2012 Tan, Townsend, Hughes, Sampson Australian Dental Research Foundation $2,394
2012 - Zilm, Fitzimmons, Marchant, Hughes et al School of Dentistry $5,000
2012 - Hughes, Fitzimmons, Zilm, Adler School of Dentistry $5,000
2012 37/2011 Odeh, Townsend, Mihailidis, Hughes, Lahdesmaki Australian Dental Research Foundation $4,827
2011-2013 APP1006294 Townsend, Seow, Hughes National Health and Medical Research Council $322,524
2011 - Zilm, Fitzimmons, Marchant, Hughes et al School of Dentistry $18,500
2011 - Coates, Bartold, Howe, Hughes University of South Australia $10,000
2011 62/2010 Gagliardi,Sampson, Townsend, Hughes Australian Dental Research Foundation $1,400
2011 70/2010 Ashar, Hughes, James, Townsend, Kaidonis Australian Dental Research Foundation $7,000
2010 640305 Fitzimmons, Hughes et al National Health and Medical Research Council $10,000
2010 - Mihailidis, Bockmann, Hughes, Seow, Townsend Australian Dental Industry Association $5,000
2010 26/2009 Ribeiro, Townsend, Sampson, Hughes, Brook Australian Dental Research Foundation $2,800
2010 28/2009 Mihailidis, Hughes, Bockmann, Winning, Townsend Australian Dental Research Foundation $3,340
2010 27/2009 Mihailidis, Bockmann, Hughes, Seow, Townsend Australian Dental Research Foundation $12,290
2010 32/2009 Hughes, Townsend Australian Dental Research Foundation $8,000
2009-2010 - Townsend, Hughes, Bockmann Financial Markets Foundation for Children $50,000
2008 - Hughes, Townsend School of Dentistry $5,220
2008 - Hughes, Townsend School of Dentistry $2,378
2008 49/2007 Hughes, Townsend Australian Dental Research Foundation $13,430
2007 ??/2006 Townsend, Seow, Gotjamanos, Hughes, Gully, Richards Australian Dental Research Foundation $3,000
2007 - Sanders, McNamara, Hughes, Slade, Bartold School of Dentistry $5,950
2007 - McNamara, Hughes School of Dentistry $4,760
2007 - Hughes, Bockmann, Townsend, Gully School of Dentistry $5,865
2007 - Hughes Faculty of Health Science $10,000
2006 - Hughes, Townsend School of Dentistry $2,000
2005-2007 APP349448 Townsend, Seow, Gotjamanos, Hughes, Gully, Richards National Health and Medical Research Council $514,150
2005-2006 - Hughes Faculty of Health Science $13,000
2003 - Townsend, Hughes, Apps Australian Dental Research Foundation $2,200
2002 - Townsend, Hughes, Race Australian Dental Research Foundation $2,200
2002 - Townsend, Hughes, Zaninovich Faculty of Health Science $1,400

Courses Developed and Taught

Bachelor of Dental Surgery

2012-present     Dental Science & Practice III (single stream program)

2011-present     Dental Science & Practice II (single stream program)

2010-present     Dental Science & Practice I (single stream program)

2007-2011         Dental Health Science III

2006-2009         Human Biology ID

1999-2010         Dental Health Science II

1999-2009         Dental Health Science I

Bachelor of Oral Health

2007-present     Human Biology IOH

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  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor The Nature and Extent of Sexual Dimorphism in Dental and Dermatoglyphic Traits of Twins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Richard Jonathan Ordonez Taduran
    2011 - 2014 Co-Supervisor A study of post-mortem degradation of teeth to advance forensic DNA analysis as a tool for Human identification Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Denice Higgins
    2011 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Infraocclusion of Primary Molars and Associated Dental Anomalies in Twins and Singletons: What is the Underlying Aetiology? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Ruba Mohammad Mousa Odeh
    2010 - 2015 Principal Supervisor PATTERNING OF THE HUMAN DENTITION: IMPLICATIONS FOR FORENSIC ODONTOLOGY Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Nor Atika Md Ashar
    2010 - 2013 Co-Supervisor A Longitudinal Study of Changes in Tooth Size and Dental Arch Dimensions from the Mixed to Permanent Dentitions in Australian Aboriginals Doctor of Clinical Dentistry Doctorate Full Time Dr Wee Han Tan
    2009 - 2013 Co-Supervisor The Development of the Curve of Spee in Australian Twins Doctor of Clinical Dentistry Doctorate Full Time Dr Antonio Gagliardi
    2008 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Increased Tooth Crown Size in Females from Opposite-Sex Dizygotic Twins: A Possible Intrauterine Hormonal Influence on Dental Development Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Daniela Cisoto Ribeiro
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Emergence timing and patterning of the primary dentition The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Part Time Shanaya Senanayake
    2019 - ongoing Co-Supervisor The genetics of molar-incisor hypomineralistion The University of Sydney PhD Doctorate Part Time Neeta Prabhu
    2018 - ongoing Principal Supervisor The role of birth order in caries The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Part Time Tamara Zhang
    2018 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Speech acquisition and oral anatomy The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Part Time Diem Tang
    2018 - ongoing Principal Supervisor The oral microbiome & dental caries The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Part Time Amelia Wiese
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Antibiotic resistance in the oral microbiome The University of Sydney PhD Doctorate Part Time Smitha Sukumar
    2015 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Quantifying variation in dental record interpretation and transcription The University of Adelaide GDip.Forensic Odontology Other Full Time Ketki Chandewar
    2015 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Significance of consensus, experience and training in forensic odontology ante-mortem dental data interpretation and transcription The University of Adelaide GDip.Forensic Odontology Other Full Time Rabiah Rahmat
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor The effects of the Y chromosome and intrauterine male hormones on human tooth size and shape The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Felicity Lam
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor The roles of glypicans 1 and 3 in craniofacial and dental morphogenesis: a mouse model using 3D microCT The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Part Time Mustafa Ahmed
    2014 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Intrauterine male hormone effects on dental arch dimensions in female twins The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Full Time Premal Patel
    2011 - 2013 Principal Supervisor The role of epigenetics in agenic and supernumerary teeth – evidence from MZ twins The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Scott Williams
    2010 - 2011 Co-Supervisor Validation of a laser scanner methodology The University of Adelaide Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology Other Full Time Astiti Handayani
    2010 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Composite resin adhesion - an animal model The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Anina De Vries
    2010 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Fuji IX. A qualitative analysis of its interaction with vital sheep tooth structure in vivo vs. in vitro. A pilot study. The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Barun Ghosh
    2010 - 2012 Principal Supervisor The influence of chorion type on the emergence of the first primary tooth in Australian twins The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Part Time Elise McConnell
    2009 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Palatal rugae: classification, variation and individuality in the human population The University of Adelaide Honours Full Time Hannah Berman
    2009 - 2011 Principal Supervisor Factors associated with the timing of emergence of the first primary tooth The University of Adelaide BSciDent(Hons) Honours Part Time Emmanuel Chan
    2008 - 2011 Co-Supervisor The molecular basis of orthodontic tooth movement - an animal model The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Chien Wei Tan
    2008 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Development of a mathematical method of dental superimposition using four landmarks of the anterior maxillary dentition The University of Adelaide GDip.Forensic Odontology Other Full Time Lyndall Smythe
    2007 - 2009 Co-Supervisor The impact of Mutans streptococci colonisation, transmissibility and their association with primary tooth emergence on oral health The University of Adelaide Honours Full Time Ruba Odeh
    2007 - 2008 Co-Supervisor Timing of deciduous tooth emergence in Australian twins The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Sabrina Woodroffe
    2004 - 2005 Co-Supervisor The effect of birth weight on tooth-size variability in twins The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Mary Apps
    2002 - 2005 Co-Supervisor Age changes in dental arch form of Australian twins The University of Adelaide DClinDent Doctorate Full Time Zuliani Mahmood
    2002 - 2005 Co-Supervisor The association between chorion type and dental variability in Australian monozygotic twins The University of Adelaide Honours Part Time Jonathan Race
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83133739
  • Email: toby.hughes@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo South, floor 3
  • Room: S3 31
  • Org Unit: Dental

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